I can tell you without hesitating that I wouldn’t be in the life insurance business if I was just churning out easy business and that isn’t to say I couldn’t make good money doing it. It is the challenges of working with underwriters to find a way to approve life insurance clients who just didn’t get a fair shake the first time around and were declined, occasionally the first several times around and the challenge of solving business life insurance challenges that make this fun. I won’t lie. There is something I just love about being able to come through on a tough life insurance case when no one else has been able to. And even better to be able to get the approval that finally ends the ordeal for a client and then, because of underwriting changes or time passed since an event, such as drug or alcohol treatment, being able to help the client get life insurance for less than our original approval.
I’m currently working on a case that is one we are slowly making progress on. We first got him approved 3 years ago and it’s one of those situations where as long as he keeps going in the right direction we will continue to reach underwriting thresholds for improvement on his rate. This is a doctor who became addicted to prescription drugs. He went through a two month inpatient treatment program and then took Vivitrol for two years after that. He voluntarily participated in random testing and attendance at three different support groups for five years. He still attends a weekly group of his peers who are at different stages of drug treatment and ongoing support. The further he gets from the actual abuse of drugs the better the consideration he will get from underwriters, so to that end we update his information annually and send out an email asking for underwriting consideration. The following is this year’s email.
“PI is physician. 50 years old and in great health. He is on preventive blood pressure and cholesterol meds due to family history. Cardiac health good. PI arrested for dui spring of 2009, under influence of prescription pain killers. He was not convicted but mvr shows the arrest and a two month license suspension. Self admitted for treatment summer 2009 and completed a 60 day inpatient treatment. Was on injected Vivitrol until November 2011. He was asked by the peer review committee that monitored his treatment if he would mind staying on Vivitrol for two years and he told them he would. He only stayed on it that long to be 110% compliant with the committee’s request, not because it was a recommendation of his treating program. He is now 3 years out from Vivitrol use. He also attended Caduceus (medical NA), also NA and AA and was responsible for reporting attendance to the committee until 5 years out from treatment earlier this year. He volunteering to be randomly tested for 5 years post treatment with no issues and has indicated he would continue random drug testing as a condition of his life insurance. It’s been over five years since treatment and he still attends the Caduceus support group and is now charged with monitoring doctors that are new in the program. This is a doctor that messed up and was completely devoted to doing everything asked of him to satisfy a board of his peers that he is serious and for his family. Makes $900k+ annually. Looking for $4mm term. Can provide a report from the peer review board.”
On the one side of this scenario it’s real easy to know that we all screw up, but that this person has put a king size effort into righting the ship. He is highly unlikely to relapse. On the other side it takes guts for an underwriter to take the side of someone who abused prescription drugs and has the ability and connections to either write his own prescriptions or obtain them. It takes trying to judge character without personally knowing the character, which can be tricky, but this life insurance client has a track record of 5 years of doing the right thing, has peers and a wife willing to speak to his determination, is willing to continue random tests for the sake of the life insurance. That last item he threw in isn’t something any insurance company wants to be involved with, but he didn’t know that when he offered it. The guy is serious.
Bottom line. This is a tricky, interesting and challenging case to work. This is why I’m in life insurance. Sure I work for pay, but my gag reflex would never allow me to have a boring job. If you have questions or have been declined and want to see if that can be turned around, call or email me directly. My name is Ed Hinerman. Let’s talk.