LA 360™

Protecting Your Wealth

Whether you are evaluating existing coverage or seeking new insurance, Buckley Financial uses a unique five-step process called Life Assurance 360™ to make certain that your policy fits your current needs and continues to serve its intended purpose for the duration of the policy.

By taking a comprehensive, 360° approach to designing, implementing and managing life insurance, we believe that the outcome produced for our clients is better than when each of these steps is addressed in isolation…that the whole is indeed greater than the sum of its parts.

Here Is How It Works:

1. FACT FINDING

In this step, we use our proprietary Life Assurance Design Questionnaire to educate you about your life insurance options while gathering information about your goals, preferences, and risk tolerance. Additionally, our one-page Pre-Underwriting Questionnaire helps paint a high-level picture of how your medical history may factor into the overall plan design.
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2. UNDERWRITING ADVOCACY

Prior to submitting an application, our experienced underwriting team, via the Policy Management Company, gathers and reviews your medical information and begins clarifying all missing or incomplete details with your physicians to present your case to the carrier(s) in the most favorable light possible. For larger, more complex cases where privacy and confidentiality are paramount, our staff underwriters and licensed physician conduct a private medical evaluation to fully assess your medical risk while protecting your identity from the Medical Information Base (MIB).
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3. PRODUCT SELECTION

After the initial fact finding process and underwriting assessment are complete, our underwriting and marketing teams develop product recommendations based on your goals, risk tolerance, and preferences regarding the five areas of product design: safety, flexibility, equity, certainty, and premium.
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4. PLAN DELIVERY

After product recommendations are developed, we create meaningful analyses of each plan and present the recommendations in a cogent format that empowers you to make informed decisions.

5. POLICY MANAGEMENT

After you make your choice from among the recommended plans, we initiate an on-going process that monitors and measures the performance of your plan to ensure that your benefits remain on track for the life of the policy. We regularly review the plan’s performance with you using a concise, yet thorough, policy review document.

CONCIERGE SERVICES

ValMark Concierge Services simplifies the life insurance application process by providing a confidential and highly personalized service to help coordinate the client’s application paperwork and necessary medical requirements. These services are offered exclusively to the clients of ValMark Member Offices and their allied professionals.

These private insurance services are made possible by:

  • Proven methodology and technology
  • A dedicated team of experienced insurance operations specialists
  • Strong relationships with the industry’s leading insurance carriers
  • Over 50 years of experience providing private, sophisticated services to valued clients of ValMark insurance professionals.

UNDERWRITING ADVOCACY

A Proactive Approach to Obtaining Favorable Underwriting Offers and Policy

What many people don’t realize is that the single greatest impact on the price of a life insurance policy is professional management of the medical underwriting process. Using our knowledge of how carrier underwriters, medical directors, and actuaries make decisions, we proactively position your life insurance application in its most favorable light.

We accomplish this through a proprietary informal underwriting process where we complete 90% of the underwriting BEFORE an application is submitted to an insurance company. This preliminary process enables us to pre-qualify underwriting offers from insurance companies, while protecting your Personal Health Information from the Medical Information Bureau so that your insurability remains unharmed.

As a result, we are able to deliver very favorable underwriting offers to our clients. Once received, the top offers from various companies are analyzed by our team. We match the best underwriting results to the appropriate product and optimized solution. We then discuss all of this information with you so that you can make an informed decision.

View Our Case Studies:

A NON-TOBACCO CIGARETTE USER?

SITUATION:  A 59-year-old male was applying for $10 million of coverage and admitted to “social” cigarette use. At face value, this automatically results in Smoker rates across the board – you smoke cigarettes, you’re a smoker. We knew, however, that one carrier could potentially offer some forgiveness provided we met a number of different caveats.

APPROACH: We worked to quantify his use, scoured his medical records for any contradictory statements (in regards to tobacco), and proved that his use was, indeed, “social” via a negative nicotine screen. Although we were technically a few uses over their typical threshold, we were able to leverage our strong carrier relationship to secure an exception.

RESULT:  $10 million of coverage at Preferred NON-Tobacco rates.

STRATEGIC APPROACH TO MULTIPLE COMPANIES

SITUATION: A couple in their early 60’s with a net worth in excess of $100 million needed $50 million of coverage at a more efficient price. They had $30 million in force.

APPROACH: Coordinating the applications for coverage with multiple companies was essential in this case in order to avoid reinsurance limits and diversify coverage. The Valmark Underwriters first used a unique, private inquiry process to secure initial offers from the companies. Secondly, they coordinated three applications in phases to avoid exceeding carrier capacity limits. Lastly, they arranged  to have the clients examined only once for all three applications. 

RESULT: $50 million of joint coverage at Preferred rates which increased the overall efficiency of  the couple’s insurance profile.

