If you’re young and healthy, your term life insurance broker may not have to work too hard to get the life insurance you need approved and put in force. If you’ve followed this forum at all or visited my websites, well, you know that’s a scenario that rarely hits my inbox. While I can do young and healthy, and will if asked, it’s not my niche in life insurance.

I work, almost exclusively, with life insurance cases that are challenging due to client circumstances.

Most of my clients have been declined for life insurance before contacting me. They aren’t looking for a repeat performance. I’d like to share a some cases over my next few posts with you where hard work and persistence has turned life insurance declines into approvals, and approvals into better approvals.

A Doctor, Addiction, and Commitments

A physician contacted me in 2012. He had recently applied for life insurance and was declined because he was 3 years out from treatment for prescription drug abuse. The agent didn’t shop the case before the application and didn’t volunteer to work to find another company that might accept him.

I found out as much as I could about what had happened leading up to the DUI and two month treatment program and what he had done to put his family life and career back on track. From a career perspective, it wasn’t something he could just get past without a lot of scrutiny and oversight.

When he was through with treatment he had to participate in random drug testing that would go on for five years and attend a mandatory peer sponsored weekly counseling group that would go on for at least two years. He also had to rebuild the trust of his wife and family and committed himself to programs with that goal in mind. He knew he had blown it and he accepted that it was his responsibility to clean up the mess he had made.

Life Insurance Following Rehab

I put together a comprehensive package to send out to 20+ companies for their underwriting review. I gave them the bad news and made a very strong case for all of the positive things the doctor had done to regain his life and the respect of his family and colleagues. I told them everything he was doing from random urine tests to multiple counseling activities and how to confirm those things.

I gave them a contact with the peer review board that they could contact to ask any questions. I made the doctor an open book for underwriters and was rewarded with one tentative offer. He applied and was approved and had the life insurance he felt strongly he needed to protect his family from the loss of him and his substantial income.

A Term Life Insurance Broker Will Shop Again

The life insurance was expensive on that first approval but I explained that the further we got from the event (DUI and treatment), the better the rates he could expect as long as there was no relapse. While he ideally wanted a 20 year term life policy because of the age of his children, that year he opted for a 10 year term to keep the cost down and because he was 100% committed to life long sobriety and no relapses.

A year later we shopped it again and found a better rate just because he was still on track and had also started leading one of the counseling groups he attended. We got that policy approved for a 20 year term that was just a little higher than his 10 year term approved the year before.

By the third year we had multiple offers to choose from and lowered his cost again. This year we were able to get preferred rates and he was able to increase the amount of insurance and get a new 20 year term, again saving money from the previous policy. There is a chance we may be able to get him preferred plus rates next year when he will be 10+ years out from treatment. A committed client and a hard working term life insurance broker made it happen.

Bottom Line

Never take a life insurance decline as the final word until it’s been shopped to every company that might be able to turn that decline into an approval and never quit trying to find better rates. If you have questions or, like so many of you, you got involved with an agent that wasn’t committed to your success and willing to work hard for you, call or email me directly. My name is Ed Hinerman. Let’s talk.