Most of the life insurance cases I work are shopped to multiple companies just so I can be assured that the insurance quote I am providing really is going to be as good as it gets and ultimately the client gets the most bang for their buck.

When I shop I am looking for the company that sees a subtle difference in the mortality risk. Most of the time the trial offers I get are bunched around the same rate class and the winner is the company that sees a case as standard plus rather than standard, preferred rather than standard plus, or a table 2 rather than a table 4. Every once in a while I get a reaction from an underwriter that is incredibly out of line with the information I provided and obviously a knee jerk reaction to, well, to something.

A case I am currently working on brought this kind of reaction from Banner Life. This client had a condition called Fuch’s dystrophy of the eye. It is asymptomatic at this point and truly, in a worst case scenario, at some point in the future might require a cornea transplant. All of the other trial offers I got ranged from preferred to standard based on treatment for mild depression, disregarding the Fuch’s as insignificant from a mortality standpoint. This was what I expected, except for Banner. They declined to make an offer due to the Fuch’s dystrophy.

I emailed back and asked for an explanation of their trial non offer and so far haven’t received anything, but I suspect that the underwriter reviewing the case had a knee jerk reaction to the word dystrophy and didn’t bother to research this particular malady to see what impact it would really have on the overall life expectancy.

Another case I was working was for someone that was being treated for depression, rather mild depression, but was being treated with a drug that is used for bipolar disorder. Most companies came back about where I would expect them to, somewhere between preferred and standard, but one company declined to offer due to bipolar disorder. It was the underwriter’s knee jerk reaction to the medication, which is a primary drug for bipolar disorder but is also used for depression that led them decline rather than clarify the facts.

Bottom line. Underwriters are human too and they occasionally misread the information presented or I present it in a way that doesn’t clarify a situation enough. But, for whatever reason the knee jerks and that company is out of the running for now. That is why we always shop to multiple companies. The more eyes that see the case the more likely that we will get a fair hearing and a good offer.