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Q&A: Advanced Insurance Planning with Doug Brisco

Covr is pleased to announce that Doug Brisco, JD, LLM, CLU, ChFC, CAP, CASL, CLTC, RICP, has joined the team as head of Covr’s new Advanced Insurance Planning services, part of our continuing commitment to make selling life insurance faster and simpler. Covr has always been the go-to for term insurance and asset-based long-term care. With Doug on board, that same effort and focus is now on permanent insurance products as well.

Doug brings more than 35 years of financial and legal industry experience to the team, and despite the long list of letters after his name, he makes sure to avoid jargon and legal mumbo jumbo in his conversations with advisors and clients. He loves to get creative in finding insurance solutions, and has hit the ground running as the head of this exciting new part of Covr’s services. We wanted Doug to answer a few questions as we introduce him to the Covr community.

Question: What made you want to join Covr?

Doug Brisco: The opportunity presented itself to be part of the transition of advanced insurance planning into the digital world, and I find that exciting. Most people think that advance insurance planning and DIY are completely incompatible, but we are nibbling at the edges to slowly reduce the need for human interaction. We’re leading the digital revolution and making advanced planning less complex.

Q: What does Advanced Insurance Planning mean, exactly?

DB: You’ll be hearing the phrase “advanced insurance planning” a lot in the future from Covr. Simply put, the term refers to insurance solutions for people with a high-net-worth, and complex needs and financial problems. Addressing the goals of these particular clients can be more involved than other clients, and that’s where Covr’s advanced insurance planning comes in. We focus on planning techniques that utilize life insurance as a possible solution to problems that the client may or may not even be aware of. We help advisors identify these possible issues, and focus on insurance-based solutions to meet their clients’ needs.

Q: How does insurance fit into “planning?” Isn’t life insurance just something you buy?

DB: Although most life insurance cases can seem transactional on the surface, there’s a level of planning going on in the purchase of every life insurance policy. From basic term to permanent products and long-term care, all the way to the complex, high-net-worth cases I handle, it’s all planning for the future on some level. In my mind, things as “basic” as needs analysis or policy review are, indeed, planning. Protection products are an important part of overall financial planning for all types of clients, not just high-net-worth. There’s also the perception out there permanent insurance is not transactional, and it’s our goal to make it more transactional.

Q: Where is the line between advanced cases and non-advanced cases?

DB: It will vary for different advisors and different clients, but to any advisor who thinks their clients aren’t “worthy” or aren’t sure who needs advanced planning, I say when I doubt, engage! Advisors also don’t need to feel like they have all the answers before calling on our advanced planning services. If an advisor calls me up and says, “I’ve got this client who’s worth $20 million, do you have any ideas?” that’s great. My answer is, yes, I do. We can discuss all sorts of planning strategies that people in similar situations frequently implement. Even if the advisor doesn’t have the ability to gather more information or isn’t familiar with a particular situation, or doesn’t have much experience with estate planning or wealth transfer, our team is here to help out. Let’s start the conversation, find out what we do know, and then ask the relevant questions to move forward. The main point is, don’t be afraid to call. There’s no minimum to pre-qualify as “advanced.”

Q: What are some of the key areas of advanced insurance planning?

DB: Although no two cases will ever be exactly alike, the main categories of advanced planning I work with are business, estate, executive compensation, philanthropic, and retirement income. Within those broad areas, we can get creative and find specific solutions for the unique needs of many different types of clients who bring different goals to the table.

Some of the most common themes and goals in advanced planning are creating assets, saving taxes, organizing wealth, ensuring survivors are taken care of, and providing a legacy for future generations.

Q: What if not all of my clients need advanced planning?

DB: With Covr, you can choose what service level you and your clients need on a case-by-case basis. You can always self-direct with simpler cases, but we also bring the full spectrum of services as you and your clients need different levels of planning and solutions. We’re not just a DIY tech platform. Yeah, we have that, but we also have lots of other ways to serve advisors and their clients. We’re always thinking every day about how we can engage, enhance and work faster in the insurance planning and placement process.