When my clients save a lot of money, I am happy!
Recently, a client, who is in excellent health, applied for a 15-year term life insurance policy. He had some past medical issues that were a potential obstacle, so I checked with several carriers to find out which ones would offer him the best underwriting classification. We decided on a very strong A+ rated carrier that offered him their best rate contingent upon a review of his medical records, lab results and paramedical exam.
Well, to make a long story short, the underwriter gave him the “next-to-best” rate, which was substantially higher than the best rate classification. I appealed to the underwriter and offered plenty of evidence as to why my client should get the best offer. At my request, the underwriter brought this appeal before his supervisor, but was told that the offer wouldn’t change. So, lots of effort was made, but to no avail. That happens sometimes.
Now, if my client had applied through an online term life agency, they would have been told to settle for the offer of coverage. So, this leads me to another reason why I think Clark Howard gets it wrong. In case you think I’m bashing Clark, I’m not; I am actually a big fan. As I wrote in two prior articles here and here, I think Clark sometimes misses the mark when offering advice on life insurance.
Getting back to my story: I advised my client to accept the offer and told him I would shop for the best rate with other carriers. Hopefully, he would only keep the policy for one month before replacing it. (Sorry, I’m having a hard time making this long story short!).
I cringe when I hear Clark steer people towards one of the mega sites to get term life insurance quotes and apply online. I can assure you, the representative at one of the mega sites would not have persisted in finding my client a better offer. In fact, I have had several clients over the years who came to me after receiving an unexpected, adverse underwriting decision. In most cases (not all), I was able to find them a better rate. I’ve had other clients call me in the midst of the application process because they felt their rep was incompetent or didn’t care that the process bogged down for some reason. Often times, an agent needs to intervene in order to prod along third party vendors requesting medical records or for another reason. I give more insight into online applications in a prior post.
When speaking with a representative at one of the large online term life insurance sites, it’s easy to get false expectations. Reps will usually show “best-case” rates because they don’t ask the right questions about health and family history. However, even if they get the underwriting classification correct, they usually don’t know which carriers are most competitive for applicants with certain health conditions.
Okay, to finish up my story ….I was able to get an offer of “preferred best non-smoker” with an excellent company. It took a lot of work and email correspondence to get the offer. I was happy to tell my client that his premium was much lower and that we would save $530 per year. Over the course of 15 years, he would save $7950 (not taking into account the time value of money.) So, my client was extremely pleased to hear this news. Keep in mind, this client is 52 years-old and applied for a $1.5 million dollar term policy.
As I often say, it’s great to shop for coverage at online life insurance quoting sites, but it really makes a lot of sense to work with a local, experienced agent!
Peachtree Insurance Advisors www.insuranceADV.com 678-236-1600