Field underwriting has to be one of the most boring topics in the life insurance field. Hence, the art of field underwriting has gone away. Gone are the days of the advisor that would hold his clients hand through the entire process. Those that would do a full Fact Finder and go through the clients’ entire health history before submitting the application and even sit with the client while they receive their paramedical exam!
The darn thing is that field underwriting, which we call pre-qualifying your client is still a very important part of the process of purchasing life insurance. When offering life insurance to your client, their expectations are built on the initial proposal you show them. Showing them Preferred when they are actually standard can be problematic. You may have a disappointed client and they may not take the coverage after you have spent time and money on the process. Here are some good reasons to pre-qualify your client before you show them a life insurance proposal.
- Retaining your client and the potential for referrals they can give you. There is nothing worse than having a client get upset because things didn’t go the way you told them they would. You may have just lost that client and the potential for referrals that client could bring you. That all means money to you.
- It takes less time than you might think. Getting familiar with the carriers underwriting guidelines can help. Each carrier is slightly different so be aware of your carrier’s favorites. What is the carrier going to ask your client about initially:
- Height and weight
- Aviation or hazardous activities
- Cholesterol, HDL ratio, and blood pressure
- Their driving record
- Family history of cancer or heart disease
- Their personal history
- Tobacco products of ANY kind
- You will make more money with less time. Face it; you only get paid if you place a case. Why spend the time and energy on a case that you are not going to get paid on. Again, it comes down to client expectations. They think they are Preferred Best, because they feel great!! But what is on the doctor records is what is going to determine the final rate classification. They may feel great even with their diabetes, or sleep apnea, or anxiety disorder!
Luckily, there are tools you can use to make this process easier, both paper and electronic. Plus, using a brokerage general agency that will shop your case for you prior to the sale is well worth it. This typically only takes a couple of days. What you will have then is a happier client because you set proper expectations prior to the application process. Believe me, it is well worth it!