Annuity Processing: Not Just Paper Pushing

I began my career at Sentinel in 2011; a month after the Personal Choice Annuity was launched. Annuity New Business is a tight-knit and dedicated team who eats, sleeps, and breathes our fixed rate annuity. Therefore, when I tell someone what I do for a living with great passion and excitement, and their eyes glaze over in preparation for boredom, I don’t understand. And when I tell our team about it they react as if the person said we had an ugly baby. There is nothing boring about financial planning and security. There is nothing dull about growing your savings tax-deferred or rolling funds over from an investment that no longer serves your needs into one that can. Well…Unless you find achieving your financial goals boring.  I guess that would depend on how much you enjoy playing golf.  See? Annuities aren’t boring at all.

The Personal Choice annuity is best for individuals who have funds that aren’t currently needed for living expenses, that they would like to invest tax-deferred for a guarantee period of 5, 7, or 10 years. It’s called a “guarantee period” for a reason, your principal is safe and the interest rate is guaranteed during that period.

In my role as a new business processor I spend much of my day reviewing applications and most of them say the client’s reason for purchasing the annuity is safety and the opportunity to grow their wealth tax-deferred. We all have to pay the taxman. But our clients enjoy putting it off for several years while they accumulate interest.

Annuities are purchased by many different people for many different reasons. Some of our clients are young and still in the meat of their working years and are interested in moving an IRA or 401k for a better interest rate. But on the other hand applications cross my desk daily completed by seniors whose agents have advised them to invest in a fixed annuity instead of variable accounts, providing them the opportunity to grow their savings whether their goal is a long and secure retirement or the inheritance of their loved ones.

I hope you can see why the Annuity New Business team is so excited about what we do. We don’t just push paper and enter numbers into computers. We get to do our small part to help people we’ll never meet achieve their financial goals.

For additional information on the Personal Choice Annuity, please visit us at www.sslco.com or call 800.247.1423.

Blog written by: Deanna Martin, Annuity New Business Processor for Sentinel Security Life Insurance Co.

 

Coming in from the Cold: A Career Warming

Going from an agent in the field to an agent in the home office can be a difficult transition for many. Such a transition usually involves going from days spent constantly on the move and in constant contact with clients and potential clients, to days spent behind a desk with a headset on with little to no contact with the outside world. Luckily Sentinel has made the transition seamless, and my days here at Sentinel have been anything but routine.

While I do find myself behind my desk, and while I do wear my headset sometimes, I am not anchored to my desk like I thought I would be. Even when I am at my desk with my headset on, I’m not doing monotonous tasks day after day. I track and assign leads, talk to marketers and agents about our products and services, and design training material for our agents as well as Sentinel employees.  Currently I am assisting in the creation of a marketing piece in Spanish, and I am always helping agents with anything and everything they need. I have a hand in the design of new products, new lead programs and new ways to sell our products.  There is never a dull moment at Sentinel.

It may seem like I’m exaggerating when I say that, but I’m not.  Sentinel is a small company that is expanding and growing by leaps and bounds.  In the four short months that I have been here, we have rolled out one new product and we are scheduled to roll out another product next month.  In the upcoming months we plan to release an electronic application for our final expense product, including voice signature capability, and we will be moving to a larger building that will better accommodate our ever expanding Sentinel family.

Like I mentioned before, there is never a dull moment here. There is always something new to do and there is always a lot to be done. Sentinel strives to maintain a positive work environment for their employees because they realize that a good company starts from within its own walls. I am happy to be a part of Sentinel at such an exciting time in the company’s history and while I do enjoy my weekends, I also look forward to coming to work every day.

Blog written by: Keawe Poulsen, Sales Support Associate for Sentinel Security Life Insurance Co.

Sentinel Security Life Welcomes Daniel Morgan

Dan-MorganSentinel Security Life Insurance Co. would like to welcome Daniel Morgan as Chief Operations Officer.

Mr. Morgan has worked in the insurance industry for over 21 years.  Mr. Morgan has worked for several large property and casualty, and life and health insurance carriers primarily responsible for compliance, risk management and operations.  Mr. Morgan joined Sentinel in 2012 as its Chief Operations Officer and his responsibilities include compliance, claims, underwriting, agent licensing, human resources, marketing and risk management.

