Category

Life Insurance

Who Gets The Life Insurance?

By | Life Insurance

States Say, “Not The Ex-Spouse.”

Who Gets The Life InsuranceThe facts of the case are routine. A couple marries. The husband names his wife as beneficiary on his life insurance. They divorce. The divorce decree does not mention the life insurance policy and, years later, the husband dies without ever changing the beneficiary. Under a so-called divorce revocation statute, the former spouse is treated as pre-deceasing the insured. As a result, the contingent beneficiary takes the death proceeds.

About half the states have statutes such as this…and they all contain these exceptions:

  • If the divorce decree requires the insured to maintain the coverage for the benefit of the spouse
  • If the divorced spouse owns the policy, or
  • If the divorced spouse pays the premium on the policy.

These state statutes are relatively new so the courts may not have interpreted the statute yet, which is why there has not been much publicity about their existence.

Here’s what you should do

If you are divorced:

  1. Revisit all revocable beneficiary designations, as these statutes usually apply to all such designations, not just on life insurance. For example, beneficiary designations of a non-qualified plan may be affected.
  2. Seek legal counsel to determine the best course. If you are in the process of securing a divorce, this issue should be raised with your divorce lawyer.

If you have questions or concerns give us a call or click here to set up an appointment to review your policies.

Douglas I. Friedman serves life and health insurers as a trusted resource on marketing practices, regulatory compliance requirements, and the development and introduction of new insurance products. His firm acts as national counsel for estate and business.

 

The Future Of Life Insurance May Depend On Your Online Presence

By | Life Insurance

life insurance and selfiesDon’t post photos of yourself smoking on social-media sites. Do post photos of yourself running.

These two suggestions appear in a recent Wall Street Journal article about New York state’s new rules for how life insurance companies can use public data to help set premiums. Such tips — under the heading “what you pay for life insurance could depend on your next Instagram post” — seem ominous, portending a surveilled future where tweeting about rock climbing could hurt your wallet and services exist to curate photos that appeal to insurance companies.

In reality, it has long been the case that what you pay for life insurance could at least be affected by your next Instagram post. It is already legal, and increasingly common, for life insurers to use so-called “nontraditional” sources of public data — including credit scores, court documents, and motor vehicle records — to inform insurance underwriting decisions, though few use actual social media data.

New York is simply the first state to release guidelines around this practice, and its ruling is that nontraditional data is okay so long as a company doesn’t discriminate by factors like race, religion, and sexual orientation. Other states are likely to watch and follow suit. (The New York State Department of Financial Services, which released the guidance, declined to make a spokesperson available for comment.)

Life insurance companies want to update their methods and make their businesses more efficient. Consumers fear their public information being misused in discriminatory ways. The nature of the industry doesn’t do anything to alleviate those fears, either, because life insurance inherently differentiates between people; different factors cause people to pay different premiums. Government regulators want to balance the interests of both customers and businesses, but it’s not going to be simple.

At its most simple, life insurance is an attempt to financially protect others in the event of an unexpected death. You pay a premium, and if you die within a certain amount of time, the insurance company pays survivors. If not, the insurance company keeps that money. The process of setting premium rates can be slow and invasive. (It also varies by company, since underwriting methods are considered trade secrets.) Typically, a client will fill out an application that includes medical history and questions about smoking and other lifestyle habits. In other situations, they will also undergo an examination that can include an electrocardiogram and analysis of blood and urine samples. Underwriters with experience in actuarial science take all of this information to calculate levels of risk and set a rate.

Algorithms speed up this process — though there aren’t many cases where a decision is entirely automated — and can make it more precise. Sometimes, the algorithm will greenlight a person so they don’t have to go through the invasive medical tests. The convenience of immediately receiving a policy is appealing to those who don’t want to wait weeks for a doctor’s appointment, and that can lead to more life insurance policies being purchased. And while life insurance sales have traditionally been face-to-face interactions with agents, that mode is quickly falling out of favor, meaning that algorithmic processes are better for online sales.

Nontraditional data comes into play in two different ways. First, bulk, de-identified data is used to train those algorithms so they learn, for example, that a credit score of 450 corresponds to a 20 percent higher risk of death. This data comes from the many vendors of consumer data that collect, build, and sell catalogs of this information. Then, when Jane Doe goes to buy life insurance, a separate program will search the web for her existing public records to feed to the algorithm.

