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Dis­abil­i­ty Income Insur­ance: Jeff Peterson’s prospect­ing pointers 

With tips from top broker Jeff Peterson.

After a lengthy career as an agent, Jeff Peterson founded Truluma, a Seattle-based “one-stop disability insurance shop” that helps producers find the appropriate income protection products for their clients. In this episode of Tips from the Insurance Pros, Jeff shares his tips for prospecting disability income insurance sales.

Once advi­sors see the whole pic­ture, it only takes a few tweaks to the con­ver­sa­tion to con­nect life and dis­abil­i­ty income insur­ance together…”

Jeff Peterson

How do you educate producers to approach prospective clients about the need for income protection?

Jeff: We do a lot of web-based training and small group sessions, but what’s interesting is that we’ve found that many producers are already having conversations about income protection – they just don’t realize it.

At the end of the day, the majority of people purchase life insurance to replace their income should they die prematurely. The problem is that it only covers half the income risk clients are exposed to – the greater risk is the emotional and financial devastation caused by a disability. Once advisors see the whole picture, it only takes a few tweaks to the conversation to connect life and disability income insurance together to create a comprehensive income protection program.

Producers sometimes focus on doctors and lawyers when selling disability income insurance. What about the need for others – not just white-collar professionals?

Jeff: I think it’s important for anybody who relies on their income. A recent study by CareerBuilder found that 78 percent of full-time workers live paycheck to paycheck. What’s fascinating about this is that it includes individuals who earn six-figure incomes. Regardless of what someone does for a living or how much they earn, they’d be put in a very difficult financial situation should an injury or illness prevent them from working.

How do you help producers talk to small business owners?

Jeff: Small business owners are unique. There’s certainly the need to replace their income should they get sick or hurt. But sometimes, they feel that if they weren’t able to work, the business would continue to run itself – “it doesn’t really need me.” If they say that, then I ask “Why do you come in every single day at six in the morning and stick around until six at night?” They’re the reason the business runs.

Their overhead expenses can be a nice conversation starter, too. A policy can cover the fixed expenses – a lot of business owners like that concept.

What tips do you give producers to help them get their applications through underwriting?

Jeff: Field underwriting is very valuable, and a bit of a lost art. It not only saves time and effort during the underwriting process, it also makes placing policies easier. Producers should take the time to complete an application. Answering all the questions and providing details saves a lot of time and headaches.

Lastly, get copies of the last two years of their tax returns. Sometimes it’s not needed, but it’s good to get in the habit.

What’s one piece of advice you’d share about how to sell more disability income insurance?

Jeff: Ask, ask, ask and ask again. Most producers don’t bring up disability income insurance, and that’s why they don’t sell it. You don’t need to have a polished script or be an expert on DI, but if you start asking clients questions about income replacement and what would happen to them in the event of an illness or injury, doors will open.

Assurity’s Century+ Disability Income Insurance no longer requires medical exams for ages 18-50 or income verification for benefit amounts up to $4,000. Learn more at

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This policy may contain reductions of benefits, limitations and exclusions. For costs and complete details of the coverage, please contact your insurance representative or Assurity to review the policy for more information.


Foreign Travel and Residency

Assurity will pay up to a maximum of three disability monthly benefits for any disability sustained or continued outside the United States or Canada.

Mental/Nervous Disorders; Substance Abuse

Assurity will pay up to a maximum of 24 disability monthly benefits during the insured’s lifetime for disabilities due to mental/nervous disorders and substance abuse.

Pre-existing Condition

If the insured’s disability is within two years from the issue date and is due to a pre-existing condition, no benefits will be paid unless the condition was disclosed and not misrepresented on the application and is not excluded by a policy amendment rider.

A pre-existing condition is a sickness or physical condition for which, during the two years before the issue date, the insured:

  • had symptoms which would cause an ordinary prudent person to seek diagnosis, care or treatment; or
  • received medical consultation, advice or treatment from a physician or had taken prescribed medication.


Assurity will not pay benefits for conditions that are caused by or the result of the insured:

  • being pregnant, experiencing childbirth or having an elective abortion (complication of pregnancy is deemed to be a sickness);
  • losing an occupational or professional license or certification;
  • being exposed to war or any act of war, declared or undeclared;
  • engaging in an illegal occupation;
  • participating in or attempting to commit a felony;
  • intentionally self-inflicting a sickness or injury;
  • committing or attempting to commit suicide, while sane or insane;
  • being incarcerated or is caused while incarcerated in a penal institution or government detention facility;
  • being intoxicated (as determined by the laws governing the operation of motor vehicles in the jurisdiction where the disability occurs) or under the influence of an illegal substance or a narcotic (except for narcotics used as prescribed to the insured by a physician); or
  • actively serving in any of the armed forces, or units auxiliary thereto, including the National Guard or Reserves, except during the active duty training of less than 60 days.

This policy provides disability income insurance only. It does NOT provide basic hospital, basic medical or major medical insurance as defined by the New York State Department of Financial Services. The expected benefit ratio for this policy is 56 percent. This ratio is the portion of future premiums that the company expects to return as benefits, when averaged over all people with this policy.

Policy Form No. I H0920 and Rider Form Nos. R I0921, R I0922, R I 0923, R I0925, R I0927, R I0928, R I0929, I R0721, R I1601 and R I1602 are underwritten by Assurity Life Insurance Company, Lincoln, Nebraska. Policy Form No. I H1605 NY (R09-17) and Rider Form Nos. R I1606 NY, R I1607 NY, R I1608 NY, R I1609 NY, R I1610 NY, R I1611 NY, R I1612 NY and R I1724 NY are underwritten by Assurity Life Insurance Company of New York, Albany, New York.

Assurity is a marketing name for the mutual holding company Assurity Group, Inc. and its subsidiaries. Those subsidiaries include but are not limited to: Assurity Life Insurance Company and Assurity Life Insurance Company of New York. Insurance products and services are offered by Assurity Life Insurance Company in all states except New York. In New York, insurance products and services are offered by Assurity Life Insurance Company of New York, Albany, NY. Product availability, features and rates may vary by state.