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Marty Robbins Life Insurance

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We’ve written pretty extensively over the past dozen or so years about Universal Life, very little of which was complimentary. The design itself, especially the first few iterations, really needed a young person as the insured, and said young person really needed to “over-fund” the plan (ie not be skimpy with the premiums). This to ensure that the policy had enough “oomph” (in the form of cash value) to carry it in the latter years.

Recently, I had occasion to work with one of our P&C clients who has a MetLife UL purchased from “a friend” many years ago. Of course, this friend is long gone from the insurance biz, and for some time “Marty” (not his real name) has been trying to figure out why his policy is imploding. In desperation he called us to see if there was anything we could do to help even though we’re not MetLife agents.

Of course I agreed: he’s been an agency client for well over 30 years, and besides, he’s a charming older gent who needs our help.

The facts are thus: At age 58, he purchased was sold a Universal Life plan with a fixed, $50,000 face amount, paying just shy of $100 a month. Now one might think this was sufficient to really give the policy that “oomph” that I mentioned, but at age 58, not so much. Seeing as how he’s now 86, things have caught up with him.

He called Home Office last year, and was assured that the plan would run to his age 95. Well, that’s how he understood it, but the reality is that the plan is designed to end at his age 95 (at the latest). What he was supposed to do at age 96 remains a mystery.

A few weeks ago, he got his annual report, which told him that, contrary to the nice home office lady’s claim, the policy was due to expire next year at this time, well before he celebrates that magic 95. And that’s when he called us.

Because I’m not the Agent of Record (nor do I currently represent MetLife), I had Marty pop in so we could call Home Office together. This way, they could identify him and he could give them permission to discuss policy particulars with me. Which they did.

The bottom line was that the plan was destined for self-destruction next March, unless we made some significant changes. I asked for a variety of “what if’s:”

■ What if we lowered the face amount and kept the same premium?

■ What if we lowered the face amount and increased the premium?

■ What premium would be necessary to carry the policy, at the current $50,000 face amount, to age 95?

Turns out, there is no dollar amount that will take the policy to Age 95 (thanks, Uncle Sam!). Of the other options, the only one that made a modicum of sense was lowering the face amount and doubling the premium. And that suited Marty just fine, so we just sent off the forms to accomplish that (and to name me as Agent of Record so that I can call on his behalf if I have additional questions down the road).

Honestly, I don’t know what I would do in that situation. I do know that there were no “good” options.

Just glad I could be of service to a long-time agency client.

Original content copyright © InsureBlog


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