The Sounds of Insurance

I love listening to music.
I love playing music.
I love discussing music.
I love discovering music.
I love analyzing music.

So today I will be discussing music, with a twist.

What would different types of insurance sound like to me if they were music?

Whole Life Insurance feels like the Blues to me. It’s the foundation of Life Insurance and while it seems very simple in its regimentation, it is quite complex. Whole Life and the Blues share many similar features between carriers and artists but invariably, each artist and carrier leave their stamp on the finished products. Lastly, like the Blues, Whole Life feels more “personal” since you are generally buying into a Mutual Carrier and not a Publicly traded company.

Song Recommendations:
Robert Johnson – Cross Road Blues
Aretha Franklin – Son of a Preacher Man

Term Insurance sounds like an advertising jingle to me. It’s meant to capture your attention, for a moment, to drive impulse over careful thought. While advertising jingles might only be 3 notes (NBC), there is careful planning on the part of marketing teams and composers. Capturing someone’s imagination in under 15 seconds is no small feat. Term Insurance too, can have much deeper roots than a first glance might suggest. What are the conversion privileges? Are they contractual? Does the policy simply lapse after the Term or does it become Annually Renewable?

Jingle Recommendations:
Oscar Mayer
Meow Mix

Universal Life sounds like Rock and Roll to me. You can tell that it’s based off the Whole Life Blues deep down, but it feels younger, more energetic, and maybe even a little more accessible. Again, there are hidden complexities, but these products feel a lot more unique carrier-to-carrier as opposed to the remakes and interpretations of Whole Life. There’s Ballad’s that focus on protection, high-energy classics, and everything in between.

Song Recommendations:
AC/DC – The Jack
Guns N’ Roses – Nightrain

Guaranteed Universal Life sounds like Punk Rock to me. Forget about sweeping solos, fancy time signatures, and exotic key changes. GUL’s goal is to get you where you need to be without detours. Just like all insurance policies and music genres there is more going on under the surface. Punk Rockers try to hide the amount of time they spend practicing sounding like they don’t know how to play their instruments. Similarly, crafting a “straight forward, no bull” product means incorporating a great deal of behind-the-scenes “magic” that may not always be as simple as it appears.

Song Recommendations:
Ramones – Somebody Put Something in My Drink
The Offspring – Nitro (Youth Energy)

Variable Universal Life sounds like Heavy Metal to me. This product is meant to blur the boundaries of investments and insurance just like Heavy Metal can blur the boundaries between a wall of sound and music. To create this genre requires a lot of moving parts. Heavy Metal embraces an extraordinary amount of diversity to accomplish this strategy. From blazing fast melodic solos to slow dissonant breakdowns. This is just like a VUL with substantial sub-account choices that can assist a client navigating up and down markets.

Song Recommendations:
Van Halen – Eruption
Ozzy Osbourne – No More Tears

Indexed Universal Life sounds like Jazz to me. There are a lot of moving parts behind the scenes here and the people who do understand it love to discuss it and analyze it. Chromatics, persistency, options, inversions, changes, etc. Can you spot which of those terms is referring to IULs and which to Jazz? Since there are so many moving parts in IUL many people will find it hard to digest and then explain to clients. Just like Jazz, IULs are not for everyone.

Song Recommendations:
Les Paul and Mary Ford – How High the Moon
Ella Fitzgerald – Air Mail Special

Long-Term Care Insurance sounds like Classical music to me. Everyone knows someone who has had a Classical Music experience, but no one believes they will ever have a Classical Music experience themselves. Then, one day, they find themselves at a Puccini Opera, they have no idea how they got there, and they are completely unprepared.

Song Recommendations:
Camille Saint-Saens – Danse Macabre
Edvard Grieg – In the Hall of Mountain King

Disability Insurance sounds very Avant Garde to me. We have again come to a genre with weird noises and definitions. Own-Occ, exclusions, partial, residual, etc. While Disability Insurance is an integral part of the planning process, it is often looked over because people get so intimidated by all the different contract definitions and – if we’re being honest – like Avant Garde pieces, it’s much more difficult to listen to and speak about.

Song Recommendations:
Edgard Varese – Ionisation
Laurie Anderson – O Superman

So, what are your thoughts? What do you hear when you breakdown insurances?