An Expert Panel Discussion: Where we stand today and what the future holds for underwriting

An Expert Panel Discussion:  Where we stand today and what the future holds for underwriting
Much change has occurred in underwriting and the underwriting process during the past couple of years.  A great deal of this has centered on how to make life insurance more accessible for prospects who are demanding a faster, better and less invasive application process.  While at the same time, carriers attempt to balance these changes with predictable mortality results. To understand what's happening in the underwriting industry and what the future may hold, we engaged three high profile underwriting industry experts and thought leaders to answer a few questions about their views o...
Continue reading

The 2022 AHOU—Important Underwriting Insight & Potential Case Impact

The 2022 AHOU—Important Underwriting Insight & Potential Case Impact
After a two-year hiatus, the Association of Home Office Underwriters (AHOU) was held recently in person with over 900 attendees present.  Meeting participants included underwriting leadership from all major life carriers, reinsurance companies, exam/lab vendors, industry data/information providers and several technology companies among others.  It was terrific to be back in person at this meeting, networking with industry pros and peers, and gaining important insight and perspective on the current state of life underwriting. Over the past few years and accelerated by the pandemic, th...
Continue reading

The Real Costs of Waiting - Part One

The Real Costs of Waiting - Part One
You've met with your clients and their financial advisors on a few occasions and discussed the clients' financial planning and insurance objectives. Things are going well.  The insurance plan and product you are proposing meet the clients' needs exceptionally well, and provide the financial stability they are seeking.  But then you hear it.  The clients want to think about it some more.  When queried, your clients indicate that maybe they will look at this again, but are not sure when that will be. We have all heard it many times before, and know that procrastination and th...
Continue reading

Underwriting: The Year in Review & Where We’re Headed Next

Underwriting: The Year in Review & Where We’re Headed Next
What an extraordinary year it has been for life underwriting.  We've experienced rapid and remarkable changes on a number of fronts — some positive and helpful, others more challenging — and all either accelerated by, or initiated because of, the COVID-19 pandemic. We've seen the expansion of technological enhancements and automation of the underwriting process, helping get cases approved more quickly and with less hassle for our applicants.  Conversely, we continue to see COVID-related underwriting restrictions that sometimes affect our ability to get coverage issued, especially wit...
Continue reading

Streamlining Large Case Underwriting—A Game Changer from John Hancock

Streamlining Large Case Underwriting—A Game Changer from John Hancock
With only a few carrier exceptions, enhancement and streamlining of the underwriting process over the past few years has primarily focused on cases in the $1 to $3 million range, with a maximum age 60 limit and qualifying rate classes of standard or better.  While these applications cover a wide swath of carrier submissions, they typically fall short both for large case applicants who desire an expedited, less invasive underwriting process, and for opportunities that truly move the premium dial for producers. John Hancock stepped up big time recently and developed a solution to this large...
Continue reading

COVID-19 Vaccines Are Here! Isn't It Time to Open Up Underwriting?!?

COVID-19 Vaccines Are Here!    Isn't It Time to Open Up Underwriting?!?
This is a question a number of carriers are being asked today.  Roughly a year ago with the onset of the pandemic a majority of carriers introduced underwriting restrictions to deal with COVID's potential impact on various age groups, and especially those age 65 and older with comorbid health conditions (see COVID-19! What Have You Done to Underwriting?). Since then carriers have learned a lot about COVID and its effect on mortality.  Discussions with several carriers indicate that their mortality impact is mostly in the 75 and up age groups and with insureds whose policies have been...
Continue reading

New and Enhanced Underwriting Tools Impacting Your Cases Today

New and Enhanced Underwriting Tools Impacting Your Cases Today
Several underwriting tools have been adopted by carriers to issue coverage faster, in many cases without the need for insurance exams or requirements such as a traditional APS.  Some of these tools are new, while others have been in use previously, but have recently been enhanced to streamline the underwriting process. These tools often impact cases that run through an accelerated or streamlined underwriting process (for purposes of this blog, we will refer to such processes as "expedited underwriting"), and may also impact cases that follow a more traditional underwriting path. Informati...
Continue reading

Underwriting - Adapting to a pandemic world and insights for the road ahead.

