TOADS. Treatment, Onset, Age, Diagnosis, Severity

Greetings from the Admin Team at Lakeview Financial. To quote Benjamin Franklin, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” This same ideology applies to underwriting your client. Preparation is crucial to ensuring your client is presented in the best light from both a medical and financial perspective.

Collecting data about your client is an important step in the underwriting process. Known as field underwriting, this information allows your underwriter to better assess your client’s medical history and to help determine what underwriting classification your client may qualify for. Providing the most detailed information possible can help your underwriter furnish the most reliable quote.

An easy acronym to help you collect medical data from your client is TOADS. Treatment, Onset, Age, Diagnosis, Severity

 

Treatment:

Treatment often varies case by case, so it is important that the client offer detail on this topic. For example, some cancers may require simple excision while others may need additional treatment such as radiation and/or chemotherapy. And this difference may affect the rate class. Diabetes may be treated by diet and exercise, with oral medication, or by insulin, and rates may differ depending on this information. The dates of the start and end of treatment are important also as some rates start from the date when treatment ended, not when the disease was diagnosed

Onset:

Onset requires a date of diagnosis. Ask your client to advise when the diagnosis was made. This is often an important part of rate assessment on an underwriting manual and must be collected. For example, diabetes in part is rated by how long an individual has had the disease and we can figure that out if we have the date of diagnosis.

Age:

Age is important. Rate assessment often depends on the age of the client. Clients over the age of 70 with late onset coronary disease for example may receive better rates than someone diagnosed at middle age. Be sure to collect the client’s date of birth.

Diagnosis:

Diagnosis is one of the most vital parts of underwriting. While your client may have a straightforward diagnosis such as high blood pressure or high cholesterol, other impairments may require more detail. Diabetes can be of different types – type I and II for example. Multiple Sclerosis may be Primary-Progressive or Relapsing-Remitting. Underwriting cancer requires knowing more than just the general name and location of the disease. Pathology description, size, exact type, and site of cancer are important factors in underwriting. Skin cancer for example can be anywhere on the body; it will vary in size and speed of growth; and it varies in type – basal cell, squamous cell, melanoma, etc. This will all affect rate class. The general location of breast cancer is obvious but there are different sites within the breast and different types of cancer that can affect the breast. All of this information is important in order to get a reliable underwriting opinion. It is important to remember that an exact diagnosis may require more detail than the general name of a disease. Asking for more detail improves the likelihood of getting a reliable underwriting opinion.

Severity:

Severity of the impairment is important for accurate underwriting. It is acceptable to ask your client for his or her general perception of severity, but very important to ask for further detail where possible. The clinical assessment of severity will depend on the impairment: diabetes is evaluated primarily by glucose testing; sleep apnea largely by sleep study testing results; cancer by pathology report; etc. Ask your client if he or she is aware of recent test results that measure the severity and control of the impairment. Instead of just reporting that one’s doctor has given a clean bill of health, your client may provide glucose values or the stage and grade from a cancer pathology report. This additional information will be very helpful in the underwriting assessment.

Reliable underwriting opinions depend on reliable information. We hope the catchy mnemonic, TOADS, will help you remember the general items that are important in the field underwriting of medical impairments. Be sure to ask specific questions that may come to mind as you develop individual cases in the field and include the detail in your submission to us.

Written by: Amy Kukay

 

Why We Need Annual Policy Reviews

The book of business you have been entrusted to take care of is your best chance for success.  Taking the time annually to review your cases and meet with your clients enables you to better serve your customer.

In the life insurance arena, it is imperative that the agent completes annual reviews because the financial needs of a family or individual can change quickly.  By taking the time to meet with a client and review any changes, an agent can quickly uncover opportunities to better serve the client.

An agent could discover a need for a new policy or need to increase or decrease any existing policies.  It also allows the client an opportunity to review current beneficiaries, bank accounts, etc.  The annual contact with a client allows the agent to strengthen the relationship, which could also lead to client referrals.

While all of this if beneficial to the agent, the client will benefit by ensuring he or she has a policy that will truly benefit their family.  Changes throughout the course of a year could include:

  1. Health improvements, including quitting smoking, that may allow for a better rating
  2. Birth of a child or home purchase that may change the coverage needed
  3. A decline in health that may affect insurability, which may require a term conversion without any medical underwriting

While it is important to continue to pursue new clients, agents may overlook the customers already in their book of business.  By continuing to foster the relationship with a client, the client puts trust in the agent for their financial future.

Written by Kathy Butler

Photo by Helloquence on Unsplash

Business Insurance Made Simple

This term business insurance covers a lot of ground.  We often find that agents that do not specialize in this market, view it as overwhelming. This leads to the over complication of the sale.  All businesses need protection in various forms, that is the simple fact of doing business. Weather it’s health, disability, or liability insurance, the need is always there.   Life insurance is just one more component of that needed protection.  From Key Person, Buy Sell coverage to supplemental retirement income, life insurance can provide unique benefits to business owners.  After all, it is our job as insurance agents to provide the best advice and protection we can to ensure the success of our clientele.

Lakeview is here to help make selling in the business market simple. Our sales support team has the experience and knowledge to help you navigate the business insurance marketplace, and help you deliver real value to your clients.  Our goal is to uncomplicate the seemingly complicated.

