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It’s been a fascinating couple of years. I will sum it up by saying that we have helped a lot of people get life insurance who never thought they could. And what better way to celebrate the information we’ve shared and the victories we’ve had than with a shared meal, a key word salad.

Diabetes has been at the forefront of our life insurance efforts from the very start. We’ve made huge headway in finding aggressive underwriting for type 1 diabetes and type 2 diabetes. I think our strong point has been in education. There are a lot more people out there today that know what their A1c is than when we started.

I’ve been very clear about where some of the problems lie in our industry. The AARP/New York Life collaboration, on what can only be described as a sick crime against older folks, continue to offer the worst term insurance and whole life insurance in the business. They are simply not the advocate they claim to be.

I’ve stepped on some toes along the way. Selectquote and Zander Life insurance have taken exception to some of my observations. Being a Dave Ramsey fan and I think, ultimately, a reasonable person, I did apologize to Zander. In spite of Selectquote’s berating commentary, I still stand by my assertion that they are biased in what companies they offer (otherwise they wouldn’t be so easy to beat) and I still believe that Suze Orman should go back to waitressing. As to their assertion that I only use Selectquote and Suze Orman for search engine optimization, well, I don’t, even though they think I do. If I didn’t think there was better service elsewhere and more honest advertising, I would never have mentioned Selectquote.

We’ve touched on scuba diving and Prudential being a leader in great rates for recreational divers. Pru also stomps the competition on prostate cancer, sleep apnea and mild anxiety issues. While providing direction on those issues we have also been able to provide direction for those involved in skydiving and foreign travel to places where kidnap and ransom insurance is more than just a casual thought.

We’ve stayed abreast of the economic meltdown and recession that have whacked us all and tried to help people understand how best to handle their life insurance needs in these tight times.

We’ve held lengthy discussions about obesity and the impact it can have on other health issues such as hypertension or high blood pressure, cholesterol, heart disease, heart attack, stroke and cancer. We’ve discussed the risk and benefits of gastric bypass surgery as a means to avoid the life threatening side effects of being over weight.

Probably our biggest response has been from those suffering from depression and bipolar disorder. We reached a group of people that have truly been black balled in the insurance industry and we’ve been able to find some level headed underwriting and hit some major home runs for those who have the name tag but lead normal lives.

We have bared the facts behind the black eye of all black eyes in the insurance industry, the non guaranteed whole life, universal life and variable universal life policies and explained the alternatives in the permanent insurance market. There is nothing that provides greater value and peace of mind than a rock solid guarantee.

We’ve had frank discussions about business life insurance such as key man insurance and buy/sell life insurance. We did a whole series on women and life insurance. We’ve provided direction and information to private pilots that they aren’t getting anywhere else. We’ve talked about the guts of the policy when it comes to the two year suicide and incontestability clause and the accelerated death benefit and the beneficiary rights and the beneficiary issues for those who aren’t in a legal relationship such as a gay couple or an unmarried couple.

Bottom line. And the list goes on and on. We’ve tried to leave no stone unturned and no question unanswered in our quest to find life insurance for those whose mortality risk might be more challenging than average. As an independent agent it has been gratifying to have so many ways to help those who have been mishandled by the wrong agent or the wrong company. As we continue to reach out my prayer is that all who need help find it, and that more agents consider serving those who are harder to help.