Working of Life Insurance Underwriting

Dec 18, 2023 By Susan Kelly

After submitting your life insurance application, you will go through underwriting with the insurance company. Your insurance premium is based on your risk categorization, determined by an underwriter who works for the life insurance company and evaluates your application, medical history, and lifestyle choices.

Life insurance underwriting typically takes five to six weeks, while expedited underwriting options can reduce this time to as short as a few days. If you have any queries or concerns, a Policygenius representative is there to help.

Methods used in underwriting

To determine your ultimate premiums, each life insurance provider uses its own underwriting rules. Although the processes taken by underwriters are not standardized, they often consist of the ones listed below.

Perform a MIB scan

This takes place before the underwriter examines your application in depth. The MIB is an industry organization that facilitates the exchange of medical records and the detection of fraud by insurance companies. Underwriters can access your medical history from past life insurance applications (dating back three to five years.

There will be no negative effects on your classification based on your prior life insurance application. In case primary underwriters overlooked anything, the MIB lists the dates of any medical impairments, treatments, and diagnoses.

Evaluating the Quality of Applications

To ensure accuracy, the insurer reviews your life insurance application, which may involve a phone interview. If your application needs to include something other than your medical history, it shouldn't cause delays in underwriting. During the 15-30 minute phone session, you can expect to discuss your health, interests, and finances.

You will then enter the formal underwriting phase of purchasing life insurance. While each of these processes can increase the total time it takes to apply, they are all essential to determine the premiums you will pay throughout your policy.

Three, get a physical exam.

A health checkup is the first formal stage in the underwriting process. This checkup is comparable to what you'd get at the doctor, except that it won't cost you a dime. A medical technician can examine at a clinic, your house or business. It will determine the following: Normal physical examination procedures include taking a patient's height, weight, and blood pressure. Considerable weight and height considerations determine your life insurance classification and premium. Insuring someone with high blood pressure is more expensive as they age.

Analysis of blood samples can reveal serious health problems with surprisingly little effort. A small blood sample can reveal much about a person's risk for cardiovascular disease, stroke, diabetes, and other infectious diseases.

A full drug panel urine test can detect amphetamines, cocaine, and barbiturates, letting the insurer know if the applicant is using these substances.

Medical exam results

The underwriter will be informed of your exam results. Medical exam results are transferable to other insurance applications, including life and disability policies. Even if a life insurance provider covers the cost of your medical exam, you are under no compulsion to sign up with them.

No-medical-exam life insurance refers to policies that do not require policyholders to undergo a medical examination. Some no-med policies may be available to persons with preexisting conditions, but they often have lesser benefit levels and higher premiums. People who are generally healthy should look at no-exam choices that offer the same premiums and coverage amounts as a traditional term life policy.

Documentation from the treating physician is the fourth step. The underwriter will request a statement from your doctor if your physical examination results raise any red flags (APS). An APS is a synopsis of your medical history written from your doctor's perspective. An APS will explain the underlying cause to the underwriter if you have elevated blood pressure during your exam.

Depending on how long a doctor's office takes to comply with the request, this can add several days to several months to the underwriting process.

Verifying the Prescription

The necessity of this procedure rests on the other medical records submitted to your insurer. Some higher face-value life insurance policies also need a prescription check.

Filling Out a Vehicle Report Your driving record for the past seven years can be seen in your MVR. It keeps track of traffic tickets (such as speeding or reckless driving), vehicular crimes, accident reports, driving record points, and DWI convictions. If your MVR shows anything unfavourable, your rates will be greater than someone with a spotless record. Insurance may be declined if you have a recent DUI on your record.

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