There is not a single “right way” to apply for health or life insurance. Although their are some general guidelines followed by most carriers, each carrier has it’s own set of unique underwriting guidelines. This is why it is very important to apply for coverage with the assistance of a knowledgeable agent. People who apply directly with a carrier or through an inexperienced agent are much more likely to get declined or receive an unfavorable underwriting decision.
As an example, I received an email from Blue Cross Blue Shield of Georgia yesterday stating the following change:
New Underwriting Process for Individual Business
BCBS is making a change to their process that could adversely affect the healthiest applicants. If someone applies without receiving some guidance, they could run into delays and problems with the approval of their application. The largest online insurance sites have attrocious approval percentages. The reason is that they fail to take the time necessary to educate people about the increasingly strict underwriting process followed by insurance carriers. Since they are dealing with people in almost every state, it is nearly impossible for them to stay current on all the changes in underwriting guidelines — many of which are made on a state-by-state basis. Whether it is a life or health insurance application, I stay on top of all these changes and make sure my clients complete their applications the correct way.