Over the years I’ve talked about the 1% of life insurance companies that actually address both issues that matter the most to clients, approval and price. Being the grandiose kind of guy I am I was thinking about this in the context of a universe of companies, all of whom have their place in orbit, while only a few truly affect the orbit or the existence of the entire universe.
Let me kick start this with an example that has been bugging me, USAA, and according to their advertisements on TV, your company for life. The truth is that they have their place in orbit as a company that woos and caters to the very healthy when it comes to life insurance. While USAA would like you to believe that they are the life insurance company for veterans and their families, there are few companies quicker to shun you and your family if there is a health impairment involved. I guess the question for me is, how can a USAA be your life insurance company for life when they can’t even wrap their minds around making you part of the company to start with? Big company but no real place that affects the universe when it comes to approvals and price.
I long for some good old days when companies like North American, a life insurance company I still have some of my own coverage with, was a heavy hitter in the impaired risk sphere of influence. They moved the rest of the universe around by taking stances that they could back up with mortality experience. They had gravity even though they weren’t the biggest company (certainly no USAA) and they worked hard to make approvals and price meet in a meaningful place for clients. But where would this universe be without the giant dwarf quick flash of a life insurance company, US Financial, the clinical underwriting company. They came on the scene and steam rolled over every impaired risk life insurance company out there. The approved clients based on how they were doing with their impairment, not just the fact that they had an impairment.
Other companies started to catch on and about then AXA Equitable bought out and snuffed out US Financial. While clinical underwriting has lived on, it is a wounded image of what it should have been by now. Companies like Prudential, Lincoln National, Banner Life, and Minnesota Life give it their all and other life insurance companies occasionally slip up and show that in a universe if you don’t compete for a spot, at some point that spot is gone and so are you.
There are about 2000 companies that hang out a life insurance banner. Most of them do it as an also offered kind of thing and their agents don’t really even understand the product or why their company offers it. There are maybe a few hundred companies that have strategic roles in the universe, meaning they actually would like your business and understand why they aren’t getting it, but are caught in the gravity of something much larger that keeps them from moving. Then there are the 20, the 1% that really get it. They watched US Financial come and go and went, “Oh Wow”. They have flashes of brilliance and stupidity and keep on working to better themselves. They actually occasionally still listen to agents and go the extra mile to find an approval in a life insurance decline.
Bottom line. I’ve been an impaired risk life insurance agents for about 18 years and wouldn’t have it any other way. While 99% of agents tear each other limb for limb trying to find healthy cases to land, impaired risk clients come to me and ask me to help them. It’s taken a lot of work and study and I give credit to great mentors and companies along the way. So where to from here? Straight forward to the extent that the universe of life insurance allows. If you have questions, especially about whether your life insurance company was the right pick for your situations, call or email me directly. My name is Ed Hinerman. Let’s talk.