Underwriting - Adapting to a pandemic world and insights for the road ahead.
- A Virtual Panel Discussion Featuring Experts in the Field of Life Reinsurance - DuWayne Kilbo, Moderator I'm extremely delighted to have available three distinguished speakers from the life reinsurance side of our business for Windsor's first Virtual Panel Discussion! With so much going on today as it pertains to COVID-19 and the evolution of the life insurance industry, this is an opportunity to hear from well-known and highly regarded reinsurance industry executives for their input and thoughts on various topics where they provide support and guidance to the industry.  Also, we will h...
Continue reading

Clients, Prospects and Centers of Influence Conversation Ideas

Clients, Prospects and Centers of Influence Conversation Ideas
​As advisors to your clients, you can start a conversation with 60-page product illustrations, or you can change the conversation to something simpler and closer to home:  Historically low interest rates.  Guaranteed life insurance benefits.  Cash on hand for unexpected circumstances.  Protection for valuable assets.  And easier ways for clients to get the insurance they want and need.  Even in these difficult times, we can do our best to stay calm and communicate clearly.  Here are some ideas from Windsor on how we can begin a conversation about what's impor...
Continue reading

COVID-19! What Have You Done to Underwriting!?!?

COVID-19!  What Have You Done to Underwriting!?!?
COVID-19, in addition to being a terrible pandemic, has brought a halt to business as usual for most every industry imaginable.  And life underwriting has not been granted an exception.  Among other things, we have seen additional scrutiny placed on certain medical impairments, maximum age and rating limitations imposed, and a reduction in internal retention at some carriers. However, we are also seeing changes—positive changes—occur in underwriting.  Underwriting progress has been made using data sources to forgo exams and to get coverage approved quickly and non-invasively—whi...
Continue reading

Underwriting Enhancements & Case Design Tips to Help You Sell in the Foreign National Market

Underwriting Enhancements & Case Design Tips to Help You Sell in the Foreign National Market
"I haven't been everywhere, but it's on my list" - Susan Sontag High net worth individuals and families exist all over the world.  In today's global economy, you probably have clients with friends or relatives living abroad who are looking to buy life insurance from U.S. based companies. Whether for business planning, wealth transfer, legacy planning, wealth accumulation or family protection, many foreign nationals are motivated by having monies outside their country of residence.  They desire the stability of US dollar denominated coverage, asset diversification and protection again...
Continue reading

A Harbinger of Things to Come in Other States?

A Harbinger of Things to Come in Other States?
  Algorithmic and Predictive (aka Accelerated) Underwriting Hits a Speed Bump in New York In January of this year, the New York Department of Financial Services (DFS) issued an Insurance Circular Letter on the Use of External Consumer Data and Information Sources in Underwriting for Life Insurance.  According to the DFS, the purpose of the Letter was "to advise insurers authorized to write life insurance in New York of their statutory obligations regarding the use of external data and information sources in underwriting for life insurance." While on the surface this seems like a rath...
Continue reading

Fast and Furious - Year-End Sales Ideas in 60 Seconds or Less

Fast and Furious - Year-End Sales Ideas in 60 Seconds or Less
Ready for some quick sales ideas that you can take from start to finish before December 31?  Here are some of the best from Windsor and our carriers!   Year-End Tax Deductions!  American National ​As we enter the last two months of the year we are at the very peak of the pension season. Now is the time to contact prospects who couldn't pull the trigger on planning earlier in the year. There is much greater urgency to establish a plan now than back in March when no deadlines were looming. Contact accountants and let them know that you can help them and their client...
Continue reading

What Are Underwriting Pros Talking About Today?

