NU Online News Service, Aug. 19, 2004, 3:28 p.m. EDT

The Baltimore Life Companies, Owings Mills, Md., is testing a rapid underwriting system for whole life insurance at 3 career agencies in Pennsylvania.[@@]

Baltimore Life has stationed licensed representatives in its call center. When agents call about its Silver Guard I and Silver Guard II simplified-issue whole life policies, the call center agents will get medical information from applicants and check the underwriting databases at the MIB Group Inc., Westwood, Mass.

The underwriters should be able to approve about 80% of the applications within 20 minutes, Baltimore Life says.