Life Insurance With Heart: A Caring Connection

Life Insurance With Heart: A Caring Connection

After a loss, beneficiaries deserve more than just a payout. A quality life insurance benefit can provide employees with empathetic support as well as coverage when they need it most.
John Montone, Head of Claims for Group Benefits and Workers’ Compensation at The Hartford
John Montone, Head of Claims for Group Benefits and Workers’ Compensation at The Hartford
Financial protection is a critical part of a life insurance policy. But for the beneficiary, receiving a check is only the beginning.
The loss can be overwhelming both emotionally and administratively. A beneficiary has a lot to think about beyond arranging services and managing an estate. It can make a big difference having someone to turn to for support through the various steps and during the claims process.
“Often times, we’re receiving phone calls from people who are experiencing one of the most devastating days of their lives,” says John Montone, head of claims for Group Benefits and Workers’ Compensation at The Hartford. “While we’re here to ensure the bereaved receives a payout in a timely manner, the support insurers provide is so much more than that. It’s the power of connecting and empathizing with someone working through it all with a heavy heart.”

Compassion From the Start

Connecting and empathizing are two key things that can help ease an already complicated and stressful process. That’s why the best life insurance companies don’t trust just anyone to answer that first phone call. They put the job in the hands of qualified experts who can be there for beneficiaries and employers every step of the way.
Meet Emily Perow, a life care advocate (LCA) at The Hartford who is the first point of contact when a life claim is filed. For seven years, Perow has been a calming presence for those seeking guidance in navigating the nuances of life insurance benefits.
“This isn’t just about processing a claim and moving on to the next one,” Perow says. “It’s about taking the time to actively listen to the story of a beneficiary or employer and answering their questions during a stressful and challenging time.”
And customers have many questions. From filling out paperwork to understanding benefits, caring experts like Perow offer the necessary support that isn't always available from an app or automated phone line.
“You can hear them breathe a sigh of relief when they start to see the path laid out in front of them. When I’m actively listening, I know I can recommend benefits beyond the payout that are already part of their insurance plan to help ease some of the burden,” Perow says. “Whether it's funeral planning, obituary writing or grief counseling for those who need support beyond a phone call, we have additional resources that can help them get through such a tough time.”

Support Beyond the Life Insurance Claim

Benefits known as “value-added services” are compassionate ways a life insurance policy can go beyond the standard. They can serve as a key component to supporting beneficiary needs outside of the claim payout itself. These services are included in some life insurance packages, helping beneficiaries tackle key tasks like funeral planning services, or even giving the policyholder access to help in preparing their own will.

Expertise Throughout a Life Claim

Patrick Kelly, a behavioral health case manager and licensed social worker at The Hartford, often partners with LCAs like Perow to provide specialized care to beneficiaries. Because of his background in social work, he understands how to help people through the moments that matter.
“The partnership I share with life care advocates is special,” Kelly says. “Sometimes, a colleague will face a difficult, traumatic situation, and a caller just won’t know what help they need because they’re still in crisis mode. That’s where I come in to help walk them through the process and provide extra support beyond the additional services they have access to. My job is to truly be there for them.”
Life care advocates and behavioral health case managers are the connection point blending today’s demand for faster answers and easier technology with the care people expect when they speak to an insurance professional like Perow or Kelly. A quality life insurance plan can provide employees with empathetic support as well as coverage when they need it most. Employers who “walk the walk” are fostering an environment focused on the human connection in a digital era, and that compassionate approach can also help attract and retain talent.
“We want to come alongside the people who are hurting and in need, to offer these services because they depend on us to give them the best quality care they can get,” says Kelly. “They want to talk to someone they can trust, knowing that person will be there for them throughout the process.”
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