People living with sleep apnea are at risk of dying and that seems to be what troubles the majority of life insurance companies and life insurance underwriters. The same could be said for people living with anxiety or mild depression. In this time we’re living in there is absolutely no doubt that they will end up dead. What seems to be throwing off most life insurance underwriters is they’ve lost track of the fact that we all die. That’s as true now as it was when the life insurance business started, and it unfortunately appears to be a permanent trend.
So what’s the problem? If everyone is going to die then why not give everyone life insurance at the same rate and, theoretically, it will all wash out in the end. The savings realized by companies by dumping all of their underwriting staff can be passed on to the CEO of the life insurance company in the form of giant annual bonuses. That’s only fair since their accountants are already well attuned to the tax loop holes for a large bonus.
I could go on all day sarcastically describing the sad state of life insurance underwriting, but let’s just cut to the chase. Not all life insurance companies think everyone with sleep apnea or everyone with a minor mood disorder should be treated the same. Not all companies use the archaic bucket style of life insurance underwriting where someone who has severe sleep apnea, but monitors and uses their cpap faithfully, is treated the same as the sleep apneatic that only uses their cpap when their wife can’t stand the snoring. Not all companies believe that someone with situational or mild depression or anxiety who is compliant with treatment and has their situation well controlled should be treated the same as a person with the same mood disorders that takes medication sporadically, say, only when they feel depressed and double when they’re having a real bad day. Throwing someone in the same life insurance underwriting bucket because they are diagnosed with the same disorder is as logical as a doctor prescribing antibiotics for every patient they see because it’s appropriate for a few.
So what’s a person to do? It isn’t a cut and dried easy thing to do, but the goal is to avoid the wrong life insurance agent who unwittingly places your business with the wrong insurance company and messes everything up for you. So your goal is to find the right life insurance agent who has a better than average understanding of impaired risk underwriting and who takes the time to shop every case, so there is no question that your application will end up with the right life insurance company. A few simple rules!
1. You can tell when a person doesn’t know anything about your particular impairment. A good agent will have a working understanding of most of the major impairments.
2. The life insurance agent asks questions that you know to be relevant to your impairment.
3. The agent doesn’t just listen to you and quote a price. If the life insurance agent you’re dealing with doesn’t represent 20+ companies and doesn’t take the time to shop your case to all of those companies, they’re slackers. Turn and walk away.
4. If the life insurance agent doesn’t insist on supporting documentation such as labs, pathology reports or sleep studies then they don’t have sufficient information to ask for an underwriting opinion or quick quote.
5. If the application is approved, but at a higher price, and the agent is quick to pronounce his or her job done, they are in it for themselves and not you.
Bottom line. The odds are most definitely not stacked in favor of the consumer in life insurance simply because there are so few agents who treat our business as a service industry and not a sales job. Your due diligence in finding the best agent for your situation will pay off more than you can ever imagine. Good rates instead of bad rates and approvals instead of declines on your life insurance. If you have any questions or would like to discuss your particular life insurance challenge, call or email me directly. My name is Ed Hinerman. Let’s talk.