Digital shoppers (Credit: Thinkstock)

 The ease of applying for and obtaining life insurance products during the pandemic has improved in recent weeks — and the process may be easier now than ever.

We know the insurance-buying community has a heightened interest in our products based on what we are seeing in the financial publications, LIMRA reports, as well as our call activity. We want to help agents like you direct your clients accordingly for their life insurance buying needs, by using the new accelerated underwriting (AU) processes.

(Related: Yes, It’s Possible to Underwrite Life Insurance Policies Remotely)

AU programs are expanding, not contracting — and these expansions are likely to be with us more than just short-term. We have seen AU programs double in face amount availability, with many carriers making it possible for applicants ages up to 60 (and, at some carriers, higher) to obtain up to $5 million of death benefit in days, not weeks or months.

Although these programs vary by carrier, your clients have the ability to get coverage for all life product types, thanks to a variety of electronic tools used by the carriers, such as:

  • Medical Information Bureau checks
  • Prescription database checks
  • Carrier proprietary scoring algorithms that include:
    • Public records
    • Credit information
    • Motor vehicle histories
    • Client interview transcripts

The AU approach may be new to more than just a few of agents — and I have a personal story to share.

Recently, my wife went through one of these programs and was approved best class, back-dated to save age 59, $300,000 in face amount, and a 20-year term, in eight days, including the time needed to complete her interview.

All amendments were completed electronically, and the policy was E-delivered to her. No fluids, no attending physician statement (APS) delays. How easy is that?

Here are some general features of these AU programs, although the exact parameters vary by carrier:

  • Eligible Applicant Ages: 18-60 (Some carriers offer AU access for applicants with higher ages.)
  • Products Available: Term, universal life, indexed universal life, variable universal life
  • Death Benefits: Up to $5 million

The need is there, the client desire is there, and the process is available — constantly improving and expanding.

Even if your client does not qualify for an AU program, carriers are using new underwriting methods, such as obtaining electronic health records and lab data, as alternatives to using traditional, slow methods. It has never been easier to apply for insurance.

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Chris CookChris Cook is senior vice president and head of underwriting at Crump Life Insurance Services.