Note: This is the eighth 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 life insurance quotes and keeps the underwriting process 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?
In the Laser Underwriting Approach, the preliminary application is sent to the brokerage agency where the staff underwriter reviews your case. The request is analyzed, the medical and financial records are reviewed, and then the best one or two companies are selected that fit your client’s particular risk.
There is always the current list of facts that the staff underwriter reviews (i.e. age, amount, medical risks, smoking status, etc.). These are all things directly presented on the preliminary application to the agency. Other matters that are crucially important, yet are often not asked on the preliminary application, are summed up in the question: Are there any avocation, financial, aviation, or legal concerns?
Let’s look at each of these concerns.
Avocation: Examples of hazardous avocations are mountain climbing, bike racing, diving, boxing or auto racing. With a hazardous avocation, the staff underwriter is going to want to know the avocation, how experienced the client is, and the how often your client does the activity.
Let’s take mountain climbing, for example. You will want to ask your client: Where do you climb, how often, and how high? If your client is a professional in the avocation, the frequency and hazard are usually very high. Such cases more than likely will require the papers to be sent by the carrier to a reinsurance company. Thus, it is a good idea to call the staff underwriter and have them help you with the type of client you are writing.