Life insurance consumer tips

By Steven Kobrin

Steven H. Kobrin, LUTCF


Have you heard horror stories about people applying for life insurance, being promised a certain rate, only to find that the rate was much higher after approved? Maybe this even happened to you?

With a bit of insight, you could avoid this unfortunate situation in the future. The key is to choose your broker wisely.

"S" is for specialist

Is your broker a specialist?

Your broker must specialize in the impaired risk market in order to select the company -- or the small group of companies -- best positioned to compete for your business.

Life insurance companies vary in their capability to underwrite different conditions aggressively. Some will be extremely competitive in heart and cancer cases, while others will welcome private pilots and mountain climbers.

Therefore, your broker must have the industry intelligence necessary to pinpoint those specific carriers that would be most interested in insuring your particular risk.

"E" is for expert

Is your broker an expert?

Your broker must expertly craft a summarized risk profile for you in order to favorably represent you to the underwriters. The key areas of expertise are thoroughness, accuracy, and proper perspective.

Thoroughness -- Does your broker rush you through his questions, or does he patiently allow you time to provide the details? Does he ask you follow-up questions, or does he just skim the surface?

Accuracy -- Does your broker pay attention to detail? Does he ask you clarifying questions? Is he a skilled communicator who effectively articulates and paraphrases the details of your case?

Proper perspective -- Does your broker place your risk factors in their proper light? For example, bouldering does not represent the same risk as climbing mountains. Climbing with experienced guides does not represent the same risk as climbing alone. Climbing in good, warm weather does not represent the same risk as winter ice-climbing. And so on.

"A" is for advocate

Is your broker an advocate?

Your broker must advocate on your behalf, whenever the underwriter has a question or a problem. He must trouble-shoot. He must quickly and effectively resolve any and all conflicts among the many sources of underwriting data.

If he does his job well, then you should feel a high degree of confidence that someone has got your back. You should rest assured that your broker has everything under control.

SEA

Did you notice we created a mnemonic? "SEA" is an easy-to-remember acronym, to help you remember what is most important when choosing a life insurance broker.

SEA stands for specialist, expert and advocate.

*For further information, or to contact this author, please leave a comment and your e-mail address in the forum below.