I just wanted to share a few examples of why it’s important to shop every impaired risk life insurance application for sure and not a bad idea to shop all cases. I’ve beat on this over the years because so many life insurance agents out there are willing to just quote best class and take their chances, quote best class as the bait in bait and switch, or assume that since a similar case was approved at, say, a standard rate, that all similar cases will be approved by that company at a similar rate from now on. Unfortunately that type of continuity in life insurance underwriting has never been true and likely never will be.

So, just a few recent cases and their company by company tentative offers, always tentative until the company has an exam and medical records to review. This is the email format I use and underwriters seem to like it. Some agents just put down bullet points and honestly, as long as the necessary facts are there, should get the same results. Starting with a moderate COPD case I recently shopped. Email to underwriters:

“PI born 9/16/1949, 5’9, 280, non smoker since 2001. Diagnosed moderate COPD 8/14. PFT results:
Provocation Protocol
Pre FVC 2.38 2.67-3.49 L
Pre FEVl 1.63 2.06·2.76 L
Pre FEF 2S 7S 0.89 1.43 -3.02 L/s
Pre PEF 3.82 4.89-7.21 L/s
Pre FET 100 10.33
Pre FIF SO 0.72 L/S
Pre FEVl FVC 68 %
Post FVC 2.3S 2.67-3.49 L
Post FEVl 1.63 2.06-2.76 L
Post FEF 2S 7S 0.92 1.43-3.02 L/s
Post PEF 4.42 4.89-7.21 L/S
Post FET 100 9.54
Post F!F SO 2.18 L/s
Post FEVl FVC 69 %
Predicted F EVl FVC 76.92 72.03-81.82
Predicted FEVl 2.41 2.06-2.76 L
Predicted FVC 3.08 2.67-3.49 L
Treated blood pressure since 1980. Mild osteoarthritis. Takes Symbicort, Coreg, Benacar, Pravastatin and Aspirin. Looking for $150k term or permanent.
Responses: AIG table 7, Symetra table 5, Prudential table 4, United of Omaha not interested, MetLife table 8, Lincoln didn’t quote because they wanted to see the actual pulmonary function test, Minnesota Life table 5, AXA no quote due to rating to high for product applied for, Banner not interested, Transamerica not interested, SBLI not interested, Genworth not interested, Guardian not interested, ING (Voya) not interested and a half a dozen more of the same. AIG had the best term rates and Symetra the best UL rates. The client was interested in a final expense policy and decided on a lifetime guarantee UL with Symetra.

Another client presented a dilemma with liver function testing and I emailed underwriters:

“PI born 6/1/68, 5’9, 170, non smoker. Liver functions on insurance exam 12/14 AST 64, ALT 46 and GGT 231. Offered rated policy but didn’t accept. Workplace health screening 8/2012 AST 38, ALt 47 and GGT 258. Follow up by Gastroenterologist 3/2015 AST 24, ALT 25 and GGT not run. “Liver functions normal and normal liver on ultrasound and no further workup is necessary. Hepatic function panel all normal. Hepatitis panel all non reactive. PI drinks 2-3 drinks total per month. Scientist looking for $1-$1.5 million term.”

Responses: United of Omaha table 3 with a possible standard using lifestyle credits, Symetra standard, Banner not interested, Protective not interested, Minnesota Life table 3, SBLI table 2, Prudential table 4, AXA not interested, AIG possible standard, Lincoln wanted to see the actual last set of labs, Transamerica table 2, Genworth table 4, Guardian not interested, ING (Voya) not interested and several more also not interested. We applied with AIG and Symetra hoping for a little competitive action. They both approved standard and then they both reconsidered to standard plus. Symetra called it quits there and based on a letter from the Gastro guy, AIG is considering preferred.

Bottom line. These are a couple of tough cases and the lack of interest from some companies wasn’t surprising, but they both show the disparity of underwriting opinions given a quality health summary to go from. If you have any questions or don’t feel like your agent did a thorough job of shopping for the lowest rate for you, call or email me directly. My name is Ed Hinerman. Let’s talk.

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