Every producer knows getting from illustration to application to issued to commission can be a long, agonizing process. The underwriter usually has been considered the culprit in causing many perfectly healthy prospects to be rated or declined.

Underwriters have only a paper view of the prospect — an image sculpted by an application, examination results, a physician’s report and sometimes an inspection.

The most powerful underwriting team is the producer and underwriter working together to issue a prospect. Face-to-face experience with a prospect is invaluable. The producer’s impression of a prospect’s appearance, home living conditions and the like cannot be captured on an application.

[Producers can help the underwriting process move faster with] something as simple as a brief letter accompanying the application that details the producer’s impressions or anything that he believes will assist the underwriter in making a favorable decision. The producer should leave no room for suspicion, because suspicion in an underwriter is the greatest deterrent to a quick approval.

Editor’s Note: The preceding tip was taken from “Underwriting Special Risk Prospects,” by Fred E. Wernette, an article that ran in the July 2004 issue of Life Insurance Selling. To read the article in its entirety, click here.

To read last week’s Tip of the Week, click here.

For more on underwriting, see:

Impaired risk underwriting: Behind the scenes

Let’s review your underwriting checklist

Producer Roundtable: Impaired Risk: Your client has “issues.” Now what?