Expedite Cases With Field Underwriting

Nothing makes an underwriter happier than details to health histories.

When a health history (“I’ve got a guy” scenario) is shared with me, I look for the basics of the Who/What/Where/When and Why.

These details help frame the health history and add context.

The standard set of questions include:
  • What is the nature of illness / health issue or underlying cause? For example:
    • For cancer, type of cancer, area affected, Stage and Grade, PSA readings (if applicable), any recurrence or cancer spread
    • For Diabetes, most recent A1c reading, Type 1 or Type 2,
  • Date diagnosed?
  • Diagnosed as Mild, Moderate or Severe?
  • How is the health issue treated?
  • Are symptoms well controlled?
  • Any complications?
  • Fully recovered?
  • Date of last follow-up with a physician and the outcome
  • Present Condition
Also helpful:
  • Height and Weight
  • Any use of tobacco products (cigarettes, cigar, tobacco chew, e-cigs)
  • Any family history such as diabetes or cancer

Every additional detail gleaned or morsel of information provided, builds the story of each particular individual – and allows the underwriter to provide a firmer response with quicker turnaround time, versus working with gaps in information in what could have been a well written story.

Presenting each client’s history to the carriers in the best possible light will allow us to provide you with solid recommendations, the best carrier options, products and plan for a successful outcome.

Our Underwriting Team is here to provide guidance and direction – the full story of each client’s health history has a shot at a happy ending.

Underwriting Credits Help Make The Sale

Carriers use crediting criteria to improve your clients’ ratings.  The following case study shows how the identification and application of underwriting credits can significantly reduce premiums.

Case Study:
  • Male, age 35, NS
  • Seeking $2 mil of term
Scenario:
  • No tobacco use
  • Build is 5’8”, 204 lbs
  • Blood pressure 130/85
  • Cholesterol 273 with cholesterol/HDL ratio of 5.5
  • Father diagnosed with prostate cancer at age 56, but still living at age 67

Underwriting Rating: Using traditional criteria, this proposed insured would qualify for Standard Plus with a $2500 annual premium.

Crediting Criteria: Crediting Criteria added 1 inch to the proposed insured’s height, making him 5’9”, 208 lbs.  He was then considered Preferred for build.

Final Decision: Case was moved to one class higher and issued Preferred – Annual premium = $1753 and saving nearly 30%.

On each case we see, we work hard to identify any underwriting credits your client may qualify for.  Contact our Underwriting Department today.

Silver Linings Underwriting: Take A Second Look

Have you had a case that was recently declined through another source?

We may be able to help you find an offer – identifying the silver linings in challenging cases is a specialty of our Underwriting Team.

Here is a case study:
  • Male, age 69, NS
  • Seeking $1 mil of term coverage
  • Previously declined based on his cardiac history
  • In 4/2015, he had a heart attack and underwent successful stent placement for a severe obstruction in the right coronary artery – the cardiac catheterization also showed mild obstructions in two other left-sided arteries that did not require intervention.
  • Follow up echocardiograms in 2015, 2018 and 2019 all showed mildly enlarged left atrium (upper left heart chamber) – but stress testing showed normal heart function and was negative for any ischemia (reduced blood flow to the heart)
  • Up-to-date cholesterol levels were all normal

We were able to negotiate with one of our carriers to obtain a Standard non-tobacco offer, which resulted in a placed case with an annual premium of $13,500.

We can help you win financial security for your clients – give us an opportunity to take a fresh look at your recently declined cases.

Cholesterol Isn’t Half Bad

It may surprise you to know that cholesterol itself isn’t bad.  Cholesterol is one of the many substances created and used by our bodies to keep us healthy.  Some of the cholesterol we need is produced naturally while some of it comes from what we eat.

There are two types of cholesterol: HDL, the “good” cholesterol, and LDL, the “bad” cholesterol.  A healthy level of HDL helps protect against heart disease and stroke.

The total cholesterol-to-HDL ratio (chol/HDL ratio) is also an indicator in determining an individual’s risk of developing heart disease.  This ratio is obtained by dividing the total cholesterol value by the value of the HDL cholesterol. Healthy, higher levels of HDL – the “good” cholesterol – helps to drive down the ratio.  This is a good thing! Low ratios indicate a lower risk and, thus, are more desirable.

One of our A+ carriers no longer looks at total cholesterol in assessing risk but reviews only the cholesterol/HDL ratio instead.

Now clients with high total cholesterol but lower, favorable ratios can still qualify for best rates.

Consider these examples:
  • Male client, age 45, NS
  • Seeking $2 mil of Term, Cholesterol on exam was 298 with a Chol/HDL ratio of 5.0
  • Does not take any medication

Underwriting outcome: PREFERRED BEST!

  • Female client, age 60, NS
  • Seeking $1 mil of UL,  Cholesterol on exam was 275 with a Chol/HDL ratio of 6.0
  • Takes a prescribed cholesterol medication

Underwriting outcome:  PREFERRED!

  • Male client, age 52, NS
  • Seeking $500k of Term,  Cholesterol on exam was 260 with a Chol/HDL ratio of 7.0
  • Takes a prescribed cholesterol medication

Underwriting outcome:  NON SMOKER PLUS!

*Total cholesterol cannot exceed 300

We also have other top rated carriers who use only cholesterol/HDL ratios in their underwriting criteria.

Contact our Underwriting Team today for more information and let us help you boost your sales this quarter!

No Adverse Underwriting For Family History Of Cancer

Family history of cancer can have an adverse impact on underwriting decisions despite a client’s own personal history of excellent health.

While most carriers limit eligible rate classes for this particular family history, there are still a couple of A+ carriers that do not underwrite family cancer histories at all.

This means a client with a family history of cancer can still qualify for all of the Preferred Rate Classes, including Best Class.

In addition, there are other carriers who disregard family history of opposite-gender cancers, such as, a male applicant whose mother died from uterine cancer or a female applicant whose father died from prostate cancer.

Let our Underwriting Team help you get the best offers for your clients with family history of cancer!  Call us today.