Is Your Life Insurance Policy is in Working Order

Fred’s attorney had no indication of whether Fred’s life insurance policy was healthy or not. According to Fred, it hadn’t been looked at in almost ten years. Familiar with how we’ve added value to other clients in the past, the attorney asked us to review the policy for Fred.

Here’s what we found.


The policy had been designed to have a $40,000 annual premium for 12 years, then no more payments needed to reach age 100. It was a fine scenario that filled Fred’s needs very well.

Plans like this can be very effective, but the last several years had not been kind to this particular policy. What it was lacking was Preventive Maintenance Service (PMS).

During my time in the Navy, my submarine didn’t need Sonar or Radar when it was tied up at the pier. We absolutely needed them, however, when we threw off the lines. Otherwise, we wouldn’t even have made it back out of the harbor.

Part of our routine was PMS. We’d test and service all our systems when we didn’t need them, so we’d be certain they were there for us when we did need them.

Fred would have been much better off if his policy had been routinely tested like we tested our Sonar.

Stratus Policy Review: We always go back to the issuing insurance carrier for current information. The information showed the policy was deficient for two reasons. First, it hadn’t achieved the projected rate of return. Secondly, the company had been allowed to increase its charges and pass that on to the policyholders.

The data showed that at current cost the policy would last to age 79, not age 100 as intended.

Fred was in for a shock.


There are always solutions. In this case, we identified four of them:

  • Stay with the original plan and accept the fact there would be no more coverage beginning at age 80.
  • Continue making the payments, realizing there would be no more coverage beyond age 87. 
  • Continuing to age 100 required increasing the payment to $60,000 annually. 
  • Shop the current marketplace for another alternative.


Fred’s still in good health. That enabled us to pull a very pretty rabbit out of a really ugly hat. Here’s what we did:

With Fred’s permission, we combined the policy details and Fred’s health information (without providing his identity) to over 15 other insurance carriers. Then we vet the offers they come back with and identified the one that’s most favorable for the client.

It went as we expected. There’s always one that stands out from the rest. In this case, a highly rated carrier’s offer was death benefit guaranteed to age 120, with no further premiums needed.

The $60,000 increased premium wasn’t even an issue. Fred went from his usual $40,000 premium to zero-forever-guaranteed to age 120.

When he heard the news, Fred told me that rabbit coming out of the hat wasn’t just pretty – it was the most beautiful thing he’d seen all year!

Obviously, Fred’s delighted – but not just with us. He’s most appreciative that his attorney (who didn’t need to do anything) went above and beyond for him. That bond, which was strong before, is now unbreakable.

Admittedly, the numbers here are dramatic. In our experience, however, the scenario is not unique. There are a number of very good companies out there, and that makes the insurance marketplace both competitive and fluid. When it’s called for, comparison shopping for alternatives can offer some very pleasant surprises.

At Stratus Financial Partners, we’re making the world a better place – one policy at a time.

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