Note: This is the eleventh 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:
- What is your client’s medical history, including conditions, treatments, or medications?
- What is the amount of the application?
- What is your client’s age, tobacco status, height, weight, and ability to live on his or her own?
- Are you in competition? What are the other companies, face amounts, and ratings?
- Do you have related applications with other companies? Did you already hurt your chances of getting the best offer?
- Will your client accept an increased premium?
- Are there any avocation, financial, aviation, or legal concerns?
- Is the amount of coverage appropriate for the client’s financial situation?
- Are there any sensitive histories such as alcohol, drug, or motor vehicle problems?
- What is the importance of this client to you, such as being a center of influence who could provide referrals?
This month, we cover question number 10: What is the importance of this client to you? And related to that question is this: Does this case stand alone, or is it related to other current or future business?
As an insurance professional, every case you write is important, but we know that some cases are more important than others.
Let’s suppose that you are about to submit an application on a new client who happens to be the CEO of a mid-sized corporation. This case might be the largest case you will write all year in terms of its face amount and annual premium. But beyond that, you are also confident that successfully placing this case will result in more large sales from his corporation and from referrals he can make.
But – and isn’t this just so typical on an important case? – this particular client has a few medical issues. The revenue that could result from all those future cases hinges on placing this first case. Thus, it is crucial that this case be handled carefully and well, and that the agency you work with does everything possible to find that one carrier that will look past the particulars of this first application and see the big picture.
Fortunately, not all life insurance carriers have the same philosophy. Some will be able to look at extenuating circumstances. There are still some carriers that will recognize that they are in the same situation as you. If they take this case, they are in a much better position to get future cases as a result. But, of course, they need to have credible reason to believe that other cases will come in. On this matter, as with all underwriting matters, they will consider information coming from your agency’s staff underwriter to be more credible than information coming from the writing agent.
The staff underwriter will help you know what type of information to gather to help your cause. It will start with the specifics on your client. The carrier will want to know that the applicant is the CEO of a corporation, that the insurance covers a buy-sell agreement because of his ownership in the business, and that it also covers a key person risk since he is the only one who can keep this business running smoothly. The carrier will want to know complete details on your client’s medical history, compliance with any doctor’s recommendations, and quality of care.