We have all been there… after a great conversation with a client, you submit their insurance application only to find out a few weeks later that the application cannot be approved as submitted. Either there’s a rating for additional premium or the client is outright declined. Either way, it can be a tough pill for the client to swallow and accept; especially because they most likely perceive themselves as completely “healthy”, regardless of the medications they may be taking.
So, what can you do to avoid these types of disappointments, or to help them out when no one could have seen it coming?
You may be able to manage expectations and minimize the likelihood of an underwriting ‘surprise’ by asking some basic field underwriting questions. You don’t have to go through the full medicals to get a complete picture, but here are some questions you can start with:
- What medication(s) are you taking today and for what reason?
- When was the last time you were hospitalized and for what reason?
- When was the last time you had to take time off work due to medical reasons?
There are a number of great tools available for Advisors affiliated with PPI to help set expectations when field underwriting reveals medical conditions that may impact the outcome of the application (Advisor login required).
Know the Risk includes several rating guides covering a variety of medical conditions, offering you and your client insight into how underwriters may evaluate their condition and the potential impact on their rates or insurability.
If you want further assistance setting expectations, complete and submit a Lifestyle and Health Preliminary Evaluation form so PPI’s advanced Underwriting team can provide you with a preliminary risk opinion on how the case may be assessed by the carrier. And for assistance positioning your cases in the high net-worth market, you can complete a Lifestyle and Health evaluation form and our team will conduct detailed fact-finding and analysis, and package the case for presentation to the insurer.
Finally, in PPI’s Toolkit Direct you’ll find a helpful document called “What to Expect When You Apply for Insurance”, that explains to clients the processes and timelines associated with applying for insurance.
Now, what if your client has received an unforeseen rating or decline? If you want assistance explaining the decision to your client, turn first to Know the Risk to see if their condition is covered in one of its many rating guides. And if you need support on a particularly difficult case, contact your local PPI Collaboration Center to discuss:
- Carriers specializing in difficult to ensure clients – there are always options
- How you can reach out to the carrier underwriter directly to review the case
- If we can have the case reviewed by an internal PPI underwriter (requires client authorization)
PPI has been quite successful in facilitating either immediate or deferred insurance to many clients who would otherwise be without any coverage, so be sure to reach out!
So, by asking a few field underwriting questions up front, knowing where to find resources to help manage and explain potential ratings, declines or exclusions and finally knowing that there’s an option available regardless of what comes up, you should be well equipped to help clients attain the insurance coverage they need.
For a similar article on clients who are a little more complicated to insure, read and share You Have More Insurance Options Than You Think. At PPI, there is always a solution.
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Avoid Underwriting Surprises!