RELATIONSHIPS ARE EVERYTHING

SITUATION: A 64-year-old female was applying  for $5 million of coverage. Her cardiac  history was notable because of an abnormal echocardiogram and holter monitor. Insurance underwriters viewed this history in a particularly unfavorable light because she had  not had any cardiac follow-up showing stability in several years.

APPROACH: Our product design was very intricate and the plan only worked with a product from one carrier. Upon review, she was approved at Table 4, which, given her premium tolerance, was not viable. We shopped the file to two other companies who we knew to be aggressive with cardiac risks, and they quoted Standard rates.

RESULT: Once we received this feedback, we were able to pivot back to our carrier of choice and leverage our original Table 4 quote to Standard rates based on our strong relationship and the carrier’s desire to find a creative solution for a good business partner of theirs.

*These are hypothetical examples for illustrative purposes only. The experiences of these clients may not be representative of the experience of all clients and is not indicative of future results.

See How We Do It:

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1. GATHER AND CLARIFY MEDICAL INFORMATION

Before submitting an application, we collect all of the evidence required to render an underwriting decision so we can ensure your information is accurate. Any gaps can be clarified with your physicians before any evidence is submitted to the insurers. Also, contextual information can be added to help insurance company underwriters understand the big picture – why you are seeking insurance coverage, what you are doing to address any health issues, etc.

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2. PRIVATE UNDERWRITING RATING EVALUATION (PURE™)

Most surprises in an underwriting evaluation come from the medical exam and lab work in connection with the life insurance application. Our confidential, private evaluation allows our team to review your exam and laboratory results prior to them being submitted to a carrier. These results, combined with a HIPAA-compliant confidential review of your medical records, allows us to assess your life insurance risk, address any abnormalities which may be present in the exam or lab results, and determine which carriers will have the most favorable evaluation of the application. By proactively providing the home office underwriter with a clarified and coordinated presentation of your medical information, we remove as many surprises as possible and can usually help positively affect the evaluation of your risk.

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3. INSURANCE COMPANY SELECTION

Next, we submit your case to multiple insurance carriers using a carefully-structured methodology. This is where Underwriting Advocacy can be especially impactful in addressing the complexities of coordinating large amounts of coverage with multiple carriers. Each carrier has a limited amount of risk it is willing to accept on a particular life. One large case submitted inappropriately to too many carriers at once, can flood the market. This can essentially block you from gaining access to higher amounts of coverage.

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4. SUBMISSION ADVOCACY

MEDICAL EXAMS: Although several companies may be selected at the beginning of the underwriting process, the Underwriting Advocacy process enables you to use one medical exam for all companies, avoiding the inconvenience of unnecessary or duplicate tests. The medical information can be shared with all companies in a format designed to present your case in its most favorable light.

UNDERWRITING INTERVIEWS: During the home office underwriting evaluation process, we conduct phone conferences, as needed, between your physicians and carrier underwriters so that the proper information and positioning is provided to obtain the most favorable offers possible.

5. SELECTION OF OFFERS

After underwriting offers have been received, we consult with you and your advisors to select the best products and offers from the most appropriate insurance company or companies.

6. EXPERT MANAGEMENT

Key to the success of this proactive approach is implementation by an experienced underwriting team made available through our relationship with the ValMark Companies. Our consulting team includes several former insurance company Underwriting Vice Presidents and Medical Directors, a licensed physician, and a senior staff of case management, business processing and policy service specialists. Together, they confidentially represent, clarify and coordinate the details of your application with multiple insurance companies throughout the underwriting process.

THE POLICY MANAGEMENT COMPANY

Enhancing your Insurance Experience by Bridging Expectations with Results

Through our relationship with the ValMark Companies, we have access to The Policy Management Company which provides policy monitoring and management services for our clients’ in-force life insurance policies.

This is accomplished through an effective combination of technology, a dedicated team of policy management professionals and a process developed from ValMark’s 50+ years of experience with sophisticated life insurance policies.

Together, they form a durable bridge connecting your expectations of promised policy benefits with actual results. Our goal is to give you the assurance of ongoing policy performance, as it was designed, while creating what we believe is a superior insurance experience. Potential advantages to both policy holders and trustees include:

  • Assurance of ongoing policy performance, as it was designed
  • Access to all policy information in one centralized location
  • Assurance that your insurance needs continue to be met
  • Automated trust administration and documented policy performance
  • Assurance of ongoing service by a trusted third party

View Our Case Studies:

Guaranteed products need to be continually monitored and managed. The slightest deviation from the policy plan can cause a guarantee to go off track.

SITUATION: A 50-year-old entrepreneur purchased a $2 million Guaranteed Universal Life policy with an annual premium of $50,000 and a lifetime guarantee.

