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5 long term care salespitches to beware of

Salespitch 4: If you buy now, you'll

lock in the price forever!

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With most policies, the price you pay is based upon your age when you buy the policy. An unethical agent will assure you that the premium will never go up; it's one of the selling points. But he or she won't mention that the premium may indeed go up if the insurance department grants a rate increase for everyone in your classification.

Because long term care insurance is a relatively new product, insurance companies don't have sufficient underwriting data to predict the number of claims that may come at a later date. Long term care policies have what is known as a "long tail," meaning that policyholders may not file a claim until years from now. It may even be decades from now. As a result, insurance companies may indeed need to raise their rates significantly to cover the costs of all their claims.

You as a buyer end up in a difficult position. Since the premium is based upon your age at the time of purchase, it's not a simple matter to switch companies when your insurer raises its prices. When you buy a new policy, your premium will be based on your current age. Therefore, the premium for the new coverage is likely to be even higher than what your current company is charging after it raises its prices. Even worse, you might not be healthy enough anymore to qualify for a new policy with a different company.

Keep in mind, if you receive good advice in purchasing a long term care policy, the contract may still provide the benefits you want. Be sure to check what another policy offers before deciding if you want to make any policy changes.

No. 1: You should buy a long-term care policy because it's a write-off!

No. 2: The state insurance department approved this policy!

No. 3: With the policy you have now, you're going to be really sorry someday!

No. 4: If you buy now, you'll lock in the price forever! (this page)

No. 5: Don't worry about the financial rating of the company!

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