Being in the impaired risk end of the life insurance business, and specializing in helping people who aren’t having any fun with their life insurance experience, almost everyone who calls or emails me has on thing in common. The have unfortunately allowed the wrong agent to take their application to the wrong company and, no surprise, it ended with the wrong result. But the problem is more pervasive than just impaired risk cases. Even Jack and Jill, the perfectly healthy 30 year old couple whose only medical record blemish is that they both had their tonsils out, aren’t going to, by default, end up with the best rate out there.
I’ve gone over and over…..and over the fact that in your search for a fair underwriting shake and an affordable rate, the deck isn’t stacked in your favor. I know people get tired of me beating this dead horse post mortem, but if I can reach one more person each time it’s worth the chance of being the picture underneath the word redundiferous in the dictionary. Here is why, in the absence of this information, you have almost no chance of getting the job done the first time.
First consider the number of options you have to go wrong. There are 2000 or so companies in the US licensed to sell some form of life insurance. Out of those that are about 20 that could be considered good underwriting companies. Out of those 20 there are 5 or 6 that are consistently proving that they understand modern medicine and 21st century underwriting. Remember Jack and Jill. They qualify for the best rate available from all companies in the country. That means 1 out of those 2000 is the right company for them. So, less than 1/2 of 1% of the available companies are really going to do a good job if you have even minor health issues.
Couple that with the fact that only about 5% of people who get into life insurance make it to their second year. Done correctly there is nothing easy about this job and too many get sucked in by the idea that “everyone needs life insurance” somehow translates into an easy living. Ok, enough drum beating. The picture is clear and you now know that the mission is about finding the right agent that will use the right company to produce exactly the best result for you. So, five ways………
1. Use the internet. With the statistics I just laid out don’t believe for a second that you are going to find the right agent by opening a phone book. That agent may very well be in your town, but anyone seriously working impaired risk life insurance is doing it on the internet and, like me, aren’t listed in the yellow pages.
2. Focus your search. If you type in life insurance on Google you get “About 624,000,000 results (0.20 seconds)”. You will have no idea which of those will know how to help you get the best possible rate for your situation. If you have type 1 diabetes, put in type 1 diabetes life insurance. If you’ve been declined for life insurance because of type 1 diabetes, put in declined life insurance type 1 diabetes. If you have bipolar disorder, bipolar disorder life insurance. If you’re a civilian contractor in Afghanistan, civilian contractor Afghanistan life insurance.
3. Now that you’ve narrowed the search and only have a few million to deal with, look at the first page. First start by nixing anyone who has paid for their position on that page. With Google that would be the top 3 and everyone down the right side of the page. These agencies may not know anything about your gastric bypass surgery, but they know that the key words work and they have the money to buy them.
4. Next go through the other options and throw out anyone whose link goes to an agency website home page. You didn’t do a search for home pages. Again, they’re using key words to attract traffic whether they can do a good job for you or not. Now go through and read until you find someone that sounds like they actually know how to get the job done for you. This isn’t the easiest separation, but read them and then go back and throw the ones out that sound like something out of a text book, sound like they are trying to teach you about your impairment, or have a link to a quote engine at the end of their blog or article.
5. Now you’re down to just a very few. Call and talk to them about your situation. Declined, abused, down hearted and ready to believe the last agent that you’ll never get approved for life insurance. If that person doesn’t demonstrate and convince you that they know how underwriters are going to look at you and what your chances are of being approved, go to the next. If they don’t have a good working knowledge of your impairment, go to the next. If they don’t seem like they asked enough questions to really understand the health issue at hand, move on.
Bottom line. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to get a life insurance license, but to be successful year after year helping people with the hardest underwriting issues out there takes time, self education and patience. There are good agents out there. If my customers are to be believed I could be among them. If you have any questions, or need help finding out why your life insurance application experience went bad, call or email me directly. My name is Ed Hinerman. Let’s talk.