Actually rather than the best change, I think the word clarification is more precise. Sometimes it truly isn’t who you know, but what you know about what underwriters need to see.

Case in point is bipolar disorder. Two years ago I didn’t have a clue about what it would take to get someone with bipolar approved for life insurance, let alone get them good rates. Not wanting to drag customers through the muck of my education, I spent a lot of time reading about the difference between bipolar and BIPOLAR. I discussed these differences with various open minded underwriters and found out that the knee jerk reaction to bipolar disorder didn’t need to happen. These underwriters simply needed to know, in several areas, that this person they were considering offering insurance on was stable and frankly a reasonable mortality risk.

It wasn’t cut and dried like, for instance, diabetes where control is a measured lab result. With bipolar disorder control is measured more by how a person functions in society and how they respond to and comply with their treatment. We really narrowed it down to half a dozen questions that if answered honestly can answer the question “can this person get life insurance?”

1. Has the person been hospitalized for bipolar disorder other than for diagnosis?
2. Has the person attempted suicide or had bouts with suicidal ideations?
3. Is the person compliant with their treatment, both medications and regular followups?
4. Is the person leading a stable family life or social life?
5. Is the person exhibiting a stable work life?
6. Is the person on disability for bipolar or do they have issues with drinking? If they answer yes to either of those, then the answers to 3, 4 and 5 are no.

Given this criteria, we have placed dozens of competitively priced life insurance policies for people with bipolar and as word spreads we are helping more and more each month.

The point is that this isn’t new underwriting, but rather a place where most agents didn’t want to go because they didn’t know what it would take to get approvals. And guess what? We get paid for getting policies approved and placed in force. Because agents weren’t willing to go there it was almost like the birth of an urban myth that folks with bipolar can’t get life insurance.

Bottom line. There is a large degree of satisfaction in working with people who have run into stone walls in all of their efforts to get family protection. Experience shows us that most declines come from the wrong agent or the wrong company, not the actual health issue.