Note: This is the sixth article in a series of 12 discussing the benefits of using the Laser Underwriting Approach, which utilizes an agency-based staff underwriter. Each story in the series addresses one of the 10 preliminary questions that make this approach effective.
The Laser Underwriter Approach yields accurate quotes and keeps the processes smooth by asking these 10 key questions:
1. What is your client’s medical history, including conditions, treatments, or medications?
2. What is the amount of the application?
3. What is your client’s age, tobacco status, height, weight, and ability to live on his or her own?
4. Are you in competition? What are the other companies, face amounts, and ratings?
5. Do you have related applications with other companies? Did you already hurt your chances of getting the best offer?
6. Will your client accept an increased premium?
7. Are there any avocation, financial, aviation, or legal concerns?
8. Is the amount of coverage appropriate for the client’s financial situation?
9. Are there any sensitive histories such as alcohol, drug, or motor vehicle problems?
10. What is the importance of this client to you, such as being a center of influence which could provide referrals?
The staff underwriter now knows you are in competition, as we covered on the last article, but now the question becomes: Do you have related applications with other companies?
There are several thoughts a staff underwriter has when asking this question. If you have several applications out to different companies at the same time, you may have inadvertently already hurt your chances of getting the best offer. How is that?
? Your application (to the wrong companies) may have already saturated the reinsurance market.
? Your application (to the wrong companies) may have already found its way into the records of the Medical Information Bureau.
At this point, the challenge for the staff underwriter is not just to get you the best offer available across the industry, but also to mitigate the damage that has already been done. The staff underwriter will also want to know:
? What is the overall face amount and type of product you want to place?
? When were the applications sent to the other companies?
? Are all applications for the same face amount and product?
The importance of the reinsurance market
Let’s suppose that you started the trial process on your own, and that the face amount of the policy is very large. Each carrier, upon getting the trial application, will call one or more reinsurers to see what they may be able to offer on this particular trial risk.