Application Instructions and Program Rules

PROGRAM DESCRIPTION: The 2017 Real Life Stories Client Service Recognition Program, presented through the efforts of the nonprofit Life Happens. The program is an important part of Life Happens’ multifaceted public educational awareness program designed to help consumers make smart insurance decisions to safeguard their families’ financial futures. Four Real Life Stories entries will be selected that best illustrate how insurance, along with the assistance of an insurance professional or licensed team member, helped clients get through difficult financial times. These stories will be chosen from the following categories:

  1. Life Insurance – Death Benefits (individual and/or workplace):
    The story should pertain to the real-life experience of a family and/or business whose financial situation was aided by the death benefits provided through the policy(ies) involved.

  2. Disability or Long-Term Care Insurance (individual and/or workplace):
    The story should pertain to the real-life experience of an individual who became disabled or ill or who required long-term care services, but who, thanks to the benefits of insurance, has or had the financial means to maintain his/her quality of life.

  3. Individual Life Insurance – Cash Values or Living Benefits or Critical Illness Rider:
    The story should pertain to the real-life experience of a family and/or business that utilized a policy’s cash values/living benefits/critical illness rider in some way, and may have been aided by a policy’s death benefits as well.

ELIGIBILITY: All full-time, licensed life and health insurance agents, brokers and licensed team members in the United States or Canada are eligible to participate in the Real Life Stories Client Service Recognition Program. The employees of our advertising partner(s) and Life Happens, their board members, their advertising and promotion agencies, other contractors, and the immediate families of each shall not be eligible.

To be eligible, all stories must include the involvement of a licensed insurance professional or team member, and the professional submitting the story must have been involved in the story.

HOW TO ENTER: To submit an entry, you can fill out the online application form along with a written essay at: www.lifehappens.org/reallife. Anyone who submits an entry on or before the submission deadline will receive written notification of confirmation that their entry was received. Entries must be received by Monday, October 31, 2016 at 4:00 pm Eastern time. There is no cost to enter.

JUDGING: Stories will be reviewed and selected by an independent panel of judges. The panel may include academics, journalists, regulators, consumer advocates and business leaders, all of whom are involved in, and/or are knowledgeable about, the insurance industry. Entries will be judged primarily on the compelling nature of the stories and how well they demonstrate the role and value of life, disability, or long-term care insurance. Exceptional service on the part of the agent will also be an important criterion. Shortly after the Judging session, award recipients will be notified by telephone, mail or email. Life Happens reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to disqualify any entry for any reason, including but not limited to entries Life Happens deems to be inappropriate, offensive, infringing third party rights or is not in keeping with its image. The decisions, based on judging, background checks, and availability to participate in Real Life Stories activities, will be final and binding.

PRIZES: There will be four winners. The four clients of the winning agents, will receive the same prize. The four winning agents and their clients will agree that Life Happens may feature his or her story in a public educational awareness campaign which can include (a) a professionally written story; (b) exclusive video(s) produced; (c) possible public speaking presentation; and (d) other collateral for the educational awareness campaign.

Taxes: Each winner and client is responsible for paying all federal, state, and local income and other applicable taxes that are due in connection with receipt of the prize.

RULES: The essay portion of all entries must be original. The essay must not have been previously published in a national consumer publication or have won an award, and must involve a claim being paid and/or benefits accessed at some point during the past ten years. All stories must include the involvement of a licensed insurance professional or team member. The same story cannot be submitted for consideration for more than three years. Life Happens reserves the right to edit essays for length and style. The clients and all others depicted in the chosen Real Life Stories program will be required to sign consent and release forms allowing their full names and story to be publicized without further compensation, unless prohibited by law. Recipients also will be required to sign a liability release and affidavit of eligibility. If an agent or client does not provide Life Happens with the necessary consent and release forms within five (5) business days following notification of having been chosen, an alternate recipient will be selected. All submissions become the property of Life Happens and will not be returned. The sponsors of the contest are not responsible for lost, late, damaged, postage-due or illegible entries. Incomplete, illegible, mutilated or improperly transmitted entries will be deemed null and void. Life Happens also reserves the right to publicize stories in national, regional and local media outlets at its sole discretion.

Any questions, please contact Julie Holsinger at RealLifeStories@lifehappens.org, (202) 464-5000 x4446.

DEADLINE: Entries must be received by Monday, October 31, 2016 at 4:00 pm Eastern time.