Good field underwriting is critical in life insurance sales. It allows producers to set realistic expectations for their clients. When the client knows what to expect, the underwriting process will be smoother, less confusing and less time-consuming. For a producer, good field underwriting can help build credibility and boost his or her reputation and lead to better case ratings.So, where does good field underwriting begin?

  1. First, get to know your client. You should be able to identify the purpose of the insurance being applied for as well as the source of the premium. Does the client have major medical issues such as diabetes, heart disease or cancer? If so, ask for the dates and details of treatment. It will also be helpful to the underwriter if you can articulate your relationship to the client. Is he or she a friend, referral, neighbor or colleague? Verifying the client’s identity builds credibility for the sale as legitimate business.
  2. Write a cover letter providing useful information such as the need for the insurance before you submit the application to the carrier. Remember that a need for business insurance typically requires more explanation and detail than your standard income-replacement application, such as the client’s role in the company and the economic risk if he or she were not there.
  3. Finally, and most important, develop a relationship with carrier underwriters. These individuals are often very knowledgeable about the products available and requirements and forms needed for submission. Carrier underwriters can be available to discuss specific cases so that you are more informed about medical conditions, time that may be involved in the process and what the outcome might be.

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Bernice Casey is the senior underwriting consultant at Creative Marketing in Leawood, Kan.