Congratulations for making it to the sixth and final post in the Special Handling series, where we’ve taken a deep dive into the world of underwriting and prequalification, unique challenges that can arise, and many, manyquestions that come up in the process. In our final installment, we are answering frequently asked questions about quotes and what to expect in the underwriting process.
16. I Received A Quote From An Online Service And Their Rate Is Lower Than Yours. Why Is That?
The difference comes down to the level of service. My business model is based on the exemplary standard of an approval at the rate quoted. We invest heavily in each client and make sure we provide underwriters with thorough and accurate quote information so we can report back to you with both competitive and reliable quotes. We will pay for copies of your records and do everything else needed so you can apply for coverage confident of the outcome. This above and beyond level of service is extremely hard to match with an online agency.
17. If I Like The Quote You Give Me And Agree To Apply For A Policy, What Happens Next?
Once you choose the company and product you want to apply for, formal underwriting will begin. My underwriting team will contact you to complete the application. They will ask you for your driver’s license number, employment data, and all the other information that was not needed for prequalification but is necessary for the underwriting process. They will order additional medical records if needed, schedule your medical exam, and obtain all the other requirements necessary for an approval.
18. How Long Does Underwriting Take?
The underwriting of your formal application typically takes 4 to 6 weeks. Since you have already been through prequalification, the process will be as efficient as possible. If medical records were used in your prequalification, then the process will be expedited because you already completed a primary underwriting requirement. Your cooperation with regards to scheduling your medical exam in a timely manner, complying quickly with additional paperwork requests, etc., can help move the process along as well. One thing that may hold up the process is the tendency for physician offices to be slow in their turnaround for record requests. If that occurs in your situation, I may need you to call them and accelerate the request.
19. Can Anything Happen During Underwriting To Prevent An Approval At The Rate Quoted?
Prequalification sets the stage for an approval at the rate quoted. As long as the information
that is obtained during underwriting is consistent with the information that you provided initially, you will be approved at the rate quoted.
However, there are times when people have medical conditions they are not even aware of. There have been many cases where people found out they had a blood disorder, or even cancer when they went through life insurance underwriting. In those cases, we prequalify you from the start, since you now represent a different risk profile. Our goal will be to get as close to the original price as possible, but if we can't do that, then we will attempt to get the lowest rate the market has to offer. In the worst-case scenario, you may not be eligible for coverage, but we will offer guidelines to help you qualify down the road. We will attempt to identify what circumstances have to be in place for a carrier to make you an offer in the future.
20. What Is Your Role As My Broker Throughout The Entire Application Process?
As you can see from the answers above, I am your advocate and representative throughout the whole process. All the professionals and specialists involved in both prequalification and underwriting are accountable to me. I make sure your interests remain front and center.
Here’s an example of how I advocate for my clients. Let's suppose I prequalified you with a certain company and underwriter A gave me a specific price. Then, when you submitted a formal application, underwriter B got assigned the case and says the rate should be higher, simply because of his assessment of the risk. My response to them will be, “not my problem”. The carrier needs to have integrity. Just because they have a difference of opinion in their underwriting department doesn't mean that you should have to pay a higher price. If the information you disclosed at the forefront was thorough and accurate, the rate should stay the same. My job is to go to bat for you whenever and wherever I can.
I thoroughly enjoyed walking you through the ins and outs of purchasing life insurance. I understand that it is a serious and daunting endeavor to pursue, but it will be worth it in the end. The peace of mind and freedom that will come from knowing you, your loved ones, and your assets are protected are priceless! I am here to walk you through the difficult parts of purchasing life insurance so you can reap the benefits. If any other questions came to mind as you followed this series, or if you are ready to take the leap and start the prequalification process, I am happy to guide you through. Contact me firstname.lastname@example.org.
Steven H. Kobrin, LUTCF, owns and operates a national life insurance brokerage. He is a life insurance specialist, and expert in helping clients that are higher-risk or need special handling. He is affiliated with a premier general agent and master general agency to distribute top-of-the-line financial produces and services. Through them, he forms strategic partnerships with insurance brokers, financial advisors, and financial institutions to expand client services, increase sales, and generate referral income.