Stories Underscore the Importance of Insurance and Professional Advice
in Helping Protect Families from Life’s Uncertainties

Arlington, Va. – August 6, 2012 – The nonprofit LIFE Foundation today announced the four recipients of its annual realLIFEstories Client Service Awards Program, which seeks to recognize the best examples of how insurance and the advice of qualified insurance professionals have helped families at times of great financial need. In its seventeenth year, the program aims to help raise public awareness about the need for insurance by highlighting stories of real people who have lost a loved one or suffered a disabling illness or injury that required care.

realLIFEstories 2012

This year’s four featured stories will appear in the September issue of O, The Oprah Magazine, which hits newsstands in early August. The four award recipients will also be honored, alongside their clients, at a one-hour, main-stage presentation to be held on September 11, 2012 at 4:10 pm Eastern in Las Vegas during the annual conference of the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors (NAIFA). The presentation will be simulcast free online at

“Insurance advisors play a vital role in helping families and businesses achieve and maintain financial security, and the four advisors we’re recognizing this year are great examples of that,” said Marvin H. Feldman, CLU, ChFC, RFC, president and CEO of the LIFE Foundation. “This year’s stories will remind Americans of why it’s important to seek advice from qualified insurance professionals, whose advice and assistance can often mean the difference between a family being financially secure or finding themselves in a deep financial crisis.”

The 2012 realLIFEstories honorees are:

  • Lisa Rinehart, The Principal Financial Group, Fresno, Calif. – Brigette and Anthony Hunter were starting a new life and business together when they met financial professional Lisa Rinehart. Lisa evaluated their need for life insurance and helped them expand the coverage they had to ensure their future plans would be protected. A year later, Anthony discovered that the melanoma he had battled as a teenager had returned. He invoked a provision in one of his policies allowing for an early payout to a terminally ill policyholder and used part of his death benefit to buy a nicer home for his wife and children. Anthony was able to live in the house with his family for one month before he died at 34. The remaining death benefit helped Brigette pay off medical bills, meet household expenses and keep the business afloat.

  • Pedro J. Busse, New York Life, Miami, Fla. – Children of Cuban immigrants, Lissete and Felipe Montes de Oca saved diligently to realize their dream of homeownership. Insurance professional Pedro J. Busse, helped them get life insurance to ensure their mortgage would be covered should something happen to one of them, and worked with them to increase their coverage as their family and incomes grew. In 2007, Felipe was diagnosed with leukemia. While aggressive treatments made it impossible for him to work, he didn’t worry about keeping up with his insurance payments since riders on his policies waived his premiums in the event of a disability. Felipe died at age 47 after a three-year battle with the disease, but his death benefit helped Lissete maintain the standard of living the couple had worked hard to achieve and will enable their two boys to attend college.

  • Thomas Waring, Jr., CLU, ChFC, CLTC, MSFS, MassMutual, Hamburg, N.Y. – Sandy and Norm Page decided to buy whole life insurance policies in their early 20s. When they met with Thomas Waring, Jr., a financial professional with MassMutual, he explained that the policies would build cash values that would help them save for retirement while also providing a death benefit. When their son, Adam, was born with spina bifida, a malformation of the spinal cord, the cash values helped pay for many items that were not covered under their health insurance, like special braces that Adam needed to walk. Their life insurance also helped fund Adam’s participation in sled hockey. Adam excelled at the sport and at 18 he was a member of the U.S. National Sled Hockey Team that won gold at the Paralympic Games in Vancouver.

  • James Daoust, Jr., John Hancock, Sterling Heights, Mich. – As Joe Mollicone approached his 65th birthday, his financial advisor, James Daoust, Jr., urged him and his wife, Theresa, to consider long-term care insurance. Joe and Theresa, who were both self-employed, had relied on James’ insurance and retirement planning advice for many years, and decided to do so once again. Less than six months later, Joe suffered a stroke that left him partially paralyzed and unable to speak. After a three-month waiting period, his long-term care insurance policy started paying a maximum daily benefit of $150, which increases by 5 percent each year and is enough to cover his home-care needs. Joe eventually reached his policy payout limit but continues to receive benefits because of his policy’s shared-care rider allowing him to tap into Theresa’s benefits. Because of the couple’s wise planning, Joe has gotten the care he needs and most of their retirement savings have been preserved.

To be considered for the realLIFEstories Client Service Awards Program, insurance professionals were asked to submit an application and essay describing how insurance benefited one of their clients at a time of great financial need. After an initial screening process that determined the top finalists, an independent panel of judges chose this year’s four featured stories. For more information about the program, visit

About LIFE
The Life and Health Insurance Foundation for Education (LIFE) was founded in 1994 in response to the public’s growing need for information and education on life, health, disability and long-term care insurance. LIFE also seeks to remind people of the important role insurance professionals perform in helping families, businesses and individuals find the insurance solutions that best fit their needs. To learn more about these topics, please visit

Pinar Posluk
Jessica Thorpe

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