There’s nothing like the power of a rumor … especially in the hands of overzealous fanatics and wily opportunists.
The recent worldwide furor over the Mayan 2012 doomsday “prophecy” is the perfect example. The apocalyptic rumors began with claims that the Mayan calendar predicted that Nibiru, a rogue planet discovered by the Sumerians, was to crash into Earth on December 21, 2012 and destroy all life as we know it. The catastrophe was initially predicted for May 2003, but when nothing happened, the date was moved to December 2012 and linked to the end of one of the cycles in the ancient Mayan calendar at the winter solstice in 2012.
How powerful was this rumor?
- In China, people bought Noah’s Ark type survival pods to weather the apocalypse.
- Millions around the world threw doomsday parties.
- Travel websites saw a 30 to40 percent increase in searches for one-way tickets to Bugarach, France and Sirince, Turkey, both supposedly safe from the apocalypse according to various religious and supernatural beliefs.
- NASA was compelled to launch a full debunking campaign, issuing grave warnings that the rumors posed a real threat to frightened children and suicidal teenagers; hosting a “Beyond 2012” FAQ web page; and preemptively posting a video on their official YouTube channel titled “Why the World Didn’t End Yesterday.”
- In the weeks and days leading up December 21, 2012, a Google search for “Maya 2012″ brought up about 700 million hits, almost as popular as the world’s most popular searches.
Yet despite the widespread hooplah – with a lot of help from the Internet, social media, the History Channel, and Mexican tourist agencies – nothing happened. And in fact, the Mayan elders had debunked the rumors long before the supposed “doomsday” date.
Are your clients and prospects headed for a real “doomsday”?
Now that we’ve survived the Mayan “apocalypse,” this might be a good time to remind your clients and prospects of the real life doomsday scenarios that could happen without proper income protection. And these scenarios are based on real facts and statistics, not on ancient myths or prophecies.
- One-third of all people between ages 35 and 65 will become disabled sometime in their lives (Source: Health Insurance Association of America);
- 1 out of 8 people will suffer a disability each year. (Source: NAIC);
- At age 32, the chance of being disabled for 90 days in 6.5 times greater than the chance of death. (Source: National Association of Insurance Commissioners);
- 75 percent of disabilities are caused by an illness rather than an accident. (Source: Commissioner’s Disability Table);
- 82 percent of American workers have inadequate or no disability protection. (Source: Consumer Federation of America and American Council of Life Insurers, 2003);
- Only 17 percent of small businesses offer disability coverage. (Source: Life Insurance Market Research Association);
- 48 percent of VA mortgage foreclosures are attributed to disability. (Source: FHA, Disability Income Concepts, 1998);
Pass these sobering statistics along to your customers and prospects, and they can’t help but immediately recognize two things: The odds of suffering a disability are greater than they probably realized, and very few people have prepared themselves with income protection. And when you point out that people are generally working longer, filing more disability claims, and suffering greater instances of disease, the need for disability insurance becomes even more obvious.
Help your customers and prospects get income protection against one of life’s greatest REAL threats, and you’ll help them avoid their own financial doomsday. And that’s a prediction they can believe in.
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