Thursday, 27 December 2012

Link Between High Stress Jobs and Critical Illness – Why Critical Illness Protection is Vital!

For most of us, getting up and going to work every day is necessary. No matter what job you do, whether it is an interim stepping stone or your dream career, there is always the chance that stress will lead to a critical illness. Whether you work as a lawyer, dealing everyday with fast paced cases, a police officer or firefighter dealing with life or death situations, or a nurse working shift work, the chances of dealing with stress, and a subsequent critical illness, are quite high, especially as we get older. 

There are several different workplace conditions that have been identified as leading to job stress, including the design of tasks, management style, work roles, career concerns, or environmental conditions. High stress jobs don’t necessarily mean high powered jobs – anyone can suffer from the effects of high stress – which all too often lead to critical illnesses, such as heart attack, stroke, or even cancer.

Since most of us can’t just quit our jobs and find something that requires very little interaction with those factors that can lead to stress, critical illness protection is vital. So, what is critical illness protection (or critical illness insurance)? Critical illness protection is a form of insurance that protects you in case you end up suffering from a critical illness. Rather than life insurance that protects you after you pass away, critical illness protection is there to assist you when you are still alive.

Critical illness protection can provide you with a cash benefit to be used to rebuild your life after suffering the illness or injury that takes you away from work.

Since survival rates for those illnesses covered by critical illness protection are quite high, it is essential to make sure that you are covered by a policy in case you suffer from one. For example, various forms of heart disease will affect 1 in 3 women and 1 in 2 men during their lifetime, but the survival rate for a heart attack is over 80% in Canada.  Similarly, 1 in every 20 will suffer a stroke, but the survival rate for strokes is 85%. These stats prove just how important it is to safeguard yourself with critical illness protection, especially if you work in a high stress job.

Here are some other stats that may help convince you of how important critical illness protection is:    

-          48% of house foreclosures are a result of a serious illness.

-          In 2000, over $800 million of individual retirement savings were used to pay for critical illness care.

-          72% of Canadians have noted that governmental aid will not cover all medical costs related to a critical illness.
Whether you are in what may be considered a high stress job or not, a critical illness is always a factor, and so taking advantage of the benefits of a critical illness insurance policy needs to be just as important. If you suffer from a critical illness and are unable to work, or need to take a significant period of time off work, critical illness protection can help you keep up your current lifestyle.

For more information about critical illness protection, please contact Gary Mandel at Independent Financial Concepts Group at 416-849-1653 or visit

Wednesday, 19 December 2012

Paying for an Education is Easy with Whole Life Insurance for Children

When your children are born, generally life insurance is not the first thing that you think about. The joy of watching your child learn and grow takes precedence, and thinking positively about the future is usually the only way to go. However, life insurance for children is incredibly important, and so taking out whole life insurance for children when they are young should be a significant consideration for planning for the future.  

Although most people think about life insurance as a way to pay for the costs associated with the death of a loved one – it is not the only reason to acknowledge the benefits of a life insurance policy, especially for children. If a parent has to suffer the tragedy of losing a child, the benefits of a policy that can relieve some of the financial stressors are essential. That being said, purchasing life insurance for children does not necessarily have to be so negative.

Firstly, what is whole life insurance for children? Whole life insurance for children is just like whole life insurance for adults; it is a policy that protects you, holds a cash value that can be borrowed against, and generally is garnered by paying fixed monthly payments set at the beginning of the policy that will not change over time.

Whole life insurance for children is an essential savings tool – especially when planning for future education costs. Every parent wants their child to have access to the best education, and therefore the best jobs that help ensure their future. But this education is costly, and so education planning is critical. Knowing that the average cost of one year of post-secondary education is currently around $12 000, thinking about where that money is going to come from is key.

As a savings account, whole life insurance for children provides you with the ability to continually add to these accounts and watch the balance grow. Then, when the child is old enough, planning to go off to college or university, they can access those savings that you have worked so hard to amass for them.  This saves them from having to take out extensive student loans or O.S.A.P loans to pay for their education. By taking out a policy that provides life insurance for children, you are giving them a chance start their future without a heavy debt load.

These life insurance policies also make great gifts. If you are a grandparent and want to give a gift to a child that will actually benefit them, life insurance for children as a vehicle for saving is a great way to do that. Take away those negative connotations attached to life insurance, and giving a life insurance policy that a child can watch grow over time and eventually use to pay for their education, or for any number of other big purchases, will mean a great deal.

To find out more about life insurance for children and how it can help secure your child’s or grandchild’s future, please contact Gary Mandel at Independent Financial Concepts Group at 416-849-1653 or visit

Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Can a Managing General Agent be the Driving Force Behind Success?