Prior to joining Sentinel, Mr. Morgan was the Chief Compliance Officer of Amerilife Group LLC in Clearwater Florida.  At Amerilife Mr. Morgan was responsible for corporate compliance, risk management and human resources.  Mr. Morgan also assisted with Amerilife’s corporate operations and preparing Board packets for Amerilife’s quarterly Board of Directors meetings.

From 2003 to 2008, Mr. Morgan served as the Compliance and Regulatory Assistant Vice President for Great American Insurance Company. Prior to that he worked as the Compliance Director for Continental Casualty Company. Mr. Morgan has a Juris Doctor degree from The John Marshall Law School in Chicago and is a graduate of Marquette University.

Sentinel Security Life is thrilled to have Daniel Morgan as part of the Sentinel crew.

Blog written by: Dan Acker, Vice President and Chief Financial Officer for Sentinel Security Life Insurance Co. 

Sentinel Security Life Welcomes David C. Rasmussen

David C. RasmussenDavid C. Rasmussen has provided information technology services and direction for Sentinel since 1981 as a consultant, and joined the company on a full time basis in 2012 as its Chief Information Officer.

Prior to joining Sentinel, Mr. Rasmussen was the Director of Information Technologies for Kenworth Sales Company where he helped Kenworth grow from two
locations with 50 employees to 20 offices with over 700 employees.

Prior to his employment with Kenworth Sales, Mr. Rasmussen was owner and President of Management Information Services (MIS). MIS offered IT related consulting services to over 200 clients and had a staff of 15 employees.

Mr. Rasmussen received his education from the University of Utah, where he majored in Computer Science and Business Management. He is a member of the Association of Certified Data Processors and has earned certifications in Programming and Information Technology management.

Sentinel Security Life is both honored and excited that Mr. Rasmussen has joined the Sentinel family.

Blog written by: Dan Acker, Vice President and Chief Financial Officer for Sentinel Security Life Insurance Co.

“Too Young” for Life Insurance?

For many people, life insurance is only important when you get “old.” I used to believe that, until I realized that seemingly solid finances can take a sharp turn at any moment. The sudden death of your spouse will definitely sting on every emotional level, but what happens to the household finances when that happens? Many young couples and families become financially crippled due to the lack of planning.

After her husband was hit while riding his bicycle and later died from his injuries, Chanel Reynolds said, “I was finding it really hard for me to stay present and in the room and to be able to hear what the doctors were saying because I was so overwhelmed with not knowing how much money we had in our checking account, and the fact that we had our wills drafted but not signed.” She also added that she was unsure of whether she was going to be able to care for a family by herself. Although not a large policy, Ms. Reynolds was saved from financial ruin because of life insurance.

It is not surprising that Ms. Reynolds’ quality of life was preserved due to a life insurance policy. The typical coverage amount for a policy is often determined by either the net worth or a multiple of the annual income generated by the applying for the policy. With the income from her husband’s policy, Ms. Reynolds was able to gain some time in order to figure out their mortgage situation along with other bills, keep her son in the same school, and give her time to look for secure employment.

Aside from crises, there are other benefits to buying a life insurance policy while you are young. You are able to open up more options in payment type, which can provide you with lower premiums or even shorten the amount of time that you would have to pay those premiums. Since health risks do commonly increase with age, life insurance policies generally get more expensive to purchase down the road. Life insurance policies can also be another way of saving for retirement, especially if other options are not available to you. Tax-deferred strategies are really popular among other savings vehicles, and life insurance policies provide this as well.

Whether this is all new to you or you are seasoned in life insurance, make sure to do some research on your own. A great place to start is with the nonprofit Life and Health Insurance Foundation for America. You are never too young to begin thinking about your future. You are never too young to begin planning.

For more information visit www.sslco.com or call us at 800-247-1423.

Blog written by: Thy Mims, Marketing Communications Manager for Sentinel Security Life Insurance Co.

*Sources
[1] Lieber, Ron. “YOUR MONEY; A Shocking Death, a Financial Lesson and Help for Others.” The New York Times, 12 Jan. 2013. Web.
[2] “Why Single People Need Life Insurance Too.” DailyFinance.com. N.p., n.d. Web.
[3] “You’re Never Too Young for Life Insurance.” – MSN Money UK. N.p., n.d. Web.
[4] “You’re Not Too Young for Life Insurance.” Insurance and Health Care. N.p., n.d. Web.

