March 22, 2018
In a previous article, I covered the topic of life insurance quoting, rate classes, and approvals. The point was to make note of the fact that you, like most consumers looking for life insurance, may see quote info and take that as conclusive pricing – before underwriting has had a chance to assess your application based on factors like exam results, medications, or medical records. If you are looking at obtaining life insurance, and you want to know what your rate class might be with a number of carriers, here is one way to make that happen. Let’s call it a preliminary inquiry.
A preliminary inquiry amounts to “test driving” your case so that you can know more about the possible outcome, without the formal application and the time it takes to get formal approval. Why would you do this? First, consider that if you are taking no medications, have seen a doctor in the last two years and received a clean bill of health, you have a good driving record, no bankruptcies, etc., then you can be sure that the Preferred Best or Preferred rate classes are likely conclusions for you. The cost difference between those two classes is small. There’s not a lot of complexity involved in this application so far, so choose your best priced A-rated carrier and go for it. However, if you have two or more conditions and they are treated with medications, have recent diagnoses in the last two years, and you know that you are not healthy but need life insurance, then the rest of this article is for you.
Why would you opt for this preliminary inquiry? Such an inquiry allows us to put your detailed information in front of multiple carriers at the same time without the risk of your application being declined, even if your situation was such that you would have been declined when making a formal application. Truth be told, we email each carrier and they reply by email after reviewing the information. If you want the inquiry result to match the actual formal result that comes later, then tell as much of the truth as possible to get the process moving. For example, holding back on the medications or not talking about your DUI will cause your preliminary inquiry to look more favorable, but when the DUI is found, your formal application will be less favorable, resulting in time wasted. Also, since no formal application went to a carrier, when you do actually apply, you won’t have to deal with the question about what happened the last time you applied (as a previously declined application will influence any new application submission).
If you could go in the back door, get the info you need (such as a rate class approval with good assurance that it will stick), and then circle around and go in through the front door to present your case, that would give you an advantage. You would know, going in, what you can’t know if you go in any other way. Many applicants go straight in the front door, self-quoting a better rate class than they probably should, set their expectations a bit too high, or fail to disclose some critical piece of information. Then, when the approval was based on the omitted information or an unknown health issue is revealed, there is a surprise linked to a higher premium. Ouch!
The worst-kept secret is that everyone who applies for life insurance wants to know what the cost will be – up-front and to the penny, like when you buy a pair of sunglasses or a pair of shoes. If you want to know the cost for life insurance to the penny, this is how you can know that fairly easily and fairly quickly. So, if you have some ailments along with some apprehension, apply informally with a preliminary inquiry. Either way, you will get the numbers when the carrier(s) tell us what they would do if you came in the front door. Call or email us and we’ll start working on that for you today. Please be prepared to tell us honestly about your situation so that we can do our best work for you.
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