However, using social media data specifically is rare, according to Aite Group senior life insurance analyst Samantha Chow. Out of 160 insurers investigated by New York state, only one used social media and other internet activities in underwriting, according to the Journal, although some vendors did pitch data based on such details as “condition or type of an applicant’s electronic devices” and “how the consumer appears in a photograph.”

And when social media is used, it’s usually to reduce fraud. Tools like Carpe Data use names, emails, and birthdays to look for information on the internet that might show whether someone lied on their application about smoking or drug use. The results won’t be used to decline an applicant, but they can be used to move someone into a riskier rating class with higher premiums, says Chow.

All this is okay, in theory, says New York state, but there is “strong potential to mask the forms of discrimination” that are prohibited by law. As a result, it’s the insurer’s job to make sure the process isn’t discriminatory, which is easier said than done.

It’s simple for an algorithm to not explicitly use racial factors like “Asian”or “black” or any of the protected classes the New York guidance mentions. But if the model includes whether someone streamed Crazy Rich Asians or Black Panther, “you have a proxy for race in your model,” says Madeleine Udell, a professor of operations research at Cornell University. Plus, when models get complicated, it can be hard to pinpoint which exact factor caused a certain outcome.

Most consumers won’t understand the technology, and there’s a limit to what transparency can achieve when it doesn’t come with power. Some bargains are what Tschider calls “adhesion contracts,” where one side has a lot more power than the other. We can’t negotiate with privacy policies (which nobody reads), and the most transparent policy in the world doesn’t help if we really need to use the service.

In New York, “everyone is doing their due diligence” to understand what it means to not be discriminatory, according to Diane Stuto, managing director for legislative and regulatory affairs at the Life Insurance Council of New York. It will be easier for some to comply than others, and the result may be that certain companies decide not to offer algorithmic underwriting in New York anymore. “We want to be able to offer these programs because we think they’re the future, so we’re grappling with details and trying to figure out what this means,” Stuto says.

One option could be to do an algorithmic impact assessment and run tests similar to the one that Udell described. Even private companies could be required to do these assessments, which means asking questions like: What kinds of data do a company use and why? What are you testing with and without? “It’s not enough to share the code,” says Selbst. “They need to be able to show that they tested for bias, and what kinds of considerations went into it.”

Both he and Swedloff agree that requiring companies to examine their practices is the first step to coming to terms with when it’s okay to charge some groups more. “The most important thing from impact assessments is understanding the rationales that companies go through and making sure they are actually thinking through and doing their homework the best they can,” Selbst continues. Part of the reason we don’t agree on when it is okay to discriminate and when it isn’t is because we don’t have full information about what’s going on. “We don’t understand what the decisions are that lead to these algorithms,” he adds. “Once the public understands that, we can have more reasoned debates.”

 

By Angela Chen@chengela  Feb 7, 2019, 11:45am EST

People are dying YOUNGER — New Report

By | Life Insurance

Protect your family (1)Figures from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show that overall U.S. life expectancy seems to have peaked.

Average U.S. life expectancy at birth fell to 78.6 years in 2017, from 78.7 years the year before, and down from an all-time high of 78.9 years two years earlier.

Life insurers use their own private mortality data, and general life insurance industry mortality data, to design and price life insurance policies and annuities. Some of the top mortality experts in the world are the life insurance and pension actuaries who work on Society of Actuary (SOA) mortality analyses.

Three SOA actuaries — R. Jerome Holman, Cynthia MacDonald and Peter Miller — recently released a new mortality report, “U.S. Population Mortality Observers: Updated with 2017 Experience.”

The report could help how life insurers design and price products such as life insurance policies and annuities. Higher death rates typically hurt the performance of life insurance policies but may improve the performance of annuities and other products with longevity-related benefits streams, such as disability insurance and long-term care insurance.

Here’s a look at five things that happened to U.S. mortality in 2017, drawn from the new SOA report.

1. 2/3 of ALL of us will pass BEFORE age 85!

In 2017, 878,035 of the 2.8 million people who died were ages 85 or older.

About 658,000 were ages 75 to 84, and about 532,000 were ages 65 to 74.