What Are Underwriting Pros Talking About Today?
Throughout my career I've had the good fortune to be associated with a number of individuals and organizations that move and shake the life insurance underwriting profession. They include many industry thought-leaders – among them are chief underwriters, actuaries, medical directors, reinsurance leaders, insurance lab and exam leaders, data providers and others. They represent a wealth of knowledge and insight about the state of the underwriting profession, always looking towards what's impacting the industry today and what they expect to impact the industry tomorrow.  So what's at the to...
Continue reading

Hepatitis C - An Underwriting Niche with Tremendous Sales Possibilities!

Hepatitis C - An  Underwriting Niche with Tremendous Sales Possibilities!
Historically, there have been very few underwriting niches that truly provided expansive new sales opportunities. Life insurance companies have sometimes, often accidentally, discovered market segments that were being assessed based on outdated actuarial data or medical information, and tried to target those segments with more aggressive underwriting offers. But mostly, when I have come across various intriguing niches over the years, many are too narrow in scope and not all that significant in terms of the potential market size.   But recently, I discovered what I think is an exception. ...
Continue reading

A Great Idea That's Only Getting Better. Stronger. Easier. Life Insurance Retirement Plan.

A Great Idea That's Only Getting Better. Stronger. Easier.  Life Insurance Retirement Plan.
For life insurance industry veterans, using cash value life insurance to supplement retirement savings is as old as the rate book. Overfunding premiums and enjoying the advantages of both insurance protection and tax-free accumulation (without the burden of qualified plan rules) is what makes our product so unique. And with the potential for tax-free income down the road, we really have an unmatched solution for clients wanting to enhance their retirement in a very tax-efficient way. If life insurance is new to you, or if you just need a refresher on the Life Insurance Retirement Plan (LIRP) c...
Continue reading

A No-Hassle Unique Benefit Your Client Has Never Seen - Until Now

A No-Hassle Unique Benefit Your Client Has Never Seen - Until Now
Interested in offering clients additional products and services while enjoying the compensation that comes with it? How would you like to strengthen and secure your client relationship by helping the business retain and reward key people? Could your practice benefit from another source of current and future revenue by providing innovative life insurance solutions without the "noise" associated with this line of business (underwriting and ongoing administration)? What if the only invasive question was "are you actively at work?" And finally, any "white collar" client with existing group term in...
Continue reading

New Opportunities in Marijuana Underwriting – Don’t Let Them Go Up in Smoke!

New Opportunities in Marijuana Underwriting – Don’t Let Them Go Up in Smoke!
Known scientifically as cannabis and commonly referred to as weed, pot, and many other slang terms, marijuana is one of the most widely used recreational drugs in the US today, and is also used in the treatment of various medical disorders. According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (United States, 2002-2014), the 18-34 age group has the greatest incidence of marijuana use. What is important to note, however, is the 55 plus age group is showing the greatest increase in use. Males outnumber females in use by 2 to 1. At present, marijuana is legal for recreational use in nine states...
Continue reading

Underwriting – Where are we today? Where are we headed?

Underwriting – Where are we today? Where are we headed?
Being fed by our aging producer population, the under-insured and under-served markets, the $15 trillion plus insurance gap, and the search for new and easier ways to access markets—especially the technologically inclined millennials— life insurance companies are beginning to turn the traditional underwriting process on its head. And early results indicate that they are finding some success. Much of what we have seen so far has been positive and a welcome transformation of an otherwise archaic, invasive and time-consuming insurance acquisition process. However, these changes have implications ...
Continue reading

The no good, ugly, scary future of life underwriting

The no good, ugly, scary future of life underwriting
The tension is palpable. Underwriting is being turned on its head, driven by big data, automation, alternative risk assessment tools, and more predictive underwriting models and processes augmented by analytics. Go to any underwriting industry meeting and there will be considerable time and energy devoted to one or more of these topics, along with a fair amount of angst among the underwriting folks present. Traditional and new industry players speak about the latest risk assessment models and tools, back-tested through hundreds of thousands of client records and data points, producing mortalit...
Continue reading