Life insurance companies are so burdened with their responsibility to clients to underwrite them fairly and offer the best price possible, and their responsibility to share holders to maximize profits by bringing in new business (competition) and cutting expenses (adverse selection). Now if that doesn’t just make you break down and cry for life insurance companies and the constant stress and anxiety of their plight, well, you just have no compassion for big filthy rich companies.
I’d like to share a little of my compassion with them today in an area they both feel and rail against, mood disorder life insurance. The search engines probably get that I’ve shared this story several times over the years, a story that seems to get resolved with a fresh look by underwriters at the true life insurance mortality risk, and then slammed back into a rate class that in no way represents mortality reality. A physician life insurance client of mine applied for life insurance through someone else and was approved at a standard rate even though he was clearly a preferred plus candidate in every reasonable way. The company justified whacking this doctor like a golf ball by leaning on the fact that during a short period during his high stress residency days he took Zoloft to take the anxiety edge off the experience.
Now, in my little mind, I think anyone with any responsibility in this world today should be forgiven for their stress and anxiety and yes, forgiven for medically taking the edge of the situation so we don’t all eat each others faces off, or in the case of a doctor, accidentally kill someone. We shopped his situation to several other companies and were able to get him a preferred plus rate. The fact that it saved him $1000 a year for 30 years didn’t seem to stress him out so I figured it was a good thing. Not too long after that life insurance underwriters seemed to take a good hard look at very well controlled mood disorders, or past mood disorders, or mild by their very nature mood disorders and decided to underwrite based on reality. Prior they did what the reinsurance underwriting guide suggested, treating even the silliest situations equally with fairly serious mood disorders and giving them all standard, or worse. The future finally looked bright for this niche.
Seven years ago I got a CEO client an approval for life insurance at preferred plus rates even though he had been diagnosed with bipolar disorder a year before. The only manifestation of his Bipolar II was some problems sleeping and, if you want to call it a problem, the tendency for his manic side to drive him to work hard. He was and is one of those people who, unless you knew it, you would swear that he was just a driven entrepreneur and had it way more together than the average businessman. He called the other day and asked if I would get him some prices to increase his business life insurance. I shopped it and the same company that had approved him at preferred plus 7 years ago now gave him a quick quote of standard table 2. After reviewing it with the underwriter he did allow that, if he was still as spotless as he was 7 years ago that preferred plus was still possible, but back to the future, their quick quote came from the reinsurance guidelines.
Bottom line. If ever there was a time when clients really need to use an agent who is experienced in impaired risk life insurance underwriting, it is always, including right now. The underwriting roller coaster isn’t going away and knowledgeable, experienced impaired risk life insurance agents continue to save clients significant money. If you have questions or have been beat up for a mood disorder that impacts your life less than the common cold, call or email me directly. My name is Ed Hinerman. Let’s talk.