CHALLENGE: In Year 2, the premium was two weeks overdue and the entrepreneur received a termination notice from the carrier giving him the option to pay $50,000 and receive a one-year guarantee or pay $145,000 for a lifetime guarantee.

Upon investigation, the advisor learned that the late payment had automatically caused a rate change that would have cost the entrepreneur $95,000 to reinstate the lifetime guarantee.

RESOLUTION: The Policy Management Company was called in and was able to leverage its relationship with the carrier to reinstate the lifetime guarantee without additional premium. Of note, had the policy been originally supervised by The Policy Management Company, this situation could have been avoided due to proactive services such as premium alerts and advance.

Over time, sustained low interest rates can significantly affect the performance and guarantees of many different types of insurance policies.

SITUATION: A recently-retired, 65-year-old corporate executive purchased a $3 million Universal Life policy for a single premium payment of $850,000. The original policy was projected to sustain the death benefit to age 100 based on the current interest rate.
The client, who is now 85 years old, was notified that his policy is projected to lapse at age 89 due to the sustained low interest rate.

CHALLENGE: The carrier gave the client the choice of paying an annual premium of $129,079 to extend coverage to age 95, or $173,338 per year to extend coverage to age 100.

RESOLUTION: This particular product design has the greatest risk of lapsing early due to the current low interest rate environment. If the policy would have been monitored more closely over the years, early intervention could have significantly reduced the amount of premium required to maintain coverage until age 100.

*These are hypothetical examples for illustrative purposes only. The experiences of these clients may not be representative of the experience of all clients and is not indicative of future results.

LIFE SETTLEMENTS

Our Life Settlement Advocacy Program™ minimizes the risks associated with conducting a life settlement by treating a life settlement as a security transaction. Accordingly, our strategic back-office partner, Valmark Financial Group, has developed a unique compliance-oriented marketing system called The Life Settlement Advocacy Program™ to guide us through a life settlement transaction and ultimately provide the highest level of value for a client’s life insurance policy.

BUSINESS FINANCIAL PLANNING

Preparing and Planning for Success

In the rush of day-to-day business activities, many small business owners may lose sight of what they had originally hoped to accomplish. As your company grows and develops, it’s important to keep your priorities on track so your business activities are consistent with your long-term personal goals and objectives. Drawing upon our decades of experience working with business owners, Buckley Financial can help you, in a wide variety of ways, prepare for and plan for business and personal financial success.

Protecting Your Business against Loss of Key Employees

All business success is dependent on its men and women whose knowledge, leadership, judgment, or connections are what make things happen profitably. The death of a key person can result in serious consequences for the business. When insuring a loss through death, Key Person Life Insurance can provide an important source of revenue replacement. Further, the insurance can be designed to accumulate reserves that may be used ultimately for retirement, a termination replacement, or the retraining of successors.

Protecting a Business Partnership

If a business partner dies, a Buy-Sell Agreement protects the business and remaining owners from inactive, uninformed, and potentially dissident shareholders and helps consolidate control in the hands of the agreed upon group. Additionally, it helps fix the value of each owner’s business interest. From the viewpoint of the heirs of a deceased business owner, a buy-sell severs their dependency on the surviving owners and the economic fortunes of a business that has lost a key person.

Developing an Exit Strategy

Will your small business be marketable if and when you decide to sell? It’s important to develop an “exit” strategy that can help provide cash commensurate with the value of your business in the event you choose—or are forced (due to death or disability)—to divest.

Retaining the Company within Your Family

If your company is operated by more than one family member, you may wish to keep the business in your family. In this situation, it’s important to learn about transfer tax issues and develop a business succession plan that will help secure your long-term goals and objectives.

PRIVATE PLACEMENT INSURANCE

Private Placement Life Insurance (PPLI)
and Private Placement Variable Annuities (PPVA)

Ultra-affluent investors utilize private placement insurance to maximize the after-tax returns on tax inefficient portfolios. Investors turn to private placement insurance policies when the costs of the insurance charges are less than the tax friction the investment would ordinarily experience. In addition to the tax benefits, PPLI/PPVA can seek to improve creditor protection, reduce reporting requirements for international financial institutions, reduce/eliminate K-1s, enhance charitable donations, and protect foreign non-grantor trust assets from undistributed net income (UNI). Under the most common circumstances, the cost of private placement insurance is significantly lower than income taxes otherwise paid on investment gains. Private placement insurance requires continuous administration and customization.

Tax Exempt Investors

U.S. Tax exempt investors such as foundations, pensions, and endowments can be taxed on investment income considered to be UBTI (Unrelated Business Taxable Income) at rates that can exceed 35%. PPVA contracts generate annuity income which is excluded from the definition of UBTI. If the UBTI investments are held within a PPVA contract, the investment income is not characterized as UBTI because the insurance carrier is treated as the legal owner of the investment rather than the PPVA holder.

