There is, especially in impaired risk life insurance, frequently a disagreement between clients and their doctors as to whether or not a condition or illness actually exists and almost always some contention over the severity or the treatment. Life insurance underwriters value your opinion. Let me reword that. Life insurance underwriters really don’t care what your opinion of your medical condition is. There’s your story and there’s medical records and medical records are considered to be documented fact by underwriters while your opinion is exactly that. There is an assumption that if you don’t agree with your doctor or your medical records then surely you would get a second opinion or have your medical records corrected.
This is the roadblock that far too many life insurance applications run head long into. You see your doctor about something. You don’t know what it is but it hurts or itches or in some way feels out of whack. Your doctor gives you orders for 14 tests and sets an appointment for you to come back and see him with all of the test results. You go home and suddenly that pain or itch really doesn’t seem so bad when you stack it up against the time and money that it’s going to take to take the battery of tests. I know I’m known for finger pointing, but my records are littered with undone tests. Fortunately for me I have all the life insurance I need or I would be underwriting toast.
But let’s be real about me. The only other choice I had other than doing a bunch of tests was to go find another doctor who would disagree with my doctor and put it in writing that the tests weren’t necessary, but that opens its’ own can of worms. What if the second doc agrees with the first doc or even worse thinks, the first doc was to conservative and tells you that you should go to the hospital immediately to have the tests done. Now the first doctor seems easier to deal with but you can’t go back there because the life insurance underwriter would want to see compliance with the second doctor. Arghh!! It’s important to pay attention to what your doctor is saying (and writing) and deal with it at the time. ” You know doc, how about if we put those tests off a few days and see how I feel?” You call him up a few days later and leave a message saying you’re feeling great so you’re assuming you don’t need those tests anymore, “right?” The issue has to be resolved.
All issues aren’t that big. Too busy to go back for a followup appointment? Might be OK with your doctor but an insurance underwriter is going to want you to complete that followup visit. Really only check your blood sugar when you’re feeling a little off? The underwriter wants to know that you check it regularly just like your doctor and your wife told you to do. And the one person I talked to that will never be beat for not having a snow ball’s chance with an underwriter. After having 18 inches of his colon removed because of cancer he had never been back to the doctor 13 years later. And he wanted to apply for life insurance. I asked if he had any followup with the oncologist or perhaps a colonoscopy and he said no doctors for anything since he got out of the hospital 13 years ago. An underwriter would not share this man’s opinion about the need for followup.
Bottom line. It’s called compliance and underwriters don’t tolerate a lack of it. If it’s been prescribed you need to take it until your doctor says otherwise. If a test has been ordered you need to complete it unless your doctor changes his mind. If you are referred to another doctor you need to go see him unless your doctor changes his mind. If you survive colon cancer don’t quit going to doctors. If you have any questions about compliance or your lack of it, call or email me directly. My name is Ed Hinerman. Let’s talk.