Great Partnerships

Throughout history, great partnerships have accounted for incredible success stories in areas of exploration, sports, technology, business, and entertainment.  For example, the Corps of Discovery Expedition (1804–1806), was the first transcontinental expedition to the Pacific coast undertaken by the United States. The partnership responsible for this historic endeavor was led by Meriwether Lewis and William Clark.  To this day, Lewis and Clark are arguably the most famous exploration team in history.

Back in the mid 1930’s, Stanford University graduates Bill Hewlett and Dave Packard joined forces with a budget of only $538 and a garage as their home office and turned the company into a global PC manufacturer with a 2012 annual revenue in excess of $120 Billion dollars [1].

Paul McCartney and John Lennon are well known as two of the four members of the Beatles.  However, few realize that in a short 7 year span they penned 180 songs.  27 of those songs reached #1 on the charts in either the US or UK.  EMI Records estimates that the Beatles have sold over one billion units worldwide [2].

One of my favorite sports is basketball and being a native of Utah, I am an avid fan of the Utah Jazz.  Any Jazz fan will fondly remember the glory days that included Karl Malone and John Stockton.  These two remarkable players combined to play in 2,980 games while scoring 56,539 points and helped the Utah Jazz to two NBA Finals appearances.  Stockton holds the NBA record for career assists, many of which went to Malone in helping him reach #2 on the career points list.  Both are members of the NBA Hall of Fame and set the standard for partnerships in professional basketball.

Since 1948 Sentinel has committed to being a valuable partner to policyholders, agents, and stockholders.  Over the past 3 years, Sentinel has seen tremendous growth in their product offerings, agents, and policyholders.  Along with this growth, Sentinel has made significant improvements in procedures, increased personnel, and upgraded systems to strengthen policyholder service.

With a strong senior market portfolio including Life, Medicare Supplement, Hospital Indemnity, and Annuity products, Sentinel is continually looking for innovative ways to provide premium products and services to their customers.  Agents who are ready to assist the millions of seniors who are looking for direction in these difficult times should strongly consider partnering with us to further develop their insurance practice.  Whether you are an agent or someone looking for one of the valuable products Sentinel provides, we invite you to learn more about partnering with Sentinel by visiting www.sslco.com or by calling 800-247-1423.

Blog written by: Dan Hudgens, National Sales Manager for Sentinel Security Life Insurance Co.

*Sources
[1] 2010 Form 10-K, Hewlett-Packard Company
[2] Guinness Book of World Records 2012

Planning for Your Future

The beginning of a new year is the perfect time to reflect upon the year that just passed and to plan for the year ahead. For most people, these plans are related to finances, health and family. These may seem like three different matters, but for many people all three are interwoven and each one plays a role in the total outcome. Sentinel Security Life offers products that address all three aspects of your family’s well-being. You need to ask yourself, will your family be able to afford all the expenses if you were suddenly not around to provide for them? This is a daunting but necessary question to ask when planning for your family’s future.

Sentinel Security Life offers several products including Life InsuranceMedicare Supplemental InsuranceHospital Advantage and Annuities. Our focus is to provide you with the options that can address your family’s finances, health and overall security. Our products can provide you with the peace-of-mind that you are seeking.

After reviewing our products, it is important that you find a qualified and licensed professional that can assist you in selecting a policy that will meet your family’s needs. Sentinel Security Life has many licensed agents in your area, and are able to answer any questions you might have. For additional information on any of our products, please visit us at www.sslco.com or call 800.247.1423.

Blog written by: Thy Mims, Marketing Communications Manager for Sentinel Security Life Insurance Co.

Giving Back

There is no doubt that the holidays push us to do a little more for those around us. We come to reflect upon our lives and realize how much we have to be thankful for, and we then remember those who are not as fortunate and have come to meet certain trials in their life that we would never wish upon anyone. This year, Sentinel Security Life geared up and linked hands with Prevent Child Abuse Utah to help bring the holiday spirit back to three sisters who were victims of child abuse in their home.

Prevent Child Abuse Utah (PCAU) is a non-profit organization whose mission is to “…guide a community commitment to prevent child abuse in all its forms, through programs, services, public awareness, training and education, advocacy and networking.” Without a doubt, PCAU is a wonderful organization with a beautiful vision and mission.

Sentinel Security is glad to have been awarded the opportunity to come together and provide gifts for these young girls during this time of year and donations to PCAU to go toward their services in the fight against child abuse. Thank you, Prevent Child Abuse Utah for all you do for the families in our local community!

