The single greatest hurdle for life insurance companies in the process of turning a prospective client into an actual client is to get him or her to take a medical exam. As a result, many companies are innovating using technology and moving towards accelerated underwriting as a way to streamline the process of applying for a life insurance policy now and into the future.
The following article discusses the current companies at the top of the class when it comes to innovative online life insurance solutions for 2016 and beyond, as well as point out some of the key trends that are changing the life insurance landscape heading into the future.
The Future of Life Insurance – Innovative Accelerated Life Insurance Underwriting
The following section highlights the current trendsetters in the life insurance marketplace.
Principal Financial Group’s Accelerated Underwriting Program
Principal Financial Group set the stage over the last few years with the company’s accelerated underwriting program. Accelerated underwriting is available on all of the company’s products including term life, universal life, indexed universal life, variable universal life, and survivorship universal life.
The accelerated underwriting program consists of the initial agent screening, followed by an application, and wrapping up with a TeleApp interview. According to Principal, 50-60% of preferred and super preferred applicants typically qualify without having to take an exam.
- Available for face amounts: $50,000 up to $1,000,000
- Simple application and phone call interview
- Available for preferred and super preferred rate classes
- Ages 18-60
Known by many in the no medical exam life insurance world, Sagicor is another company that has helped set the pace. The company refers to its underwriting with no medical exam as “Accelewriting” and is available for term life, universal life and whole life.
Accelewriting allows a client to apply for life insurance with no medical exam or telephone interview. The client simply provides an e-signature on the application, which is then submitted to Sagicor. Sagicor will then provide an underwriting decision in as little as 1-2 minutes.
- Rate classes: Preferred, Standard, Rated, Preferred Tobacco and Standard Tobacco
- Ages 18-65
- Face amounts: Term $50,000-$500,000; UL $25,000-$400,000; WL $25,000-$250,000
North American Company for Life and Health
North American Company entered the accelerated underwriting market in a big way with its LifeVue simplified issue life insurance policy. For ages between 18 to 50 and with face amounts starting at $50,000 and going up to $500,000 available for accelerated underwriting without having to undergo a paramed exam, North American is a great option for those looking for the fastest life insurance approvals.
Banner Life Insurance’s APPcelerate
Legal and General through Banner Life and William Penn offers the company’s version of accelerated underwriting called “APPcelerate”.
How the process works: The client speaks with the agent. The client then speaks with the company’s call center staff for the application interview. Based on the interview, the client may qualify for lab free underwriting free from a paramed exam. Alternatively, if the client does not qualify for APPcelerate, a paramed exam will be required.
- Face amounts from $100,000-$500,000
- Available for ages 20-50
- Rate classes available: Preferred Plus, Preferred and Standard Plus
SBLI’s Accelerated Underwriting
A new arrival on the scene, SBLI’s Guaranteed Level Premium Term offers clients the opportunity to avoid the paramed exam. Instead, the company uses available data from resources, such as the medical information bureau and motor vehicle records.
- Face amounts $100,000-$500,000
- Available for ages 18-60
- Available for all underwriting health classes
Petersen International Underwriters
PIU offers insurance products that most insurers either cannot offer or won’t offer. From high amount accidental death insurance including dismemberment, to disability insurance for individuals, groups and businesses, to medical plans, international term life insurance, all the way to kidnap and ransom insurance, Petersen fills a much needed void in a continually shrinking international business landscape.
- Personal High Limit Disability Insurance
- Business Contingent Plans
- International Major Medical Plans
- High Limit Accident Insurance
- International Term Life Insurance
Are there advantages to taking an exam?
There are distinct advantages to taking an exam versus not taking an exam. One of the most notable exceptions to foregoing a paramed exam would be due to a pre-existing condition. For clients that are considered high risk, taking an exam will provide a carrier with more information to work with, which in turn may increase your likelihood of getting covered and at a competitive rate.
Where do we go from here?
Currently, there is a limited amount of no paramed exam policies available in the marketplace. However, the trend appears to show that more and more carriers are exploring the accelerated underwriting life insurance policy marketplace. What we can expect in the future is more innovation and more product offerings that do not require a paramed exam.
As computer AI increases along with availability of “Big Data“, insurance companies are positioned to make risk predictions about a client without performing a medical exam, which is why we are seeing these companies now, not only compete price wise, but in some cases offer more competitive rates than fully underwritten carriers.
The marketplace is changing not only with life insurance but in other industries as well. Consider two examples from the mortgage industry and Financial Services industry.
Quicken Loans recently introduced an innovative, online system for mortgage loans. Rocket Mortgage does all the underwriting through the use of public and private databases.
And if you are in the market for artificial intelligence financial advice, look no further than Pefin. Here is an excerpt from the company’s website:
Pefin uses AI to make decisions with your money, just like a human advisor would. The AI Brain is a neural network that understands hundreds of financial relationships. For a single financial projection that spans 80 years, the network evaluates and monitors 2M-5M data points for you.
In much the same way that mortgages and financial advice are relying on gobs of available data to make decisions, so too will life insurance companies.
Will life insurance agents become obsolete?
As with any industry, the need to evolve and change with current technology will create both opportunities for early adapters, as well as roadblocks for those who fall behind. Adaptable agents will flourish, as the need to place each client with the appropriate product will continue. However, captive agents with limited options may find that the marketplace no longer has room for the “one size fits all approach.”
A 21st Century Life Insurance Agent will need to evolve to become more of a facilitator and knowledge resource for clients. Having a thorough understanding of the different companies and product offerings available is a must. Agents will need to stay abreast of the latest product offerings and be able to align each client with the specific policy tailored to each client’s unique need, health and lifestyle.
No More Need for Face-To-Face Meetings
The future of life insurance has brought about many technological changes that remove the need for face-to-face meetings. Although some companies still require agent and client meetings, most do not. Instead, many companies have opted for e-signatures or docusign via the internet, as well as voice signatures over the phone.
Seek out an Agency rather than a Captive Agent
The key to finding the best life insurance quotes is to use an agency that represents multiple carriers. TermLife2Go works with the top fully underwritten carriers, top no medical exam companies and the top final expense and burial insurance companies.
We work with each client with the specific goal of finding the best company and policy—for you—based on your unique need, health and lifestyle. We do this by listening to our clients, asking the right questions and then directing our clients to the most appropriate companies.
So what are you waiting for? Give us a call today for a free life insurance consultation and see what we can do for you!
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