Looking through life insurance forums this morning I came across a question and answer on Insure.com that really speaks to the quality of service offered through the large on line agencies.
The cold hard fact about high volume mega agencies is that, even though they will use the key words to attract attention, they really don’t want to work impaired risk business because it’s too time consuming. Compare what they want 1. Anyone who will qualify at standard or better and has little or no medical history. The medical history equates to ordering medical records which drags things out. A lot of companies will approve someone at preferred with high blood pressure or standard because of build without medical records as long as the exam shows well controlled blood pressure and accurate weight.
Compare that with what they don’t want 2. A person with a complicated health impairment such as type 1 diabetes or bipolar disorder. A person that will take a lot of time and energy just to shop it properly and a person who has several doctors. These cases, although certainly doable, are time consuming and doesn’t match with their quick turnover mentality.
Anyway, back to Insure.com, “The #1 Resource for Insurance”. In their ask the expert forum a person asked, “My husband suffers from multiple sclerosis (MS). At age 33, prior to my husband’s diagnoses, we each purchased $1 million, 20-year term life insurance policies. I have two questions. 1) Does a diagnosis of MS render you uninsurable in the life insurance marketplace? 2) Should we convert some of his current life insurance policy (it is convertible without a medical exam) to a whole life policy?”
The Insure.com answer “Unfortunately, multiple sclerosis is among several conditions that result in getting declined for life insurance. Other conditions include AIDS, Alzheimer’s disease, Cerebral palsy, Huntington’s, Lou Gehrig’s disease and Stage 4 cancer.” This is their answer to #1. Without asking any more questions about when the MS was diagnosed, whether it is even active at this stage and what if any medications the person is on how can an agent know if it would be declined? If the agent doesn’t even ask if the MS is mild, moderate or severe and when the last attack was, how do they know they can’t get this person a standard offer approval?
Of course I can’t go on Insure.com and share my advice or opinion, but if I could it would go something like this. As to question #1, please complete and send back the MS questionnaire so I can see what is available as far as new insurance. Question for Insure.com. If MS is an automatic decline, why do insurance companies have MS questionnaires? As to question #2, that really depends a lot on your future needs. If they can be met with a new term insurance policy and you don’t really need a lifetime guarantee, I might suggest converting some small portion of that policy to permanent insurance as a final expense life insurance policy and getting a new term policy to cover the majority of your insurance need. You probably won’t find permanent insurance any cheaper than the conversion, but I would also recommend that you consider converting to a no lapse guarantee universal life rather than whole life. If we’re talking about life insurance and budget, why bust the budget with the wrong product when both will have a lifetime guarantee?
Bottom Line. Companies and agencies that don’t want to deal with certain impaired risk health issues should, as a service to the public, familiarize themselves with those companies and agencies out there who help these people day in and day out. It is their greed that gets in the way of the spirit of service.