Ask your Sales Manager about the various questionnaires and case studies they have that help to break down business insurance opportunities for you. These simple overviews will allow you to better understand how to position business insurance for your clients.

Written by: Matt Gallegos

Accelerated Underwriting: The New Life Insurance

 

Accelerated Underwriting: The New Life Insurance

 

Most of you have probably heard about Accelerated Underwriting. It has a new, shiny seat at the table within the life insurance realm. In short form, Accelerated Underwriting is a potentially lab free underwriting process. Your clients can be approved in quick fashion based on their answers to questions during a tele-interview and database checks such as MIB and Prescription.

The Insurance Carriers and their teams have looked at the analytics and statistics of previous applications. They realized that an overwhelming number of applications that were medically underwritten and approved at Standard or better rates could have had the same result without the medical exam and labs; saving the insurance company time and most importantly, money.

It’s safe to say that there are more companies right now offering an Accelerated Underwriting program than are not. Depending on the carrier chosen and their given parameters, your clients can be approved within 24 hours after completing their tele-interview.

This program has been met with enthusiasm and excitement by clients and especially agents. A lot of applications stall or completely fall off the wagon due to the exam. Whether it be because clients are afraid of needles, have “White Coat Syndrome,” or simply just don’t ever schedule or complete their exams, the new Accelerated Underwriting programs have been a huge success and have been praised by both advisors and clients alike.

In the agent’s eyes, it makes complete sense. If their client can be offered the same medical rating without having to complete an exam and labs, why not?! Everyone is happy. Agent gets the case closed faster, with less irritation and frustration and the client is covered quicker and has a more enjoyable experience buying life insurance. This of course, makes them more likely to refer friends and family to the advisor.

If you haven’t taken the time to look at these programs yourself or offer them to your clients, please visit our Accelerated Underwriting Section of our website to learn more details about the carriers offering these programs. It can very well save you a headache on your next case.

 

Written by: Brian Bieker

 

SwiftApp

Run the quote. Select the product. Enter the client’s contact information. That’s it. It’s free. It’s mobile. There is nothing quicker.

SwiftApp is the quickest and easiest way for an agent to get a life insurance application taken on their client. It takes less than 1 minute for the agent. All that they need from the client is their basic contact information (name, phone number, address, and email). Submit that, and we will take it from there.

Lakeview Financial helped to develop the SwiftApp platform, as we saw a need for agents to be able to submit a ticket very quickly and know that everything will be handled for them in a professional and efficient manner.

This platform is available on all Android, Apple, and Windows devices. There is also an online desktop version, so agents have the ability to generate quotes and submit applications anytime, anywhere.

We recently improved our SwiftApp program and are now processing everything in-house. We have a team in our office dedicated to contacting your clients for the interview and submitting the application to the carrier. This has cut the processing time by 30%!

Many of the top life insurance companies are available on the platform.

SwiftApp eliminates the need for the agents to inquire about personal information or determine what is and is not needed on an application. The system is streamlined to provide a smooth experience for the client, all while allowing the agent to get back to generating more business.

Download SwiftApp in the App Store or on Google Play, today!

*Contact your rep for a free demo

Written by: Ben Burns

InstaApp

I think agents would agree that taking care of their clients’ needs is the most important aspect of selling insurance.  Of course, the next is being compensated for that service.  To make the connection between procuring clients, and at the end of the process being compensated for the work performed, there are many activities that need to be accomplished.

You the agent, have a lot to do to convert a lead into a long-time client that will be part of your book of business for years to come.

This is where Lakeview Financial comes in.  Our easy process of submitting and handling life insurance cases can be of a real advantage to you.  And a time saver.  This allows you to do the real work of getting clients while we handle the rear office support.

I am talking about our InstaApp process. With just a little information on a 1 page application we can submit and let the carrier do the heavy lifting.  They will contact the client and get the balance of information needed for the full application.  They will then schedule the exam.  The agent will be setup to receive case status through the process and at time of underwriting completion, the policy can be issued via the ePolicy format.  Lastly there is no commission reduction associated with this program.

The success rate of InstaApp has been very high, as the industry is turning more towards these electronic application processes.  The InstaApp platform also features many different carriers and products.  Talk to a Lakeview representative today and see how InstaApp can free you to increase your life insurance business.

Written by: Tony Gallegos

 

Life Insurance Awareness Month

September is Life Insurance Awareness Month. Every September Life Happens coordinates this industry-wide campaign to educate on the importance of having life insurance.

According to new research done by LIMRA, about 35% of all households would feel an adverse financial impact within one month if a primary wage earner died. The study also found that the top three reasons that people purchase life insurance are:

  • To cover burial and final expenses (91%)
  • To help replace list wages/income of a wage earner (66%)
  • To transfer wealth or leave an inheritance (63%)

This year’s theme for Life Insurance Awareness Month is “Journey to Financial Fitness” and Danica Patrick is back as the spokesperson. Check out https://www.lifehappens.org/ for resources to promote LIAM.

Resources: LIMRA Supports Life Insurance Awareness Month. Facts About Life 2018 [PDF File]

Retrieved from https://www.limra.com/Posts/PR/LIAM/PDF/Facts_of_Life_2018.aspx