What To Do When An LTC Insurance Applicant Might Be Rated Up
By Marcella De Simone
No one likes it when a client gets rated up for long term care insurance, particularly when her condition does not make her a decided candidate for poor future health. But there are ways to handle such situations, say producers.
Getting as much information from the client as possible before filing the application is how William Thrash staves off the possibility that the client will be rated up undeservedly. Thrash is a registered representative in the Anniston, Ala., office of Axa Advisors, which is headquartered in New York.
Obtaining a comprehensive medical history is also something that Janet Reardon, an insurance specialist in Woburn, Mass., makes sure to do before approaching a carrier. “It enables me immediately to rule in or rule out specific carriers,” she says.
“I chose to go the independent route because I have yet to find two carriers whose products are identical and their underwriting varies significantly,” Reardon adds. Her strategy is to determine which companies would be most willing to underwrite the client before submitting the application.
Marybeth Prescott, a long term care insurance specialist at Prescott Brokerage Services, Centerville, Mass., approaches the situation the same way. “We have certain companies that we go to who write more impaired risk,” she says. “The rates are higher. If they really want the insurance, and based on their health, theyll pay it.”
Thrash always asks clients to get a copy of their medical records. When the client has a family history or condition that can be perceived as something that can affect the applicant in the future, even though unlikely, he asks the client to get a note from the doctor testifying to the clients physical condition in addition to the record.
Sometimes, company underwriters may misinterpret what is in the medical record, he says.
Case in point: A running partner of Thrashs, whom he prospected as a life insurance client precisely because Thrash knew was in top physical shape, was rated up. This news came much to the surprise of both Thrash and his friend.