What Is Insurance Consulting?
Our insurance consulting service offers you impartial analysis and advice, independent of concerns about sales commissions. Most insurance is sold on a commissions basis. Agents get paid only if they make a sale, so naturally when someone asks for information about insurance they see a sales prospect. Information is given with the goal of closing a sale. The stage is immediately set: Agent with a sales agenda vs. you with your own simple agenda, whether it be gathering information, asking for advice, doing due diligence, or understanding or troubleshooting an existing policy.
We empower you to flip the script from being a target of a sale to having access to trusted, objective, impartial analysis and advice. Our fiduciary, fee-for-service approach sets our process apart from the typical sales process.
Covered Insurance Types
Our consulting services focus on the following insurance product types:
- Life insurance
- Disability income insurance
- Long-term care insurance
The common theme: these products insure your money. While all of them hold potential to provide substantial long-term benefits, they can also be complicated, opaque, and confusing. Mistakes can be costly and limiting.
We are a financial planning and investment management firm with deep, technical experience in insurance. Our combination of skills and experience enables us to provide clients an objective, big-picture perspective, seen through a fiduciary lens.
Is this a Good Fit for You?
Insurance consulting is typically helpful for:
- Individuals seeking information, advice, or a second opinion about insurance options
- Allied professionals (for example, CPAs, attorneys, financial planners, etc.) seeking credible, objective information, analysis, advice, and service work
Individuals. Insurance consulting is a subset of our financial planning service and can also be accessed a la carte by anyone, whether you’re a current client or not.
If you’re a financial planning client, we typically address insurance as part of the planning engagement – reviewing existing policies, evaluating their suitability, and identifying potential gaps in coverage.
Outside of the financial planning context, whether you’re a current client or not, you can hire us to consult on a wide range of issues involving life, disability, or long-term care insurance or annuities. Here are just some of the things we’ve helped clients with:
- Advice on the purchase of a permanent life insurance policy
- Explaining disability insurance, assessing whether you’re adequately covered already, and untangling the many features and options
- Reviewing underwriting requirements and the likelihood of securing coverage
- Troubleshooting an existing in-force insurance policy
- Addressing whether long-term care insurance makes sense for you
- Contemplating the purchase of an annuity
- “Annuity rescue” (from an existing high-cost annuity contract)
Allied professionals (CPAs, attorneys, financial planners, etc.). If you’re an allied professional also serving clients in a fiduciary capacity, you’re probably aware of the unique challenges facing anyone who interacts with the insurance marketplace. Those challenges may discourage you from recommending or engaging with insurance at all.
Our services enable you to access professional insurance services without a sales agenda, in the context of the fiduciary standard of care. We can help you address a wide range of insurance-related issues in the areas of estate planning, family law, and business applications such as buy-sell agreements, key-person coverage, and executive compensation arrangements:
- Review, analysis, modeling, and due diligence on large, complex cases
- Second opinion on third-party insurance proposals
- Strategic ideas and, if indicated, product options
- Analysis/troubleshooting of in-force policies
- Feasibility of obtaining new coverage (underwriting)
- Servicing of in-force policies
Our transparent, non-commission, fiduciary fee-based arrangement empowers clients and their advisers to make good decisions based on the merits, and it allows “No” to be an appropriate professional recommendation. Fee-based arrangements remove the impetus to create transactions to get paid, helping to assure the client that recommendations are being made for the right reasons. When no transaction is needed, a fee-based consultant can provide valuable intervention, alternative solutions, product repair, or ongoing service.
Mallery Financial’s fee-based approach to insurance consulting was featured at America’s Top Planner, a national forum of planning approaches and ideas. For an informative write-up about our process, please see the story America's Top Planner wrote about our approach.
If requested, we can assist with implementation of recommendations.
Today, more and more insurance products are available on a no-load, fee-for-service basis, stripped of their commissions and often delivering higher value than their commission-based counterparts. Such products keep the entire engagement squarely in the fiduciary ecosystem. They are our preferred solution, to the degree they are available and optimal for the client.
However, just because a product is no-load/fee-based doesn’t mean it’s the best or most suitable product for a given situation. For that reason, Stephen Mallery maintains his insurance license and is able to broker products from across the insurance marketplace, spanning the range of product types and profiles, in an effort to find the most suitable, best-fit, best-value solution for each client, without regard to compensation. If any commissionable products are on the table, commissions are disclosed. Fee offsets are available.
Take Control of the Process
Our transparent, full-disclosure process is designed to put you in control of the process. You choose whether and how to proceed based on fully disclosed and agreed-upon goals, deliverables, and cost. No secrets, no opaque processes, all potential conflicts of interest disclosed.