For more information on how you can make a difference, visit www.preventchildabuseutah.org. If you need to report child abuse, you can call this toll-free, statewide reporting hotline 855-323-3237.

Blog written by: Thy Mims, Marketing Communications Manager for Sentinel Security Life Insurance Co.

How is Sentinel Helping Seniors?

Although I have spent the last 15 years in the insurance industry, I am relatively new to the rapidly growing category often referred to as the “Senior Market.” As part of my career development in this marketplace, I am fortunate to work for a company that has dedicated itself to providing solutions to this specific category of insurance consumers.

Sentinel has long been known for providing our New Vantage™ Life insurance as a way to help seniors pay for final expenses. A few years ago we added the Sentinel Plan® Medicare Supplement that helps pay some of the health care costs that original Medicare doesn’t cover including co-payments, co-insurance and deductibles. Last year, we released our Personal Choice Annuity™, which is a unique solution that allows consumers flexibility when planning for their retirement.

Over the past few months I have been fortunate to be involved in the development of a new product called the Sentinel Plan® Hospital Advantage Plus™, which has an anticipated release date of October 1, 2012. This product pays a cash benefit to our policyholders for expenses resulting from hospital stays, emergency room visits, surgeries and physician office visits. Typically, these are expenses that are not covered under existing insurance policies (such as Medicare Supplement and Medicare Advantage).

For example, let’s consider the financial impact of a hospital confinement. If you have original Medicare you would be responsible for a $1,156 Part A deductible before receiving any benefit. If you have a Medicare Advantage plan, you would be responsible for a $250 per day (for days 1-5) coinsurance. However, if you have the Sentinel Plan® Hospital Advantage Plus™ you would receive a cash benefit of $250 per day (for up to 5 days). If your hospital stay lasted 5 days, you would receive $1,250 in your pocket.

Some of the other benefits provided by the plan include payments for expenses related to Ambulance Services, Emergency Room Care, Outpatient Surgical Services, and Primary Care Physician Office Visits. There are even benefits for Wellness Visits and Preventative Care Services. This new product is another example of the ongoing commitment we have at Sentinel to help our senior policyholders manage the various costs associated with today’s economic environment.

I am happy to be part of a company that is growing and developing with an eye focused on the needs of our current and future policyholders. For additional information on the Sentinel Plan® Hospital Advantage Plus™, or any of our existing insurance products, please visit us at www.sslco.com or call 800.247.1423.

Blog written by: Dan Hudgens, National Sales Manager for Sentinel Security Life Insurance Co.

Life Insurance Awareness Month

The Life and Health Insurance Foundation (LIFE), a non-profit organization dedicated to helping consumers make informed decisions about insurance has designated September as Life Insurance Awareness Month. Life insurance should be a necessary part of your family’s financial plan but unfortunately, up to 30 percent of US households have no life insurance whatsoever.*

Why is having life insurance so important? Ask yourself if your family could manage their financial needs without you. If the answer is no, then take a few moments to consider how life insurance could help ease the financial burden on them if you were suddenly not there to provide. While there are different types to choose from, most plans will pay your beneficiary a cash amount (called a death benefit) to take care of final expenses, burial costs, flowers, obituaries or any other cost they see fit. They may even choose to pay off lingering medical bills, tax debt or pay off the mortgage. It’s up to them.

After you’ve decided to purchase insurance, it’s important that you find a qualified and licensed insurance professional to help you pick a policy that best fits your needs. The LIFE foundation offers several helpful tools on their website that can help you figure out what kind of insurance you need, how much of it you need and what important questions to ask before purchasing an insurance product. Sentinel also has many licensed agents in your area and we have specialized in final expense insurance since 1948. Sentinel offers three whole life plans which upon qualifying, can accommodate you at every stage of your life, whether you are raising a family or enjoying retirement with your spouse. Sentinel has been offering peace-of-mind and security to our clients for over 60 years.

Please visit us at www.sslco.com or call 800.247.1423 if you would like a Sentinel agent referral or if you’re looking for more information.

Blog written by: Amy Mullen, Marketing Communications Manager for Sentinel Security Life Insurance Co.

*Source:
1. 2012 Life and Health Insurance Foundation for Education (LIFE) webpage, http://www.lifehappens.org/life-insurance-awareness-month/