hat many people don’t realize is that the single greatest impact on the price of a life insurance policy is professional management of the medical underwriting process. Using our knowledge of how carrier underwriters, medical directors, and actuaries make decisions, we proactively position your life insurance application it its most favorable light.
We accomplish this through a proprietary informal underwriting process where we complete 90% of the underwriting BEFORE an application is submitted to an insurance company. This preliminary process enables us to pre-qualify underwriting offers from insurance companies, while protecting your Personal Health Information from the Medical Information Bureau so that your insurability remains unharmed.
Once received, offers from various companies are analyzed by our team. We then work to match the best underwriting results to the appropriate product and optimized solution. Finally, we then discuss all of this information with you so that you can make an informed decision.
SITUATION: A couple in their early 70s needed $3 million of coverage for their estate plan. The husband was uninsurable due to multiple heart attacks. The wife was also considered uninsurable due to obesity with a history of multiple “mini-strokes”, high blood pressure, asthma, and sleep apnea.
APPROACH: After reviewing the case, the Underwriting Advocacy Team determined that the wife might be insurable. They worked extensively with the wife’s physician to demonstrate that the “mini-strokes” were actually migraines. They showed that the wife’s high blood pressure was well controlled, as were the asthma and sleep apnea
RESULT: $3 million of coverage was issued at standard (vs. substandard) rates.
SITUATION: A couple in their early 60s with a net worth in excess of $10 million needed $5 million of coverage at a more efficient price. They had $3 million of coverage in force.
APPROACH: Coordinating the applications for coverage with multiple companies was essential in this case. The Underwriting Advocacy Team first used a private inquiry process to secure initial offers from the companies. Secondly, they coordinated three applications in phases to avoid exceeding carrier capacity limits. Lastly, they arranged to have the clients examined only once for all three applications.
RESULT: $5 million of joint coverage at preferred rates which increased the overall efficiency of the couple’s insurance portfolio.
SITUATION: A 60-year-old male diabetic needed $2 million of coverage. He had a history of burst vessel in his eye and also an abnormal amount of protein in his urine (an indication of a possible kidney problem).
APPROACH: The Underwriting Advocacy Team reviewed the client’s medical records and highlighted the client’s excellent history of diabetic control and normal urine findings. They also provided a detailed summary of the client’s medical records, which reduced the amount of assessment time required by the insurance company underwriters.
RESULT: A standard offer was received for the entire $2 million of coverage. The Underwriting Advocacy Team’s knowledge of which carriers viewed diabetics favorably as well as their ability to address the abnormal protein finding were critical in securing coverage at standard (vs. substandard) rates.
*These are hypothetical examples for illustrative purposes only. The experiences of these clients may not be representative of the experience of all clients and is not indicative of future results.
Before submitting an application, we collect all of the evidence required to render an underwriting decision so we can ensure your information is accurate. Any gaps can be clarified with your physicians before any evidence is submitted to the insurers. Also, contextual information can be added to help insurance company underwriters understand the big picture – why you are seeking insurance coverage, what you are doing to address any health issues, etc.
Most surprises in an underwriting evaluation come from the medical exam and lab work in connection with the life insurance application. Our confidential, private evaluation allows our team to review your exam and laboratory results prior to them being submitted to a carrier. These results, combined with a HIPAA-compliant confidential review of your medical records, allows us to assess your life insurance risk, address any abnormalities which may be present in the exam or lab results, and determine which carriers will have the most favorable evaluation of the application. By proactively providing the home office underwriter with a clarified and coordinated presentation of your medical information, we remove as many surprises as possible and can usually help positively affect the evaluation of your risk.
Next, we submit your case to multiple insurance carriers using a carefully-structured methodology. This is where Underwriting Advocacy can be especially impactful in addressing the complexities of coordinating large amounts of coverage with multiple carriers. Each carrier has a limited amount of risk it is willing to accept on a particular life. One large case submitted inappropriately to too many carriers at once, can flood the market. This can essentially block you from gaining access to higher amounts of coverage.
MEDICAL EXAMS: Although several companies may be selected at the beginning of the underwriting process, the Underwriting Advocacy process enables you to use one medical exam for all companies, avoiding the inconvenience of unnecessary or duplicate tests. The medical information can be shared with all companies in a format designed to present your case in its most favorable light. UNDERWRITING INTERVIEWS: During the home office underwriting evaluation process, we conduct phone conferences, as needed, between your physicians and carrier underwriters so that the proper information and positioning is provided to obtain the most favorable offers possible.
After underwriting offers have been received, we consult with you and your advisors to select the best products and offers from the most appropriate insurance company or companies.
Key to the success of this proactive approach is implementation by our underwriting team made available through our relationship with ValMark, our consulting team includes several former insurance company Underwriting Vice Presidents and Medical Directors, a licensed physician, and a senior staff of case management, business processing and policy service specialists. Together, they confidentially represent, clarify and coordinate the details of your application with multiple insurance companies throughout the underwriting process.