As a 28-year-old restaurant manager who’d been in the industry since age 16, Mariah Stolp was used to the grind. The 12-plus hour days. The demands of overseeing a staff while making sure her customers were happy. And on top of all of that, she was raising two young children on her own. It was absolutely exhausting and she longed to find a way to get some of her time back.
Then in 2018, something pivotal happened that would change her life both personally and professionally.
“My younger brother passed away,” Stolp said. “And when I went to his funeral, about 80 percent of the bouquets I saw had been sent by people at the company where my older brother, Aaron, worked.”
Up until that point, Stolp didn’t really know a whole lot about Aaron’s job other than that he worked in insurance but seeing the compassion his coworkers showed for him during such a difficult time piqued her interest.
“I started asking him ‘what do you do? How does this work?’” she recalled. “I ended up coming on board just two months after our younger brother’s funeral. It was an odd trajectory but it was one of those ‘holy cow’ moments than you can’t ignore.’”
Fast forward five years and Stolp couldn’t be happier with her decision to become part of Hanover-based Limitless Financial, an independent insurance agency that’s partnered exclusively with Globe Life – Family Heritage Division. The company specializes in offering supplemental insurance policies to business owners and individuals across the country.
So what exactly is supplemental insurance and how does it differ from health insurance? Well, health insurance is what covers your direct medical expenses like doctor’s visits and hospital stays. Supplemental insurance, on the other hand, helps bridge the financial gap should you become ill or get injured and are unable to work. You can use supplemental insurance to pay for things like your mortgage, gas, groceries, child care, utilities and other living expenses until you can get back on your feet.
“Think of insurance like an iceberg. Most of the medical bills are at the surface level – they’re what you see above the water,” Stolp said. “But what really flips a family or an individual upside down tends to be what’s underneath the water.”
And just like icebergs, accidents, heart attacks and chronic illnesses can often come out of nowhere. That’s why Stolp stresses the importance of securing supplemental insurance well before it’s needed.
“The hardest part is just catching people while they’re healthy because with any supplemental insurance, once you’ve had a heart attack or a stroke or if you’ve recently been diagnosed with cancer, I can’t qualify you on a plan and most companies can’t,” Stolp said. “There is a time sensitivity to it so that’s why I like to connect with people and talk to them about these things early. I’ll ask them ‘what’s your backup plan if something were to happen and you were out of work for six months or even longer?’ It becomes a whole different kind of conversation once they understand this coverage is meant to help them protect their savings and investments.”
Along with having a much more flexible schedule than she did in her restaurant days, being able to educate people and build long-term relationships with them is the main reason Stolp loves her work so much.
“When people sign up with me, it’s not just ‘hey, my name is Mariah and you’ll never see me again,’” she said. “My clients have the opportunity not only to meet me during enrollment, but then if something does happen, I’m the one they actually get in contact with to file the claim.”
If you’re curious about more reasons why it makes sense to get supplemental insurance, here are a few of Stolp’s thoughts:
- It helps you be prepared for anything: Unfortunately, most of us know someone who has battled cancer, had a heart attack or gotten seriously hurt in an accident. And if they’re someone we’re close to, we may have seen them struggle to make ends meet as a result. If you’ve been in this position before – and especially if you know there’s a history of, say, breast cancer or heart problems in your family – getting supplemental insurance makes a lot of sense. After all, you just never know what the future may hold.
- It allows you to keep your life as normal as possible: When you get sick or injured, everything can change in an instant. Suddenly, those bills that were easy to cover every month begin to present serious challenges. With supplemental insurance, Stolp said, you have a financial lifeline that will allow you to keep up with your regular expenses while you’re not working. “You won’t be forced to dip into your savings, investments or retirement funds and you won’t have to start selling things just to get by because you’re in a pinch,” she said.
- It takes stressors off your plate: If you’re experiencing a serious illness, your focus should be on getting better. However, if you’re spending a lot of time stressing about how you’ll pay your bills, that focus can be shifted and it can be very detrimental to your recovery. When you have supplemental insurance, though, it does more than keep you covered financially – it gives you the peace of mind you need during an extremely difficult time, Stolp said. “It helps people know that they can take a breath and then focus on seeing the best doctors or getting the best care,” she said. “And if they have to travel out of state, supplemental insurance will cover their hotels and travel expenses.” Ultimately, she said, the hope is that you never actually have to go through a tragedy where you need to use your supplemental insurance, but it’s there to support you when the unexpected happens. Additionally, because it is 100 percent refundable, if someone doesn’t use it after a period of time, they’re able to get all of their money back. “It’s just a different way to work with communities and a different way to help families out and give them the best of both worlds,” she said. “It’s a win-win.”
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