GLOBAL FAMILIES AND BUSINESSES

Planning for multi-jurisdictional estates and transferring wealth to heirs in the most tax-efficient way with the least amount of administration are often key concerns for ultra-affluent clients.

Experience of working in multiple jurisdictions is critical in the planning for the global family as trust, insurance, and investment rules vary from one country to another; what may be a perfectly acceptable practice in one country can cause additional taxation and administrative complications in another. Buckley Financial and its strategic partners are leaders in multi-jurisdictional planning and have the ability to source financial products from a broad range of carriers.

As international families grow their businesses, the need for business succession planning increases as well. Buckley Financial is well equipped to assist our clients with the appropriate planning for business succession in the United States and abroad. International clients may use life insurance to:

  • Equalize inheritances for family members
  • Use the US dollar death benefit to hedge against the currency risk to liquidate assets at their death
  • Obtain greater amounts of insurance beyond the capacity available in their home country
  • Plan for a future potential immigration to the US
  • Diversify their assets
  • Provide a clean separation for business agreements

Many families have utilized Premium Financing to fund their life insurance transactions.

INBOUND U.S. TAX PLANNING

Pre-Immigration Planning

U.S. citizens are subject to taxation on their worldwide income and assets. Non-Resident Aliens (NRA’s) have unique planning opportunities (through a combination of trust structures and PPLI/PPVA), that if implemented prior to become a U.S. person, can shield their offshore income and assets from U.S. taxation.

U.S. Beneficiaries of Foreign Trusts

Many foreign trusts are treated as “grantor trusts” while the grantors are alive and receive favorable tax treatment. Upon the death of the grantors (or certain trust provisions), most trusts become “foreign non-grantor trusts” and are subject to punitive taxation that could equal up to 100% of distributions to the beneficiaries. PPLI can provide significant tax benefits to beneficiaries including: tax deferred accumulation of trust assets, tax-free distributions to beneficiaries, non-Modified Endowment Contracts (non-MECs), tax-free death benefit.

Foreign Nationals Investing in the U.S.

When non-U.S. residents invest in the U.S., they may be subject to ECI (effectively connected income) and FIRPTA (Foreign Investment in Real Property Tax Act) resulting in significant tax drag on their investments. PPLI can effectively block ECI and FIRPTA implications for foreign investors.

Financial Privacy

In addition to seeking tax benefits, many global families value their financial privacy above all else. Private placement products can avoid U.S. income tax reporting. As long as the U.S. does not participate in CRS (Common Reporting Standard), if the trust is settled with a U.S. trustee and the assets are in the U.S., such part of the family fortune may not be disclosed to their government pursuant to CRS.

OTHER PLANNING SOLUTIONS

Annuities

Annuities can be a part of a solid retirement plan and may be used to provide lifetime income. Lifetime income components are necessary in order to ensure a retiree’s assets stand the test of longevity. (Lifetime income options available for additional fees.) Annuities can also be used to leverage gifts to your favorite charities.

Disability Insurance

Disability insurance pays benefits when the insured is unable to earn a living due to sickness or injury. Like all insurances, disability income insurance is designed to protect against financial disaster.

Most disability policies pay a benefit that replaces some part of the insureds earned income when they are unable to work. The chances of being disabled for longer than three months are far greater than the chances of premature death.

Life expectancy is greater today, because medicine has made many illnesses and injuries less life threatening. This is good news, but it does increase the need to protect your income with disability insurance.

Long-Term Care Insurance

Long-term care insurance (LTCI) is a contractual arrangement that pays a selected dollar amount per day for a selected period of time for skilled, intermediate or custodial care in nursing homes and/or home health care.

Because Medicare and other forms of health insurance do not pay for custodial care, many residents of nursing homes have only three alternatives for paying their nursing home bills: their own assets, Medicaid and long-term care insurance.

Long-term care refers to a range of medical and personal services that provide ongoing care for people with chronic disabilities who have lost the ability to live independently.

The risk of contracting a debilitating illness (and the resulting medical bill) is usually one type of risk best assigned to an insurance company through the purchase of a long-term care insurance policy, a life insurance policy with a long-term care rider, or a hybrid life and long-term care insurance policy.

Contact Us

103 Fitzroy Drive
Hingham, MA 02043

Office: (781) 385-7567
Fax: (781) 385-7568

Email: seth@buckley-financial.com

Securities Offered Through ValMark Securities, Inc. Member FINRA, SIPC

Investment Advisory Services Offered Through ValMark Advisers, Inc. a SEC Registered Investment Advisor 130 Springside Drive, Akron, Ohio 44333 | 1-800-765-5201

Buckley Financial is a separate entity from ValMark Securities, Inc. and ValMark Advisers, Inc.