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A client I worked with this week was a little miffed because Met Life didn’t come through with the rate the agent said they would, even though he had divulged his health history and his labwork was perfect. Apparently he quoted the client $1800 a year and it was approved at $2400, just a little 30% surprise.

The Met Life agent said he shopped the industry and couldn’t find anyone that would beat the price. The client enlisted Accuquote who also claimed that the $2400 range was as good as it would get.

My client’s health history? Mild sleep apnea and well controlled ADHD (Attention Deficit Disorder). The industry average on this client would be a standard rate at $2400 a year for the coverage he wanted. I shopped this and found some companies that were well above that, two companies that were in the $1800 range and one company, a major player for a long time said that as long as both issues are well controlled, they will approve it for just under $1200, their best rate class.

Think about it from an mortality assumption point of view. Sleep apnea, if not well controlled, can lead to number of other health issues such as high blood pressure, stroke and heart problems. If it is diagnosed early and well controlled, it has virtually no impact on morality.

And ADHD!! I think the best determinant of whether ADHD is a factor in life insurance is if the control is good enough that a person can carry on with a normal productive life. In the case of my client he is a professional and a stable family man. Being successful and stable at either of those, let alone both, pretty much negates any mortality impact that ADHD might have.

So why would a Met Life agent and a major internet agency like Accuquote miss the better rates? Or did they have some reason not to quote the better rates? Folks, it’s called commission, with a capital C and that rhymes with G and that stands for Greedy. They didn’t want to quote the best rates available because they come from a company that pays below average commission. They would rather take their chances at snowing the guy into believing they’ve done their homework and that, well, “it just doesn’t get any better Mr Professional.”

Call me simple, but 100% of a lower commission feels better than coming in second and I’ve found that making sure clients get the best possible price seems to build more loyalty and get more referrals.

Bottom line. There is not a perfect life insurance company out there. Not one of them is strong in everything. It takes an independent agent who puts customer service ahead of compensation to put you in the winner’s circle.