Life in the Fast Lane By: Pat Wedeking
Life insurance is important…we all know that. Life insurance rates have gone down significantly over the past 10 years as people live longer…many of us know that. Now life insurance is easier to transact… I know some of us might even challenge that one. This article seeks to update you on the latest advancements in life insurance underwriting and how Smart Choice® is embracing this change making life insurance easy.
Americans are dangerously underinsured when it comes to life insurance; the opportunity to do the right thing for your clients and earn a significant income doing so has never been greater than it is today. One of the largest life insurance growth markets in the world is the U.S. middle market and companies across the globe are recognizing this and investing in the effort to deliver life insurance to the masses. As a result, there is more competition and prices have come down consistently for a decade. Recently, more and more companies are introducing new, better ways to get life insurance in force quickly.
Accelerated Underwriting Programs are hitting the market in a big way right now with different carriers introducing their version of Accelerated Underwriting each month. These programs rely on data to assess risk as opposed to what used to be invasive bodily fluid draws asking your clients to give blood and urine to a medical professional they’ve never met in order to determine the proper underwriting class. “What kind of data?” you ask, the list includes driving records, prescription data, credit scores, lifestyle index scores and the life insurance industry’s centralized database they call the medical information bureau (MIB.) Add it all up and many actuaries are saying this is an equivalent way of assessing risk.
What was a 6, 8 or 10-week process can now be done in a matter of moments. Policies that used to be issued quickly at rates that are 200% to 500% of fully underwritten rates are now being issued at the same lowest rates available.
This is an evolution – or a revolution – so still most policies are underwritten the “old way” but more and more we are seeing products and processes that accelerate the process.
One of the carriers on the Smart Choice Quick Life platform, for example, has eliminated the need for blood and urine for all cases with face amounts of $500,000 and under. Another carrier on this platform is offering some applicants the chance at the best prices without blood and urine up to $1 million and still another is reviewing all cases that fit a certain profile and giving us pleasant surprises with “Issued as applied for, underwriting requirements waived” messages often within hours of submitting the case to underwriting.
Yet another carrier has gone one-step further… the furthest of any carrier in the market today. This carrier is instantly issuing policies up to $1 Million in face amount for all applicants who fit a certain profile and where data is available for consideration. These are policies are issued on the spot, delivered electronically, with electronic payment and at a price that is most competitive.
Smart Choice has embraced this evolution and offers access to instant coverage through the expansion of the Smart Start program that we call Smart Start Life. This makes Smart Choice among the select few in the country to have access to this product. In partnership with InsureNOW, part of the largest distributor of life insurance in the United States, this program is available to Smart Choice offices nationwide.
How to Sell (More) Life Insurance:
- Create awareness that you offer this type of insurance. We call this one “State Farm Sells Life Insurance” because this company is one of the top sellers of life insurance in the country simply by letting it be known that life insurance is available to their policy holders. No commercials, no pushing or pressing, just awareness. Let your clients know that you offer life insurance. Ask us, we can help you with email signatures, announcement letters and emails and even a customer friendly shopping mechanism you can link from your website.
Life Happens Pro ( https://lifehappenspro.org/ ) offers a simple, cost effective way to leverage best-in-class life insurance marketing resources to drive business to you.
- The one sentence that works. “Life insurance rates have gone down. Part of our service is to see if we can save you money so I am going to have our life insurance expert give you a call. Okay?” When you get a “yes” to that simply enter the name and contact information into the Smart Start Life online form and you will hear from our life insurance expert that will act on your behalf. Wait for commissions to arrive.
- Offer a Policy Review. “When is the last time you reviewed your life insurance progam?” is another great question to ask. They either say “Recently” in which case you can ask if you can review to see that they got the best price available – or they say, “It’s been a while” to which you can respond with an offer to do it right away – or they say, “I don’t have life insurance” which is your queue to help that family.
- Ask all Business Owners about Life Insurance. What can be an emotional, slow decision for families becomes a simple economic decision for most business owners. Buy Sell agreements and Key Person policies are some of the easiest life insurance sales you will ever make.
- Use a Quick Entry Process. Make your life easier with a new breed of processes that take the processing burden off your task list. Smart Choice Quick Life and Smart Start Life are two of the best available.
Pat Wedeking is the Founding President of the Life Insurance Direct Marketing Association (LIDMA.org) and the Chair of the Life Happens. He is the founder of two life insurance distribution companies and now operates Crump’s InsureNOW platform. Pat lives in