di-field-underwritingThroughout the course of each year, we see our fair share of “perfect” clients. In fact, I’ve always found it interesting how many marathon runners are interested in Disability Insurance. Maybe they’ve seen a few injuries that sparked their interest or maybe the agent is making grand assumptions about their health that may not be true.

Whatever the case may be, we all owe it to the client to do all that we can to get them the coverage they need to protect their livelihood. To make that happen, field underwriting is pivotal. Some of those more sensitive topics can be tough to discuss but they are essential to streamlining the underwriting process.

A client’s health can make or break a case and can lead to exclusions, ratings, or even a modified offer for coverage. While these modifications can be a tough pill to swallow, it’s important to be as transparent as possible when requesting a quote. Once we have the medical information, we’ll work directly with the carriers’ underwriters so that we can put together the most accurate illustrations possible. Even something as simple as a few Chiropractor visits can raise red flags with the carriers and alter what they’re willing to offer. This will help us avoid any surprises that may pop up in underwriting.

The second item up for discussion should be related to the client’s occupation, along with any corresponding duties. Your client’s underwriting class is directly tied the occupation, so the more detail you provide, the better. If your client is self-employed, you’ll also want to find out the percentage of ownership, number of employees they have, and the number of years they’ve been in business. This information may help the client obtain “Business Owner Rewards” with certain carriers. Remember, classes are not just tied to risky duties that are connected to the occupation. They also take income fluctuation and claims history within the occupation into account. For example, while Podiatrists do not necessarily have a risky job, their claims history has many carriers either offering a low occupation class or declining to offer coverage all together.

Finally, you’ll always want to find out why they’re interested in disability insurance coverage. It may seem trivial but this will help you understand their specific needs. If I had a dollar for every time a pregnant couple approached an agent with an interest in short term coverage, I’d have enough money to self-insure. Unfortunately, traditional carriers will exclude the current pregnancy altogether and will not cover maternity leave either way.

There’s nothing people like to do more than talk about themselves. Keep this in mind and ask questions. Plan to do more listening than talking. Use this strategy to your advantage during your initial meeting to really understand what your clients’ goals are.

As always, we at DIS are here to help. Contact us anytime with questions. Want to know more about the underwriting process? Download our report, “Steal Underwriting Approvals with Three Stealthy Moves.”

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