Life Insurance Application Process
What do you need to know about the Application Process?
Going through any process for the first time can be intimidating. What can be worse is having a bad experience that makes you apprehensive about doing it again in the future. Applying for life insurance can be one of these anxiety inducing events.
If you’ve never applied for life insurance before, or you have in the past and it was a real bother, my hope is reading this will help you overcome your u easiness and allow you to secure a policy to protect your loved ones.
Once you’ve decided which policy is best for you and you’re ready to apply for coverage the first thing you’ll need to do is complete an application with an agent. Every company is different with some companies still requiring a paper application, while most have an online version that can even be signed remotely if the agent and the applicant aren’t face to face. Questions on the application will include things like your date of birth, Social Security number, and tobacco status. The agent may also ask you personal detail and medical history questions, or you may receive a phone call to answer those questions instead.
In some cases, this might be all that is required to issue your policy, especially if you’re young and in good health and the amount of insurance you’re applying for is less than $250,000. In most cases though you’ll need an examiner to come out to your home or business to complete a mini-exam; where the examiner will take your blood pressure, measure your height and weight, as well as collect a blood and urine sample. The samples will go to the lab for basic testing before being forwarded to the insurance company along with a report detailing the additional information.
Once the exam is complete, an attending physician’s statement might also be requested by the insurance company’s underwriter. These records could be from your primary care doctor as well as any other specialist you may have seen or received treatment from. Since the doctor’s offices don’t make these copies themselves, and instead hire third-party companies to do so on their behalf, these requests can take several weeks or in some circumstances several months. Patients can sometimes speed up the process by contacting the provider and asking for an expediting of the records.
Once all of the information necessary makes it to the underwriter’s desk, they’ll evaluate the potential customer’s application, exam, and doctor’s records in order to determine whether or not to offer coverage. If an offer is extended it may not be the same as it was applied for because there are many different rate classes available dependent upon one’s health and lifestyle. A rating better or worse than what was applied for can be offered, and in the worst case scenario the company might decline the applicant altogether. To avoid surprises at this stage make sure you work with an experienced agent who knows the market and can determine the best company and product for your situation.
If you’ve made it this far and you’ve received an offer that you meets your needs and budget, all you have to do is accept the offer and begin making premium payments. Don’t forget to review your coverage on a regular basis to make sure it’s still keeping up with your needs and is the best solution for your current situation.
If you’ve been nervous about applying for insurance coverage because it would be your first time going through the process or you’ve had a bad experience in the past, contact Stolly Insurance and we will make the process as painless, simple, and free of surprises as possible.