I called a client of mine the other day because not too long after I had done an annual review of his term life insurance coverage I received a notice that he had applied with another company and was considering replacing the policy he had through me.

Now I really don’t like losing clients and frankly don’t lose many just because our office gives service after the sale that is second to no one else in the business. Having said that, if a person can get a better deal through someone else, I certainly wouldn’t have any hard feelings about that. Life insurance is about the client and their family, not me.

But darn it all, I really take exception to agents that don’t know what the heck they’re doing. This client of mine had a heart attack 4 years ago followed by a 2 vessel angioplasty. A follow up stress test showed substantial damage and a left ventricular ejection fraction of 48%. He had just been declined by US Financial, a company known for approving heart cases when no one else would. I shopped it and was able to get him a table 5 approval from Empire General which he put in force. That was 3 years ago.

I have asked him every year whether he has had any new cardiac evaluation that might lead to a shot at better rates. He hasn’t had any additional cardiac workups.

So, along comes an agent that does not have a clue. He quotes his new perspective client, my table 5 client, preferred best rates with Genworth. This guy can’t get preferred best rates with Genworth because he’s taking high blood pressure medicine. Never mind he had a damaging heart attack 4 years ago.

I talked with my client about the obvious, the fact that he wasn’t going to get the rates quoted by the other agent. He said that the other agent didn’t promise he would get those rates, that the underwriter would make the final decision. He said he told the other agent his full medical history and the fact that he felt like he was doing better and was certainly hoping he could get those rates.

So what’s to be gained by my client or the agent? Having talked to the underwriters I trust on cardiac issues, in the absence of a new stress test showing significantly improved heart function (remember this guy hasn’t had any new cardiac testing), he’s going to be declined. If he had completed a new cardiac workup showing great improvement, because of the early onset multiple vessel CAD with a heart attack, the best he could get with Genworth would be a table 4 to 6, which being 4 years older than his last approval would be losing ground, not gaining.

Bottom line. There is a fine line between bait and switch and just plain old ignorant. I don’t know this agent so I really don’t know which side of that line he falls on, but either is wrong to impose on a client.

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