Ronald Reagan popularized the phrase “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” In many cases, that’s good advice. If, however, you’re a crew member on a submarine (like I was) – it’s not good advice at all.

We were trained to a higher standard of care. We made sure it was working, but it was way more important to make sure it would be working when we really needed it. When you’re trying to hide, and there’s a Russian cruiser up topside looking for you – that’s the wrong time to tell the Captain, “Well, Skipper, the sonar was working a minute ago…”

That higher standard of care is still with me. Here at Stratus, we approach existing life insurance policies with the same perspective we used on the boat. When it’s needed, it has to work.

Life insurance needs to be treated like one of the systems on a submarine. It’s natural (and easy) for a consumer to think that, just because nothing has gone wrong, their plans will be working fine ten, twenty, or thirty years down the line. Natural, but dangerous.

Just this week, we’ve had three life insurance policies come in that aren’t going to work when they’re really needed. Our review process will uncover what is needed to fix two of them. As a result, the client will know exactly what’s required for them to be operational when they’re really needed.

That third one? It’s too late. Had we been allowed to review it three or four years ago there would have been options. It’s going to implode, and after next month it’s not going to be here anymore. The insured and the beneficiaries will still be here-just without the same level of protection they had before.

That’s why a good policy review is critical. It’s not enough for the periscope to work when you’re tied up at the pier. When the skipper needs to go up and take a closer look at the Russian cruiser – that’s when the ‘scope has to work.

“Anticipate all problems prior to their occurrence,” is just as important for a life insurance policy as it is for a submarine. At Stratus, we make it easy to accomplish this — one policy at a time.

By the way – it was a lot of work, but we did eventually sneak away from that Russian cruiser…