2. The “oldest old” U.S. residents looked worse in 2017.

When the CDC published mortality data for 2016, factors such as drug overdoses hurt the life expectancy of young adults and middle-aged adults.

That year, the life expectancy for people ages 65 and older, and for people ages 85 and older, continued to improve.

In 2017, the mortality rate for people ages 85 and older increased 1.4%.

The only other age groups that had a worse increase in their mortality rates were the 34-44 age group, with a 1.6% increase in its mortality rate, and the 25-34 age group, with a 2.9% increase in its mortality rate.

3. Women are controlling diabetes better than men are.

In 1999, diabetes killed about 83 women for every 100 men who died from the condition.

In 2017, female-to-male diabetes death rate ratio fell to 64 to 100.

But the female-to-male mortality ratio for Alzheimer’s and dementia increased to about 133% in 2017, from about 121% in 1999.

For a look at female-to-male death rate ratios for five common conditions, see the data cards in the slideshow above.

4. Something went wrong with efforts to control diabetes in 2017.

In 2017, the overall mortality rate from diabetes, for both men and women, went in the wrong direction: It increased 2.1%.

The overall diabetes mortality death rate fell 1.2% in 2016, and an average of 0.6% per year from 2011 through 2016.

5. Young adults in high-income counties have had problems.

The SOA team broke out separate data for age-adjusted death rates for counties in the top 15% in the United States in terms of income.

When the SOA team created a table showing how the age-adjusted death rates changed each year from 1999 through 2017, for each age group and income group, they found that people ages 25 through 34 the suffered from the worst death rate change numbers.

People ages 25 through 34 in the highest-income counties had the worst death rate change numbers of all.

The age-adjusted death rate for all causes of death, for all Americans, improved an average of 1% per year.

For all people ages 25 through 34, the age-adjusted death rate got worse: It increased an average of 1.5% per year.

For people in the 25-34 age group in the counties in the top 15% in terms of income, the death rate deteriorated even more: It increased an average of 2% per year.

life-expectancy-616x372-CDC-1

Now is the time to review and augment your family life insurance protection.

People are dying sooner rather than later & this means you should focus on having larger face amounts, include living benefits, and purchase now before life insurers raise rates.

Contact Mark Deschenes at 1-800-257-1723 or click here to schedule an appointment.

How To Get The Best Results On Your ParaMed Exam For Life Insurance

By | Life Insurance

Great! You’re  scheduled for a paramedic exam so you can get the best rates on your new life policy!  Here are some life-insurance-medical-examtime-tested tips to help you ace the exam:

Be well rested-

  • Schedule exam in morning before your breakfast for a natural fast of 9-12 hours without food.
  • Do not drink anything but water before your exam.
  • Do not drink alcohol the night before
  • Make sure to take all medications- on schedule per doctors orders- NO need to hide blood pressure or cholesterol medications.
  • Do NOT perform a vigorous  exercise for at least 24 hours before the exam–
  • Do NOT take ANY type of Protein Supplements for at least 2 days before the exam
  • Of course, it goes without saying to be mindful that you will be tested for drugs that are not of prescription nature, as well as for tobacco- tobacco shows up at least 3 days since last use.
  • In addition, in the rare event that you need an EKG ( heartbeat test) make sure to remove all metallic jewelry.

Men Specific:  Please do not have “relations” or ejaculation for at least 24 hours before your exam –  This raises your PSA level and may provide a false reading.

Woman Specific:  Please do not schedule your exam near your monthly menstruation.  Doing so may cause you to flunk your urinalysis due to blood cells found in urine.

Most important -relax- and remember it is NORMAL for the examiner to take your blood pressure 3 times not just once.

Be well,

Mark

Why you need a Will and Life Insurance that provides a lump sum of cash for Critical & Chronic Illness

By | Life Insurance, Living Benefits

Death and serious illness are two life events that tear families apart…and can leave scars that last for generations.Do you have a will?

We’re going to show you an affordable, trusted way that you can minimize the family devastation that these two inevitable events can cause.

Don’t make the mistake of not making these critical family protection choices: a will and Life Insurance that provides lump sum cash for Critical & Chronic Illness.

First, let’s talk about 12 consequences of dying without a Will (then we’ll talk about becoming critically ill without a Living Will).

