Applying for Life Insurance
There are a few steps in applying for life insurance coverage: Understanding how the rates and premiums are derived, obtaining a quote, submitting an application, and life company underwriting.
Life insurance premiums are based on several factors.
You have taken the first step in recognizing your need for life insurance. Now what? The first step is to talk to a licensed insurance representative to get a quote. The representative should be able to go through a needs analysis with you to determine the amount of life insurance you need and the type of policy that will satisfy that need.
In order to provide an accurate quote, the representative will ask you a series of questions about your lifestyle and health history. This can be plugged into quoting software to allow accurate real-time quotes of life insurance rates with different companies. It is important to note that all quotes are subject to company underwriting and the rates can end up being better or worse than initially quoted.
Applying for life insurance requires the completion of a formal application. Depending on the product and the company, this can be done by completing a paper form or completing electronically. Some companies do allow for electronic or voice signature as well. In addition to the application there are a few authorizations that are necessary as well, including a HIPPA authorization. Some states also have state specific form requirements.
It is important to note that some insurance products require you to take an exam during the application process and some do not. The ones that do not are usually more expensive as the insurance companies are not able to evaluate general health in determining the rates. When an exam is required, that exam is paid for by the insurance company. The entire application process is done at no cost to you.
The exam itself is conducted by a certified paramedical technician and can be done in the privacy of your own home. Typically, this consists of taking your height, weight, blood pressure, pulse and the collecting of a blood and urine sample. They also ask some medical questions and obtain the name, address and phone number of any doctor/hospital/clinic you have been to in the last 10 years along with the date and reason for the visits coupled with any treatment you received. In addition, they ask the name and dosage of any medication you are taking. It is important to have all of this information at the ready for your examination appointment. This will help it go much faster. Usually the whole process takes 20-30 minutes.
Underwriting is the process in which the insurance company looks at all of the material you submitted and determines your eligibility for coverage. This is also where your rate-class is ascertained.
The Underwriter reviews your application, exam and labs to make his/her decision. On some occasions, they require more information to make their determination. They may ask for more details or they may order your medical records from your doctor/hospital.
It is important to note that in traditionally underwritten products, not everyone is eligible for life insurance coverage. The two main reasons someone can be declined for coverage is significant health history or material misrepresentation on the application or exam. This means knowingly putting false information on the application or exam or omitting material information. It is important to be thorough and honest in all answers.
If you are eligible for approval of your application for coverage, the life insurance underwriters will approve you at the best available rates for your specific situation.
Once your policy is approved, the insurance company will generate the physical policy and mail it to you. (*some companies offer an electronic version of the policy if you prefer) You will have a chance to review the policy before accepting it during the free-look period (generally 30 days but this varies by state). Once you have accepted the policy your premiums will be due. You can set premium payments to be monthly, quarterly, semi-annual or annually. You will have the option to have these premiums automatically withdrawn from your account at your selected mode.
Why Standard Marketing?
We are an independent marketing company, meaning we are licensed with dozens of the top rated companies. This allows us to compare products and rates from several companies to determine the best value for you and your family. It allows us to shop for you. We take the time to obtain all of the health and lifestyle history in order to provide you with an accurate quote up front. We have two in-house underwriters who can provide an accurate risk evaluation.
Our agents are here for you all through the process to provide you status and answer any questions you may have. Our agents also want to be your agent for life. As you get older, your life insurance needs change. If you buy a home, get married or have children, you may want to revise or increase your coverage. It is important to regularly review your policy and coverage needs with your agent.
Ultimately the purchasing of life insurance can be one of the most important purchases you ever make and it helps to have an experienced professional to help shepherd you through the process.