One of the most important aspects to placing more business is a knowledgeable underwriting team to be your advocate for those challenging cases. Our Life Underwriting team has a philosophy we call “never say never”.
We don’t give up on a case because it’s difficult. We take on the challenge and look outside the box for solutions.
This innovation sets us apart from the rest and helps to get more cases placed for your clients.
Here are some case examples:
#1: We were presented with case on a 52 year old dentist seeking $3 million of term coverage. A recent lab panel for a carrier where he applied and was declined produced the following abnormalities:
- Liver function tests: ALT of 71 (on a normal scale of 0-45) and GGTP of 743 (on a normal scale of 2-65); An alcohol marker and Hepatitis screen were not performed
- Abnormal liver function tests have been noted since 1987
- 10/2006 Liver biopsy showed mild to moderate fatty changes and mild liver scarring
If you noted the elevated GGTP alone which is about 11.5 times the normal value, an automatic decline probably came to your mind. Some BGA underwriters may not have taken the chance to even send this case out for any opinions. We discussed with our carriers and one was willing to look at the file. After complete review, we received a Table 4 offer from this carrier. Case was placed!
#2: A formal application for a 57 year old female applying for $100K of term was recently declined by one of our carriers due to her kidney function history. An underwriter on our team reviewed the medical records and disagreed with the decline. We appealed the decision and asked to have the file forwarded to the carrier’s Medical Director for reconsideration. After Medical Director review, the decline decision was reversed to a Table 2 and case was placed!
If we had not gone back to the carrier for reconsideration, the case would have remained a decline on the books. Another way we made a difference to our broker and the client.
Let our Underwriting Team help you with your challenging cases and generate more sales this year. We look forward to hearing from you.
Long-Term Care and the cost of care can be overwhelming for most. In the past, traditional stand-alone LTC policies were the only way to insure long-term care expenses.
These days, there are more ways to obtain this valuable coverage – including LTC riders on Life Insurance policies.
Underwriting long-term care risks can be very different than underwriting for life insurance. LTCi underwriting takes into account medical impairments that impact ability to perform daily living activities. Whereas, life underwriting is more concerned about impairments that affect mortality, or life expectancy.
In some cases, your client may be eligible for life insurance at a favorable rate class, but may be rated or declined for long-term care.
This recent case study shows how different underwriting mortality vs. morbidity can be:
- 62 year old female
- Seeking $1 million of UL coverage with a Long-Term Care rider
- Non smoker; normal build
- Hypothyroidism diagnosed in 1980; well controlled on medication
- Was seen once by a chiropractor for back pain with improvement
- Diagnosed with scoliosis
- Final underwriting decision: Super Preferred for life coverage; Standard for the LTC rider due to scoliosis and back pain history
Non-traditional long-term care insurance and chronic illness riders are the perfect solution for those impairments that would be declined for traditional LTC riders. These alternative riders are automatically available on eligible permanent products with little to no additional underwriting.
Whatever the case may be, there is a product we can pivot to, to cover long-term care needs. Contact your Underwriting Specialist, we’re here to help you sort through the different options and pre-qualify your client for this much needed coverage.
Just as basketball fans had to get used to the 3-point shot first debuted by the NBA in the 1979-80 season, we must get used to current trends in underwriting.
A new blood test was introduced into the game and has been around for several years now. It’s called the proBNP.
What is it? The proBNP blood test is a marker for overall cardiovascular risk and a marker of long-term mortality in individuals with heart disease. It is released by the heart as a natural response to when the heart is not strong enough to pump adequate blood and nutrients to meet the body’s needs – when it is deprived of oxygen, or when the main heart muscle is enlarged from working too hard.
If the proBNP is abnormal on an exam lab panel, some carriers will automatically decline the applicant or ask for an additional cardiac work-up at the his/her expense in order to reconsider.
However, if the proBNP is favorable on an exam lab panel, one of our A-rated carriers can use the result as an underwriting credit for applicants ages 70 and up.
Here’s an example:
- Male, Age 75, Non Smoker; Seeking $500,000 of UL coverage
- History of a TIA (mini-stroke) 3 years ago
- Followed closely by his physician
- Insurance lab panel showed a proBNP of 55 (normal)
Under normal circumstances, this would be a mild substandard rate – however, with the credit, he can now qualify for Standard. That’s a 3-pointer and a win-win for us all!
Contact your Life Underwriting Department for more information.
In the years leading up to the development of Type 2 diabetes, most individuals go through an asymptomatic condition called pre-diabetes. During this time, fasting blood sugar levels may be slightly elevated and there may be other signs of disruptions in normal metabolism, such as high triglycerides, low “good” (HDL) cholesterol levels and excess fat around the abdomen.
Approximately 1 out 3 American adults have pre-diabetes. When caught at an early stage, it is possible to head off development of Type 2 diabetes with diet changes and weight loss.
One of our A+ carriers can underwrite favorably on pre-diabetes cases that show a stable, well controlled condition.
Take a look at this case study:
Male, 55 years old
Seeking Personal Coverage
- History of hypertension that has been well-controlled with medication and exercise.
- Two years ago, a routine annual check-up revealed a blood sugar reading that was higher than normal.
- Follow up glucose levels remained elevated (in the 100-103 range), but never high enough to suggest outright diabetes. He was then diagnosed with Impaired Fasting Glucose.
- His doctor suggested exercise and a change in diet to include reduced carbohydrate intake.
- Has done well with his new diet and exercise regimen; ongoing lab testing has shown no progression in his condition.
This client had the beginning of pre-diabetes caught early by routine testing. Because he responded well to dietary changes and exercise, this condition has not progressed and he is at lower risk of developing diabetes in the next several years — if he maintains his new, healthy habits.
Potential Underwriting Outcome: Super Standard Non Tobacco, with potential improvement to Preferred using this carrier’s Healthy Lifestyle crediting program.
Call your CPS Life Underwriting Team to discuss your client’s medical history today and let’s work on your next success story!
Diabetes, there’s no way to candy-coat it – this all too common yet serious disease can present some challenges in life underwriting.
An estimated 1.7 million Americans are diagnosed with diabetes each year. Complications can include heart attack, stroke, cardiovascular and kidney diseases.
The good news is diabetes can be well managed with proper diet, exercise and medication and in turn helps to reduce the chances of developing complications.
There are several factors that underwriters look at when reviewing diabetes cases
These include the type of diabetes (Type 1 or Type 2), the current age of the client, age at time of diagnosis, A1c levels (average blood sugar), treatment and any diabetic complications. Type 2 diabetes is the more common form in which the body is resistant to insulin. Ratings are generally more favorable for Type 2 than they are for Type 1.
Some top carriers have programs that could be the icing on the cake to getting the best possible offers for your diabetic clients.
Take a look at these examples:
- Type 2 Diabetes: 75 year old male non smoker, diagnosed with 10 years ago, A1c levels have averaged 7.0 or better, 5’10 207 lbs, blood pressure is 143/90 and cholesterol is 270 with a cholesterol ratio of 6.0 – PREFERRED rating!
- Type 2 Diabetes: Age 50 and older with excellent diabetic control, treated with diet and oral medication only, no complications – STANDARD PLUS is possible!
- Type 1 Diabetes: Over age 50 with excellent control and no complications – TABLE B is possible!
Your Underwriting Team is ready to help get you the sweet deals you need in order to get your impaired risk cases placed – contact us today.