Many people put off writing a will because they believe it will be costly or difficult, that it’s unnecessary because their possessions will automatically pass to their spouse or children, or simply to avoid thinking about their own death. Yet writing a Will is critically important for all adults regardless of wealth, marital status, or age (and in many cases the writing of a will is FREE!). Here’s why:

  1. Without a will, someone must be appointed to act as an administrator of your estate (an “executor”). This means added, unnecessary delay, expense, frustration, and even loss.
  2. There’s no opportunity to select guardians. Every parent knows how important it is to make sure that your children are in the hands of someone you trust.
  3. There is no opportunity to provide for burial preferences. It’s a tough topic to discuss so outlining your preferences in your will may be the perfect solution.
  4. Your children may not receive the amount you wanted, when you want them to receive the funds.
  5. The Probate Court is involved in the administration of your children’s share if they are minors. This means the government will decide your child’s financial future. The government will also take a portion of your estate, as their fee.
  6. Certain assets that you may have wanted to be kept for your family’s security or for investment purposes may have to be sold. (Make sure the estate is properly funded with Life Insurance that also provides for your care if you become critically ill – otherwise you may drain your estate, leaving your loved ones with nothing.)
  7. In the event of a common disaster (where your whole immediate family passes away), your estate may go to a relative that you may have never spoken to, or don’t even like.
  8. Common law relationships or same sex relationships may not be recognized by the state. This means that your significant other may not receive anything from your estate upon your death.
  9. You are unable to take advantage of tax savings and save money on lawyers and court costs following your death. We’re amazed the clients can set up a Will for free – by going here – as opposed to how much legal fees can cost when there are problems with an estate.
  10. Do you want your estate to go to your grandchildren if their parents predecease you? Only a will can properly indicate what is to happen in the event a family member dies.
  11. When there is something of significant value like a business, it is so important to plan ahead to avoid potential conflicts.
  12. Ultimately, without a will, you are unable to exclude or include beneficiaries. You must depend on the law and the government to decide the economic fate of your family and loved ones.

Now let’s talk about a living will. This a directive to physicians and other healthcare providers specifying your wishes with regard to specific treatments or procedures to be used in the event of your incapacity. A living will becomes effective only when you are unable to express your wishes.

The purpose of a living will is to make your intentions known, so that your family and your doctors will be able to lawfully act in accordance with your wishes. Once completed, discuss your wishes as reflected in your living will with family members, and be sure they have a signed copy. A living will, or advance directive, is not a part of your Will, and must be completed separately.

The last item is having a Life Insurance policy that includes a lump sum payment in the event of critical or chronic illness.  

In a previous blog we shared a true story of one of our clients – and how Living Benefits Life Insurance protected his family from the financial devastation of a critical illness.

Living benefits term life insurance policies can be purchased with one or more riders, which will pay you money while you’re still alive if:

  • You’re terminally ill. You can receive a portion of your death benefit in advance, for help with medical expenses, one final around-the-world fling, or whatever.
  • You’re chronically ill. Frequently you’re considered chronically ill if you can’t perform several of the six activities of daily living, such as getting out of bed, feeding yourself, bathing, and so forth. You can receive a portion of your death benefit in advance, in situations like this.
  • You’re critically ill. That could mean you’ve been diagnosed with a heart attack, stroke, cancer, end stage renal failure, major organ transplant, or some other pretty grim illness. Again, you can get some or all of your death benefit early – in time to be of some use to you.

To sum up:

Writing a Will doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive. This site provides a free and simple way to compose your own legal Will online in a few easy steps.

While you’re creating your will, let us help you fund your estate with Life Insurance as well as provide you a lump sum of cash for Critical & Chronic Illness through the benefits of a Living Benefit plan.  Contact us today! 1-800-257-1723

 

When it comes to Life Insurance – Don’t waste your Insurability with Lazy or Inexperienced Agents

By | Life Insurance

the HLD You-Centric Approach to Helping You By Health and Life InsuranceWhen it comes to your financial security – Doing business with the right person, who can show you the best way to protect you and your family, gets you more protection at a lower premium.

There is a REAL and IMPORTANT difference in how Life Insurance agents approach our profession.

My approach is “You-Centric” – to start by getting to know you – and discussing what is in your best interest.

When it’s time to shop for the right life insurance, at HLD, we use a double barrel approach and simultaneously submit to two carriers.  This optimizes your chances of getting the policy you want at the price you want because it makes insurers compete for your business.

