Consumers have a lot of misconceptions about life insurance, which may prevent them from purchasing the protection they need for themselves and their loved ones. During a recent Life Happens webinar, NAIFA Trustee, Delvin Joyce of Prosperity Wealth Group, LLC, and an advisor at Prudential Financial, and Kristen Hall Eskew, Director of Talent Acquisition at Consolidated Planning Inc., shared five myths that are prevalent in the African American community and offered some helpful hints for dispelling them.
Myth No. 1: Life insurance is for final expenses/burials.
Joyce talked about the culture of the church in Black America and how a big part of the culture surrounding death is finding comfort in the church or in in the community. Whether this is passing the collection plate around for the family or coming together to help and pitch in, this is typically what some see as their only option for helping the family financially.
Eskew spoke about the history of Jim Crow laws in this country and how many Black Americans didn’t have white-collar jobs. Their priority was putting food on the table now, and providing for their families now. It wasn’t until they started receiving pensions that they were able to understand what leaving something for their families could do.
Myth No. 2: “I’m not trying to make anyone rich! My parents taught me to work hard and that is what I’m doing for my kids.”
Joyce and Eskew spoke about the importance of teaching your children to work hard, but noted that building wealth is not the same as leaving a legacy.
“For my father, it was all about education,” Eskew said. Her father wanted her to work hard because he worked hard. As a parent, he wanted her and her siblings to work just as hard as he did.
If you run into clients like Eskew’s dad, “don’t try to change their mind. Instead, empathize with them and understand why they have a certain mindset,” Joyce said. “Show them ways in which they can utilize life insurance and put guard rails around it to ensure that their children can still have that mentality of working hard as they grow up,” he added.
Myth No. 3: “I have insurance through my job. That is enough.”
Your job may have great benefits, but it is important for you to know that insurance from your job may not be enough for you and you and your family.
“A lot of Black Americans have that first-generation- wealth mindset,” Eskew explained. Many of them worked hard to get these benefits and they want to use them.
When speaking to clients, “try to get them to supplement the coverage instead of replacing it,” Joyce said. “Ask them: “How do we supplement what you already have so that we make sure your family is completely covered?” Have this conversation with them to make sure they are not only financially secure, but financially literate, as well.
Myth No. 4: “Life insurance is only for my beneficiaries. Why do I care when I’m dead?’”
Many people believe that life insurance offers a benefit only to those who are left behind. What they don’t know is that life insurance can do more while you’re still alive, such as providing coverage for a terminal or a chronic illness.
Before Eskew entered the financial-services industry, she explained, she did not believe in life insurance, either but once she learned about it, she even thought that whole life insurance was the only option available.
Myth No. 5: “A million dollars of life insurance is too much.”
When working with clients, it’s important to assess their financial needs. As he works with new clients, the first thing that Joyce does is to figure out what their needs are. “Before they talk about term vs whole life insurance, you should figure out how much their need is,” he said.
That need may be well over a million dollars. People may get sticker shock when they see that figure, but according to Joyce, “if you appeal to reason, ask the right questions, and help them truly understand what it will do for them, they will understand why the number is justified.”
At the end of the webinar, Joyce and Eskew provided the attendees with a few important takeaways:
- When you talk to the general public about life insurance, don’t be just an order taker. Instead, make sure the people you are talking to understand what they want for their families when they are no longer around.
- Start the conversation about life insurance. People want to be taken care of and they want their families to be taken care of as well.
- The industry needs more Black advisors. If you are a Black advisor, who can you lift up or mentor? And if you are a White advisor, who can you be an ally to?
This webinar is now live on the Life Happens Pro section of their website. You can view this and more at lifehappenspro.org.