Does Your Life Insurance Need Special Handling? More Answers to the Most Commonly Asked Questions
There are some things in life that seem so complicated that we often completely avoid them. In our Special Handling series, my goal is to make sure life insurance doesn’t fall into that category. I will answer some common questions and address concerns that come up in the life insurance process. In Part 3, we started discussing some issues that tend to arise for those who are considered high risk and require special handling. Let’s continue that dialogue now.
6. I’ve Been Declined Or Rated On Prior Applications. Will This Hurt Me?
Thankfully, the answer is no. It’s true that the underwriter will order a copy of your file from the Medical Information Bureau, which has your history of insurance applications. They will know what underwriting decisions have been made on your prior applications and if they see declinations or ratings, they will want more information.
My job is to make sure that this experience is not held against you. One of the benefits of prequalification is that it puts your application history into context. Many times people get declined or rated because they applied with the wrong company or because their broker did not sufficiently represent them. I will be able to put everything into perspective and make sure you get a fresh start.
7. How Long Will Prequalification Take?
It all depends on how long it takes to get thorough and accurate quote information. The obvious goal is to deliver a quote that is both competitive and reliable as quickly as possible. If I can get everything I need from one personal interview, then I should be able to give you numbers within a week. If medical records are required, then it could take a few more weeks, depending on how quickly your physician’s office hands over a copy of your file. We currently use a third-party service that stays on top of this process and increases our efficiency.
8. I Already Have Some Of My Medical Records. Can You Use Them?
The more documentation you have the better, so the answer to this question is yes. Odds are they will be useful for prequalification as long as they document and support your verbal disclosures about your medical condition. When you submit a formal application, the underwriter will probably order additional records to confirm there are no other underwriting issues to address.
9. Will My Personal Information Be Protected Through This Process?
We are all concerned about our privacy, especially these days when we hear about hacks to major companies on a weekly basis. We work hard to protect your information. Safeguards are built into the process to ensure we are following Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) standards. We do our part to protect you so that only authorized personnel have access to your quote information.
10. I Have A Policy But Would Like To See If There Are Better Options. How Can I Make Sure I Don’t Lose My Current Policy Before A New One Is In Place?
You are in control of this aspect of the process. Only the policy owner can terminate coverage and no broker has the authority to do so. Here is a plan to make sure you have continual coverage:
- Hold on to your policy and keep making the payments.
- If need be, change the premium mode to quarterly so you don’t end up paying too much past the time it takes to get the new policy in place.
- When the new coverage is in effect, you can contact the existing carrier to cancel your previous policy. They should refund any unused premium.
It is my hope that these questions will give you some confidence and peace of mind and encourage you in your journey of finding life insurance coverage. Since there seems to be an unending list of questions about life insurance, we will continue addressing this topic in Part 5, so stay tuned!