Here’s the back-story: By submitting TWO applications at the exact same time you get a better offer than the traditional approach of submitting to one insurer and and waiting for their response. You see if you use that old style approach that most agents do you will lose time and normally your “edge” on insurability.  That’s because once you have been “shot down” by another carrier they report it to the Medical Information Bureau and this prejudges your next application.

Here’s a real life example:

A 63 year old male nonsmoker, 5 ’11” with Sleep Apnea, also treated with medications for High Blood Pressure and Elevated Cholesterol:

  • Current Coverage: $300,000 issued 2015 with 10 year guaranteed premium of $181.49
  • Client wanted to upgrade to gain Living Benefits – (Early payout for Diagnosis of Chronic or Critical Illness that affects life expectancy).

Using our “You-Centric” simultaneous application approach:

We took the information and submitted an application to two top carriers.  We did ONE health exam and sent the results to both carriers.

Both Carriers ordered Medical records.

Both Carriers Made an Underwriting Offer:

Carrier 1’s Underwriting Offer: Submitted a $400,000 10 year term at preferred a rate offer, standard non tobacco, due to history of impaired fasting glucose the resulting rate increased on final offer from $186.75 to $282.94 a month.

Carrier 2’s Underwriting Offer: Submitted $400,000 10 year term at a preferred rate offer, “approved Preferred as applied for”. Final issued rate $175.91

How’s That For A Great Result!

By the client using our “You-Centric” Simultaneous Underwriting approach he was able to benefit his family by:

  • Increasing his coverage from $300,000 to $400,000. An increase of $100,000
  • Gain and additional 3 years on the rate guarantee – 10 years vs 7
  • Lowered the rate from $181 to $175 a savings of $720 total over the term period vs his old plan.
  • The “You-Centric” approach saved him $12843.60.  This is the difference in premiums over the 10 year period between the two offers.  NOTE: Had he not done business with me he may have never known about this additional savings.

Having the right Agent that does business with you in mind actually does make all the difference in your outcomes.

Let us help you!

Mark Deschenes
General Agent / Owner
mark@health-life-dental-insurance.com
Ph. 1-800-257-1723 x 0101

Baby Boomer Rescue

By | Life Insurance, Living Benefits, Supplemental Coverage

A study showed that boomers turning 65 in 2011 are expected to retiredlive until they are 85.2 years old.

If you were born between 1946-1964 you are a baby boomer.

You are probably living pretty well, but in the back of your mind, you know you have not saved enough for your retirement…and specifically you have not saved enough to take care of the biggest expense: high medical bills-

Now I’m NOT talking about medical bills like doctor or hospital bills – those will be taken care of by Medicare & your supplement.

I’m talking about the medical bills you will have for your home care and eventually nursing home care that are NOT covered by Medicare. These are costs you will incur once you’re no longer able to take care of yourself. Either from becoming mentally disabled, physically disabled, or suffering from a critical illness.

In these cases, family members will mean well and help with things like cooking and cleaning or taking you to a doctor’s visit. But when it comes to being able to take time off work, moving you into their home, or providing around the clock care that’s something else. Our children have their own lives and simply cannot afford that level of commitment.

Have you thought about how YOU want to live? How you will provide for yourself if YOU can’t take care of yourself?

Well some of you may consider 10 Countries where that social security check will let you retire: Cambodia, Malaysia, Nicaragua, Indonesia, Columbia, Thailand, Costa Rica, Mexico, or Panama.

But for the rest of us who don’t want to retire in a foreign country (away from our family!) we better have a plan to help stretch what savings…and make sure we don’t become a burden to our children and grandchildren.

In the 90’s planners offered Long Term Care Policies. They were great until they stopped being sold due to the unlimited benefits most of them offered.

This has left a coverage gap that, until recently, went unfilled. Now I’m happy to present what I believe to be the “poor man’s retirement plan”, The Living Benefit Life Insurance Policy.

A Living Benefit plan is like Neapolitan ice cream – remember that? You got 3 flavors Chocolate, Vanilla, and Strawberry all in one scoop. A Living Benefit plan is just like that, you get a Term Life Policy that provides a death benefit, Critical Illness coverage that provides a lump sum of cash if you suffer from any of 15 major illnesses that affect your life expectancy, and a Chronic Illness benefit that is triggered just like a long term care plan was.  The Chronic Illness plan covers cognitive loss or inability to preform 2 of 6 activities of daily living (eating, bathing, dressing, toileting, transferring-walking and continence).

