Too many Americans overlook the importance of protecting their most valuable asset —the ability to earn an income. As such, the role of insurance agents and advisors who focus on Disability benefits is vital to the financial security of their clients. To distinguish yourself in the Group Benefits Disability arena, consider the value of earning the GBDS Group Benefits Disability Specialist designation.
The GBDS program will equip you with the tools you need to engage clients in meaningful dialogue about the entire group benefits product portfolio, and help you position the importance of the least understood group insurance -- disability income insurance. Through completion of the rigorous GBDS self-study curriculum, you will gain significant expertise that will benefit both your clients and your career. Through the program's 19 modules, you will:
- Learn about the size and scope of the group disability market.
- Understand the need for disability insurance.
- Learn how disability coverage has evolved over time.
- Understand why and how disability insurance poses unique challenges versus other types of insurance.
- Learn how disability insurance is regulated.
- Learn about different types of government-sponsored disability insurance programs and how they coordinate with each other and with other non-government sponsored insurance programs.
- Understand how group disability insurance policies are designed and structured.
- Learn how group disability premiums and benefits are treated for tax purposes.
- Understand the underwriting criteria and standards used in evaluating the insurability of different groups.
- Learn how group disability insurers handle substandard cases.
- Learn how disability claims are processed, managed, and ultimately resolved.
- Learn about the extent of insurance fraud and tools used to combat such fraud.
- Learn about different service-related needs of group disability clients.
- Learn about trends that are, and will continue to impact the group disability market.
- Learn how to design and properly present a group disability insurance program best suited to a given group’s needs.
To be eligible to earn the GBDS Designation, you must meet one or more of the following qualifications:
- Licensed agent, broker, insurance producer or CSR.
- At least one year of full-time experience in the insurance industry.
- One or more years as a full-time insurance trainer as part of an insurance company program.
- One or more years as a faculty member at an accredited college or university.
Benefits of Attaining the GBDS Designation:
- Increased client retention — and renewals.
- Know when to open a group disability case — and when not to.
- Demonstrate to clients the critical importance of disability insurance for their employees and themselves.
- Recognize the tell-tale signs of possible disability fraud.
- Leverage the use of core buy-up plans.
- Explain the differences between government-provided and private disability coverage.
- Design group disability plans that meet the needs of employees, employers and the insurer.
- Steer clear of regulatory issues related to disability insurance.
- Ensure employees receive claims service that is fair, efficient and proactive.
- Recognize which carriers are most compatible with the business you want to write.
- Understand the tax consequences of different group disability funding mechanisms.
Apr 1, 2013
Peter Silkowski, Thomas Kirner & David Abrahamsen