It takes most Americans a life time of work, risk-taking and saving to accumulate wealth. So it only makes sense to protect that wealth through an accurate assessment of risk and proper insurance products. But knowing where one is at risk, which insurance products to buy and how much insurance is the right amount is indeed a tall order.
When most new clients come to Whitnell, they want to understand and mitigate risks to their wealth. There are many circumstances that prompt people to take a closer look at their risk and insurance situation.
Some of our clients have witnessed the fall-out from family or friends who were not adequately protected against loss. These are learning moments that they do not want their loved ones to have to experience.
Many of our clients don’t know what they have, in terms of insurance types (whole life, term life, universal, variable life, long-term care, annuities), or if they have enough for their family circumstances. They need someone to review their situation and help them understand if they are sufficiently covered.
Many people were sold insurance policies and no longer understand why those policies exist and whether or not they are appropriate for their current financial planning needs. They need someone to review the history of their insurance purchases and understand what changes, if any, they should make.
Some people have heard that there are tax benefits from certain insurance products. Given today’s significantly higher tax rates, there are opportunities for people to shelter their taxable income through insurance vehicles.
For business owners, deciding the best way to structure the legal entity is a key consideration regarding risk. What makes the most sense – LLC, S-Corp, C-Corp or sole proprietorship? Titling assets is also a means of protecting them from seizure in litigation events. For instance, a house can be titled to a spouse to protect a business owner from losing a property.
But one of the biggest challenges is simply understanding the insurance landscape. The major forms of insurance include:
- Property and casualty insurance.
- Personal liability insurance.
- Life insurance.
- Medical insurance.
- Disability insurance.
- Long-term care insurance.
- Business insurance.
It is not uncommon, when we help our clients review their risk strategies, to discover that many people overpay for certain forms of insurance while being under-protected in other areas where they are at risk. For instance, many people overpay for life insurance but are underinsured in other areas like asset protection and business insurance.