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There used to be a lot of companies that had published crediting systems that they would use to determine the final underwriting outcome of a life insurance application.

Credits could be earned by anything from exceptional, as opposed to just satisfactory, lab results, or for rewarding those who proactively get annual physicals. Life style and family history also played into those crediting systems allowing an approval possibly a rate class better than what a person might otherwise qualify for.

United of Omaha came out a few months back with what they call a “Fit test”, essentially a crediting system based on medical history and lifestyle. It was designed to reward those who for one reason or another might be in a rated category with a normal approval. The fit test can be used to reduce a table rating by as much as two tables (50%). If a person qualified for a table 2 otherwise due to, for instance, bipolar disorder, the Fit test could effectively reduce their approved rate to a standard rate, a huge savings.

And we’re not talking about Superman criteria to get these credits. Out of 11 questions, 3 yes answers can reduce your rate by one table and 5 yes answers can give up to two table..

Under lifestyle the questions are:
1. Regular preventative medical care and compliant followup?
2. Minimal alcohol use. No more than 2 drinks a day?
3. Life time non smoker?
4. High income or net worth?
5. Preferred or better driving record?

Medical questions:
1. Family history – No deaths from any disease in immediate family prior to age 70?
2. Cholesterol/HDL ratio under 5.0?
3. A negative cardiac workup?
4. GXT exercise performance over 10 METS?
5. Blood pressure treated or untreated below 130/80
6. Preferred or better build?

This is a gold mine. I just shopped a case for the CEO of a company where bipolar was the issue and almost all companies came back at best case Standard table 2, including United of Omaha. The client answered yes to 10 of 11 of the Fit test questions and should get a standard rate, 50% below table 2.

And the unique thing about United of Omaha is that they are disclosing their crediting method to be used in field underwriting (quoting by agents). There is no question going in whether the credits will help or not.

Bottom line. Crediting has always been the right thing to do. Rewarding someone for a good lifestyle and a proactive approach to their health just makes good sense.