Main Topics

Choosing an Insurance Advisor


Small business concerns

A small business owner needs reliable advice about insurance. Entrepreneurs have more complex insurance needs than a salaried employee. You may need insurance to cover the debt you have taken on in creating a business or to plan for succession of the business to a son or daughter. You may have a small workforce you would like to protect with insurance products.

Small business concerns:

  • life and health insurance coverage for a business owner
  • employee benefits
  • succession planning
  • transfer of ownership
  • determining the value of your business

Look at big picture

Your insurance advisor has to look at the big picture when addressing your insurance needs. It's not enough to simply buy a standard package - your advisor also has to consider estate planning, retirement planning and long-term goals.

Make sure you have someone who is qualified in the area of life insurance by choosing a Chartered Life Underwriter. A financial advisor who has achieved the CLU designation from Advocis has advanced knowledge in life and health insurance, employee benefits, estate planning and other financial planning specialties of interest to small business owners.

CLUs are qualified

A CLU must complete three to four years of intensive study and pass an examination administered by Advocis. As a member of Advocis, the CLU must abide by a strict code of professional conduct and collect a minimum of 60 continuing education credits every two years. Although there are many financial advisors who are licensed to sell insurance, only 4,200 across Canada have achieved the CLU designation.

A small business owner has many unique life and health insurance needs. For example, if the business has been successful and is appreciating in value, a heavy tax burden may arise on the death of the owner. Life insurance can be arranged to cover the tax burden and ease the succession to a new owner.

Individual and group insurance

The entrepreneur's business may rely on his or her own continuing health. Often the family home is mortgaged to cover start-up costs and retirement savings are compromised to invest in the business. With the advice of a CLU, the business owner can use insurance to cover these debts and plan for contingencies. See When the Risk is Yours alone.

When you begin to do well, your CLU can help you find a simple group plan to cover your employees.