In these cases your Living Benefits plan comes to the rescue – providing a large lump sum of cash exactly when you need it most.

More importantly the benefits are based upon a guaranteed level premium for a pre-determined number of years, this means you can transfer some of this risk for an affordable predetermined cost.

I highly recommend the purchase for anyone who can qualify. Trade in your old style life insurance that pays only upon death – to the new style of coverage that provides cash for YOUR life.

Failure to do so may hasten the depletion of your retirement nest egg – or worse, put you in poverty at the mercy of the welfare system. Take it from me – both of my parents had dementia and ended up bouncing around welfare nursing homes. This experience has branded me for life and made me determined to help as many people as I can.

Now’s the Time to Get the Help You Need.

Provide me a little information and let’s start a conversation about your needs, your budget, and what you qualify for – this way I can prepare a plan to enhance YOU and YOUR family’s future security…and help you retire with confidence and style.

Call right now! 1-800-257-1723 Or click here to schedule an appointment.

 

Living Benefits Life Insurance: You Know You Need It, Here’s Proof You Can’t Afford To Wait!

By | Life Insurance

We have this great client – Roman, who really loves his family.  In 2015 we had him approved for a preferred 30 year plan.  For whatever reason he didn’t enroll.  The monthly cost at that time wascan't afford to wait $154.44.  At the time we we shared something with Roman that we have learned from those who bought a living benefits policy – and when life tragedy struck – they were thankful to have it…Not too many people want to buy a living benefits plan but everyone wants a golden parachute!

Today, January 15, 2018, he asked that we revisit the plan – and it had gone up to $270.47 per month.  WOW what a difference a few years makes!  That price change amounts to a $41,770.80 increase in total cost over a 30 year period.  $41,770.80 – That’s what it cost Roman to wait 2.5 years to get covered (age 52 to age 54).

You need coverage for THIS reason: It will save your family from a financial nightmare if you get a serious illness. (Click here to read our one of the many true stories of our clients saving their family from financial ruin.)

Today I am happy and proud to report that our effort DOES make a difference in people’s lives.  Our Living Benefits plan has made it so that many of our clients protected their family while they recovered from serious illness – doesn’t your family deserve that peace of mind?

Call us 800-257-1723 or schedule an appointment now – don’t pay the cost of waiting!

Need more proof why Living Benefits are essential?  Read this article and you’ll see why you need a backup to your health plan.  Call us today – 800-257-1723 – let’s protect your family.

Why Living Benefits? Here’s a True Story

By | Life Insurance

My good Client ( Paulo G)  has given me permission to share his story.

Oct. 2016 Mr. G purchased a Living Benefit Plan from us.

Like any human being, this diagnosis was a shock to Paulo, he was concerned and maybe a bit scared.  I remember him telling me, “If anything happens to me take care of my family”.image

Well our agency DID take care of his family.  Over the last 5 months we have informed, comforted, and in a few cases when needed- kicked some clerks butts.  We reached out 16 times to advise and take care of Paulo needs.  In addition, numerous other calls were made to providers as well as the carrier for his Living Benefit plan.  We made sure that his claim for accelerated benefits was moving along and stayed on track.

During the last 5 months, while we were taking care of Paulo’s Life Insurance and Living Benefits business, Paulo has been in hospital- in treatment- and in chemotherapy.

Paulo says that about 3 weeks of every month he has been totally sidelined either getting treatment or recovering from treatment.  All the while, his family business & family have been suffering from the effects & stress related to the situation.

Today I am happy and proud to report that our effort DOES make a difference in people’s lives.  Our Living Benefits plan that Paulo bought just 15 months ago, has offered Paulo 52.2% of his face amount benefit as compensation for the family.

Although no one wants to suffer a diagnosis and related trauma, the large six figure check the family will cash sure goes a long way to making things better.  Not only will it help get their whole family’s life back on track, Paulo plans on using some of the money to create a new business.

What we do, how we do it, and the companies we rely on matter.

I am extremely proud of all of our staff and happy to be personally of service to Paulo’s family.