If you are an insurance agent, you are no doubt aware that working for an insurance company may hold many challenges as far as reaching your greatest potential. Keeping up with current technology trends and offering the best products and rates to customers is often very difficult when working for an insurance company. However, if you have noticed these challenges and are thinking about switching to working with a managing general agent, you have clearly recognized that a managing general agent can often be the driving force behind your success. 

Working with the right managing general agency can provide you, as an insurance advisor, with the tools and strategies that will allow you to provide the best service to your clients as well as the means necessary for you to reach your full potential. 

So how can a managing general agency help you achieve the success you want to meet your own goals? There are several things to consider.  

1.       How will your managing general agent support you? If you are working for an insurance company, you are probably well aware of how long it can take to receive a response to your inquiries or to have your applications processed. Instead, the right managing general agent will provide you with a guaranteed turnaround time on both, giving you the support you need to be successful.

2.       How will your managing general agent ensure you have the tools you need to succeed? By providing you with access to the newest tech advances in the industry, hosting training seminars and continuing education to ensure that you do not lag behind when it comes to keeping up to date with the latest trends.

3.       How will your managing general agent allow you to garner and keep clients easily? By choosing the right managing general agent, one that works with not one or two but several of different insurance companies, you will be able to research and find the best rates and products to offer your clients. Instead of being confined to a small selection of services, the right managing general agent will provide you with a vast portfolio from which you can draw to ensure that your clients are happy.

4.       How will your managing general agent keep you motivated? Sometimes we all need that little extra push to keep us going, and a good managing general agent will take recognition and compensation seriously to keep you continually performing at your best.

It is important to remember that a good managing general agent will take pride in their agency, therefore taking the time and providing the resources to let you succeed. By investing in you, the right managing general agency is in turn investing in their own company. 

To find out how you can succeed by working with a managing general agent, please contact Gary Mandel at Independent Financial Concepts Group by calling 416-849-1653 or visit

Wednesday, 5 December 2012

How Do You Know the Right Size MGA Insurance Agency to Choose?

If you are an insurance advisor, you know that there are several different ways to build your portfolio. However, as an insurance agent working for a major company, you are no doubt aware of the problems that also exist; challenges that make it difficult to increase your earning potential or to provide the best services to those clients. Once you have recognized these challenges, you might be questioning whether your position as an agent at one of these companies if the best fit for you.  

One of the best ways to ensure your future career goals and your clients’ needs is to become an advisor with an MGA insurance agency that is the right size and offers the best resources and compensation. An MGA insurance agency that is too big may not offer you the support you need because they are too busy to return your calls, while an MGA that is too small may not offer you the support you need because they simply don’t have the resources to. 

Working with a mid-sized and well reputed MGA insurance agency has many perks. These can include company sponsored events, team building, and training. Moving your insurance license from one insurance company or MGA to another can be quite simple, so there’s nothing to worry about. Just like with insurance rates, time is not on your side. If you are unhappy now, chances are you will be unhappy in the future. The longer you continue to build your portfolio under a particular company, the more complex it can become to switch.   

Working with an MGA that is large enough to offer all insurance products from all companies, while attending to your needs and professional development, will lead to increased success in the long run. It will mean greater success because you will be more agile, will be able to work your files faster and more efficiently, and most importantly you will be able to provide your clients with all of the insurance products offered by all companies to get them the most competitive deal. 

Because an MGA that vests your clients to you immediately means that you are able to begin building a strong portfolio that is yours right away, instead of dealing with the restrictions that come with working directly for an insurance company. This puts time back on your side because every client you develop is a building block in your empire.  

When making the difficult decision to move your license to a new company, and if you think that an MGA insurance agency is the right choice for you, there are some further things that you may want to consider:

1.       Do they employ the necessary tools to allow you to profit from continued learning and best business practices?

2.       Do they offer the types of products that you favour?

3.       Do they offer training and support?

4.       Do they offer a good compensation package?

5.       Do they offer a commitment on turnaround time for both applications and call backs?

6.       What is the culture like? Does the MGA insurance agency feel right for you?

Do your due diligence and you will quickly be able to determine the right fit for you. If you are ready to make the switch to becoming an advisor with the right MGA insurance agency, you know that that is a smart choice. Not only will you be able to encourage a stronger clientele base, but you will be able to provide the best services to keep them happy, while still beefing up your bottom line. 

To find out more about becoming an MGA insurance advisor, please contact Gary Mandel at Independent Financial Concepts Group by calling 416-849-1653 or visit