All lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, questioning, and/or queer (LGBTQ+) people should be able to purchase insurance policies without issues, but we know that this is not the experience in our community. For example, transgender people who are in the process of gender-affirming surgeries often have many challenges, particularly when health insurance policies are being considered.
LGBTQ+ individuals have had experiences with microaggression when exploring insurance policies. We also know that LGBTQ+ people have been denied coverage—so, therefore, it is important to know the fine details about your rights, resources, and your insurance policies before incorporating insurance into your financial plan.
Know your rights and resources
Take time to review your rights. You should be optimistic about the progress that is being made in our country and our communities to protect our LGBTQ+ population. One resource that gives us encouragement is the Movement Advancement Project. Here, you can review current research on policy and change initiatives for LGBTQ+ people. The state-by-state map that details existing overall policies affecting LGBTQ+ people is very useful.
Insurance company websites are another great resource. Take a look and see how they are discussing diversity, equity and inclusion priorities. Who is being featured on the website’s home page? Are you seeing videos or pictures of people who look like you? Does the company have a diversity statement that is easily found? Dig deeper and look to see if the Human Rights Campaign has recognized this company via its Corporate Equality Index, which measures policies and practices related to LGBTQ+ workplace equality.
Lean on your CFP® professional. Feel confident that they are committed to living CFP Board’s Code of Ethics and Standards of Conduct throughout all interactions and that they will help ensure that you know your rights and have access to appropriate resources.
Review your insurance policies
It’s important that you are comfortable with your financial decisions. However, sometimes life changes and things occur that you did not have planned. It’s important to review with your CFP® professional on a regular basis to make sure you have someone to confide in when life changes.
For example, you may have explored your life insurance options, settled on a policy that fits your budget and lifestyle and feel totally comfortable with the decision. Now, some years later, you want to make a change to the beneficiary. Perhaps this change is related to family acceptance issues, and perhaps you have been thinking about including a charity that you are committed to. Talk about it with your CFP® professional sooner rather than later. Changing beneficiaries is an easy task and can be updated as your life unfolds.
Now imagine that you are a transgender person and years ago you had a life insurance policy written under your male gender. You would like to convert this policy to your female gender, change your name and get a new premium (females pay less in life insurance premiums than males). This situation becomes much more complicated. Perhaps you have concerns about how you will explain this to the insurance agent who wrote the policy years ago but doesn’t know you have transitioned, and you are worried about rejection.
Before you update your policies, seek guidance
Before you speak with your insurance provider about these situations and other changes that you’d like to make, have a thoughtful discussion with your CFP® professional and prepare to bring your full self to the conversation. Your CFP® professional can help navigate policy updates while cutting through potential bureaucracy and evaluating potential new premiums.
You will need to have already gone through some changes such as changing your driver’s license and Social Security card. Be prepared to provide these new documents to the insurance company. There will also be change forms to sign from the insurance provider. But most companies now are happy to accommodate and will work with you. Be confident that a CFP® professional will be able to help you with guidance in your best interest.
Don’t wait for one of life’s milestones to plan your financial future. Take the time to thoughtfully consider insurance options now. Contact a CFP® professional today to share your story and decide how to incorporate the insurance that’s right for you in your financial plan.
Laura LaTourette offers Securities offered through LPL Financial, Member FINRA/SIPC. Investment advice offered through WCG Wealth Advisors, a registered investment advisor. WCG Wealth Advisors and Family Wealth Management Group are separate entities from LPL Financial.
Grace Yung offers Securities and Advisory Services offered through LPL Financial, a Registered Investment Advisor. Member FINRA/SIPC.