Let’s just call it like it is. In far too many cases those who make the most are also the busiest and the most likely to put off something like a life insurance application. Entirely too much time and energy can be spent and heck, with money in the bank, what’s the difference between now and whenever they get to it?
The real procrastination buster for busy people who know they need life insurance but are concerned about being snared in the application process for the rest of their money earning years, is the agent. Agents have two choices in processing an application. They can make it happen or let it happen. They can be proactive or just let it flow with the breeze. They can mail everything or do it electronically. They can get all of the information up front or bother you for answers every few days during the process. By the end they can make it feel like they worked hard for you or just exactly the other way around.
For professionals like attorneys, physicians, entertainers, athletes or CEOs life insurance is all about protecting what they’ve worked so hard to accumulate. The time they have to spend acquiring it, at least to them, is all about taking them away from their primary focus. Even in the case of celebrities and professional athletes life insurance where a lot of paperwork is often handled by managers, in my experience unless they know every detail of your health and family history, it is best to spend a little time with an agent via email or on the phone. The hang up is that sometimes the answer to a question may lead to another question and if the manager asks the question and relays the information and goes back for a clarification question, suddenly we’re all running through mud.
So, let’s break down the process and do a reality check on the tine involved. You request a quote which can be done electronically. 5 minutes for someone with no health issues. 10 minutes with health issues. Maybe a few emails or a phone call to clarify any missing information. 5 minutes. You receive a selection of quotes and decide to move forward. You electronically send an application request, another 5 minutes. Usually that same day you will get an application back for signatures. Since you have already provided all of the information, all that is needed is to sign and scan or fax back the signature pages. Another 5.
Am I being too optimistic? If anything, with a motivated client, it might take slightly less to get to this point. Next you are contacted by an examiner and you set up an appointment at your convenience. It can be at your home or work or their office. Weekends and evenings are available. For most you are looking at a paramedical exam that will take 20 minutes or so. If the face amount of the policy is higher you might have to take an MD exam and while they will do their best to accommodate you, you should set aside an hour for that just to be fair.
For some policies there may be a home office personal history interview to go over financial and personal background information, usually a 15 minute phone call that you can do at your convenience. As for your time that should be it if the agent has done a good job of laying the foundation. So, on easier cases your actual involvement can be 40 minutes or less and that isn’t all at one time. For a more complicated or larger policy for CEO or key man life insurance your time spent should still be under two hours.
In my experience there isn’t any time to be saved by going through the mega on line agencies. While it may sound like a super automated, cruise control kind of experience, it still involves an agent and in most cases with a high turnover rate, an inexperienced agent. I would also advise using an independent agent for the simple reason that even if the captive agent is experienced and fast, they only represent one company and you don’t want to sacrifice the best pricing and underwriting.
Bottom line. Small easy life insurance applications can go quickly and smoothly on their own. The larger policies and more complicated requirements that come with professional athlete life insurance and other high net worth individuals require an experienced agent from beginning to end. I understand and work with this process daily. If I can answer questions or be of assistance in any way please call or email me directly.