I cannot stress enough to everyone who will listen that your health is NOT to be taken for granted.  Lives change in the blink of an eye.  I personally carry several million of living benefit life and recommend this type of coverage for you too.

Please reach out to me so I may show you how you can use your non-cash value term life insurance as a “bank” that you can access when stricken with a chronic or critical illness.

P.S.  Forgot to mention  Paulo is doing much better.  His prognosis is good and he is feeling much more confident about his future.  With the recent news of his cash payout, finances have become one less thing to worry about.

Need more proof why Living Benefits are essential?  Read this article and you’ll see why you need a backup to your health plan.  Call us today – 800-257-1723 – let’s protect your family.

Why We are Aggressive When Pre-underwriting Our Clients

By | Life Insurance

We don’t take underwriting for granted because we know you don’t like surprises and neither do we.

Based on an original article by David A. Appel

medicalrecords_101853770What’s involved in securing new life insurance? What kind of personal information do I need to provide? What’s the medical exam like? Is it invasive?  Do I really need to disclose everything – even stuff I did in college?

These are just a few of the questions clients ask their advisor when trying to obtain new life insurance. Obtaining life insurance today is one of the most invasive processes someone can go through – medically, financially and lifestyle-wise.

Carriers leave no stone unturned when considering a prospect for a life insurance policy. If a doctor recommended the client have a medical procedure and that request is still open, the test must be completed. If the procedure or issue is not “closed out” and complete, the client needs a detailed explanation from the physician of why the procedure is delayed or is no longer necessary.

Clients also must understand that insurance-carrier physicians will look at their medical history differently than their primary care doctors do. My client’s doctor is making sure the client continues to live a long and healthy life, while the carrier doctor is making sure there isn’t anything in the records that could throw a curve ball into that plan.

Today, there also seems to be an abundance of unnecessary testing done in hospitals, by primary care doctors, and by concierge doctors to be “safe’.  In addition, we frequently see notes in a physician’s files that tend to be elusive, unclear or downright wrong. This is where a letter of clarification from the doctor comes into the process and must be requested. This is when we, acting as your agent, along with the client, must request the doctor to provide further explanation of why certain tests were completed, along with a description of the results.

As your agent, we also must conduct our due diligence and not take results at face value. We question the client on any information found in their records that doesn’t make sense. After 25 years in this business, I can’t even tell you the number of times incorrect bloodwork or procedures were found in our clients’ medical records.

Addressing the Issue

What’s the initial message here? Successful agents take full control of the situation. Clients don’t like surprises and neither do we. We start by having an aggressive pre-underwriting program. Before surprises pop up unexpectedly, we look for red flags in our client’s history. These red flags include medical issues as well as problems related to their motor vehicle report, in addition to any hazardous activities, use of controlled or uncontrolled substances, drugs prescribed for mental health conditions such as anxiety, or lifestyle decisions.

Without some probing or asking detailed questions, these issues tend to be placed in the “I forgot that” part of the memory bank or in the “we don’t need to disclose that now” category. Clients may think these shouldn’t make a difference on a life insurance application. But clients need to understand that everything makes a difference when it comes to applying for life insurance. Even though technology has come a long way, getting an application underwritten properly and approved is still an arduous process.

Once we start the informal tentative underwriting process or we submit a full formal application for approval, we like to make sure we present our client in the best possible light to the various insurers. We want to present the client as a human being, not just a stack of papers in a file.

In some cases, we include detailed cover letters that include a client’s background and community work, as well as a “possible underwriting issue” we recognize, such as a recent driving under the influence charge or any other pertinent information that we believe an underwriter could use to consider our client as positively as they can. The reason we bring up the “possible issue” is because we do not want the underwriter to discover it on their own. If we know an issue exists, let’s get it out on the table for discussion and be up front about it.

The amount of data you have, the clarity of that particular data, and how well it’s organized and presented can be the difference between a client getting a favorable decision from an insurer or being poorly rated, or – worst-case scenario – having their application postponed or declined.

We don’t ever want to take that chance. Our clients, their families and/or their businesses are too important to them and to us to take life insurance underwriting for granted.

That’s why we take control, take charge, and make it happen! We’re here to assist you get the coverage you want—call 800-257-1723 or write us now and let’s get started!