As an insurance professional, you know how hard it is to acquire new clients. When it comes to disability insurance, it can become even harder to place the business in force and keep the client satisfied after the underwriting process. In fact, approximately one-third of all disability insurance applications submitted to underwriting will come back with either a rating, exclusion, modification, or declination. This is both costly for the broker and frustrating for the client.
Here are 10 tips to help you place more business.
1. Create realistic expectations
It is important to let your client know from the start that the disability insurance underwriting process can be grueling, and that a high percentage of policies come back other than applied.
What Your Peers Are Reading
Ask your clients a lot of questions, and let them know if there are any potential problems. In most situations, the acceptance and rating will be up to the underwriter and individual circumstances – however, there are certain conditions, such as current treatment for anxiety and depression, that can cause an automatic decline for some companies.
Before you take your client down that path, do your research and let them know about any possible red flags. They may tell you they’re healthy without realizing that certain circumstances, such as seeing a chiropractor or therapist, may jeopardize their ability to purchase a disability insurance policy without a rating.
2. Explain the reasoning
Sometimes, clients don’t understand why certain behaviors or health conditions pose a risk. Explain disability risk factors to them. When it comes to the claims department, a depression diagnosis can be much more nebulous than a broken femur.
3. Screen your prospects
Ask your clients a ton of questions about their history before submitting an application. If you know your clients are seeking treatment or are taking medications, find out ahead of time from an underwriter how they might view this particular circumstance. This may vary from company to company. Do the legwork for your clients.
4. Over-deliver on client expectations
Some companies offer “preferred rates,” but actually approve less than 10 percent of all policies at those the preferred rates. When a policy filed with a company offering preferred rates comes back at a standard rate, the client may be upset, and it may make the policy even harder to deliver. Instead, show your client the more likely standard rates. If the policy comes back preferred, they will be even more satisfied.
5. Contact underwriters before you submit the application