Become a Star Field Underwriter

Become a Star Field Underwriter

Recently we held a webinar titled “How to get paid faster.” The focus was on the application process with ideas and solutions on how to create a more efficient and improved buying experience for your clients.  We had a great turnout, but understand many had conflicts that prevented them from attending.

Below I will summarize some of the key points and highlights. Should you want to discuss any of this in more detail, please give our offices a call.

Field Underwriting

Most insurance is still purchased on a face to face basis and those transactions will require medical/financial underwriting.  That is when the agent needs to become a field underwriter and properly interview the client on their medical and related lifestyle risk factors. 

Things to be on the lookout for are:

  • What is their current health?  Are they under treatment or taking any medications?
  •  What is their medical history?   Has their physician recommended any surgeries or procedures that have not been completed yet?
  •  What is their family history as it relates to coronary disease and cancer?
  •  Do they currently use or have a history of using any tobacco products, alcohol, or drugs?
  •  Do they participate in any hazardous avocations such as scuba, car racing or other extreme sports?
  • Is there any history of moving violations, license suspension/revocation or DWI?
  • Have they traveled to or have any future travel plans to places of war or political instability?
  • Have they ever filed for bankruptcy?  Is there financial justification for the face amount requested?

These questions are all asked on a full paper application.  Providing detailed answers where applicable can shave days off of underwriting cycle times.   Be sure to include accurate contact information for each medical professional your client has seen in the past 5 years.  Providing the correct physician’s name, facility name, address, phone #, and fax # will ensure that medical records are ordered from the correct facility in a timely manner.

Using a Drop Ticket (or call center assisted application) in lieu of a paper application will alleviate you as the agent having to ask the client any medical questions. These questions will be asked of the client during the phone interview as part of the Drop Ticket process.  The abbreviated paperwork required for a Drop Ticket saves time thus freeing you up to do other things.  Also, Drop Tickets often result in shorter underwriting times because the processor can ask follow-up questions to obtain the detailed information required for the medical questions.  Additionally, the processor can order medical records for certain conditions before the underwriter’s initial review of the file.

Lastly, tempering your clients with accurate quotes based on their health as communicated to you is of vital importance in achieving a high placement ratio.  52% of applications approved are standard while only 30% are approved at preferred or better.  10% are declined and 10% are table rated.  Quoting Standard rather than best class will go a long way in ensuring your quotes meet your clients’ expectations.  If you get a better offer, you will really look like a hero to your client!

Lastly, the quote engine on our website has the X-Rae feature.  X-Rae will walk you through the risk factors and when done, provide a more accurate underwriting class for each carrier quoted based on your client’s health.  This tool will help you identify the best class available for each carrier based on things such as build charts, cholesterol ratios, and blood pressure guidelines.

X-Rae may also help you identify underwriting niches that can greatly benefit your client such as Prudential’s willingness to offer a person that regularly uses cigars, pipe, chew and e-cigarettes a non-tobacco rate, even when testing positive for nicotine.  Or the fact that Banner, Lincoln and Voya only consider a familial history of cardiovascular disease and not cancer when determining your client’s risk class.  X-Rae can be a powerful tool and a great solution finder which leads to more accurate and competitive quoting and ultimately a higher placement ratio!