Life Insurance Companies Adjust To COVID-19 Reality

The life insurance industry is adjusting quickly, not just in their daily commitment to their customers, but also to the COVID-19 distancing needs of those who want to buy life insurance. More companies each day are changing the way they do business and, to the extent they can, using technology to replace the in person contact that has traditionally come with life insurance applications. On the plus side this has made applying for life insurance much easier and much faster than in the past.

Life insurance companies are strong and well funded and ready to do business in a new and safer way for you, so beware the reports that claim otherwise.

The New Reality: Accelerated Underwriting

Accelerated underwriting, applying for life insurance without an exam and often without medical records, has been around for years with just a few companies. Penn Mutual has had their ACE program for at least three years. All that is required is a simple application (electronic of course) submitted to the company, and a phone interview done at your convenience. If the information in the interview checks out with the on line database of information you are approved for up to $2.5 million. Sagicor has offered instant underwriting for the past few years with submission of an online application, no interview required.

Now several other life insurance insurance companies, in an effort to accommodate the requirements of social distancing, self isolation and stay at home orders, have come up with similar programs.

Requirements For Accelerated Underwriting

While requirements differ from company to company, I think you can glean the advantages from these that were sent to agents from Principal Life that is going above and beyond to make your life (insurance) simpler.

    • Applicants need to meet Accelerated Underwriting guidelines – age and checklist qualifications (Checklist)
    • Part B of the application must be completed as a phone/TeleApp interview or online where applicable
    • An applicant must have had a complete physical, including labs, with all results normal within the prior 24 months
    • Next step will be for Underwriting to review the application to determine if Digital Health Data or Human API could be utilized to underwriter the case.  Principal will coordinate the ordering of this information – your office does not need to order
    • If using Human API, Principal will contact clients directly to get access to medical information – the FOC will be notified.
  • Cases outside these guidelines – Age 61 plus or higher face amounts – Underwriting will proactively review to see how we can move these cases forward
  • Individuals that have traveled abroad or are planning to travel abroad via plane or cruise ship will be postponed for 30 days after return
  • Individuals tested or treated for COVID-19 need to disclose that information on the application or supplement

A Statement of Health will be required for all applications at delivery.

The Great News For You

What is now called accelerated underwriting used to be called “simplified issue”. While simplified issue life insurance was quick and easy, and also didn’t require an exam, it had a deal breaking downside. It was far more expensive than what you would qualify for if you went through the traditional process with an exam. With accelerated underwriting today, even the best rate class and lowest prices are available if you qualify.

We all have a lot of questions today and I know that most of them probably aren’t about life insurance, but if you’re reading this then life insurance is one of yours. If you or your adult children or adult grand children have been putting off the unmatched family protection available through life insurance, you can take care of that today. Hinerman Group updates our information daily on those life insurance companies that offer accelerated underwriting and those that are making it easier to get life insurance even with serious health issues. If you have questions or would like us to help you decide which company is best for you, call or email me directly. My name is Ed Hinerman. Let’s talk.