Life insurance sales: scratch marks on the sarcophagus
By Steve Savant
Most underwriters are more akin to undertakers in a hearse, driving your impaired risk case right into the same old actuarial rut of declinations, postpones and high alphabet table ratings. And they do this as if death claims were off the charts or life insurance sales were through the roof. The same old actuarial rut, which is just a grave with the ends knocked out.
I’m no Egyptologist, but I am an astute observer of the obvious. Scratch marks on the lid of a sarcophagus can only lead to one inescapable conclusion. The shrouded corpse was buried alive!
Modern day archeologists, like NCIS postmortem examiners, often unearth the entombed remains only to discover that the undertakers of the day ruled the hospital wards of the ancient world. This puts whole new meaning to the phrase, “The news of my death has been greatly exaggerated.”
I’m assuming that the poor people entombed were placed there by a medical mistake and not terminated in some deliberate form of the death penalty.
For almost 30 years, I’ve visited a variety of carrier home offices and made the descent down into the basement where thousands of NTO client files are stored, boxes stacked upon boxes like a mortality mausoleum. NTO? Not taken offers. Or the street version, DOA, dead on arrival. Either way, they never had a chance.
Most underwriters are more akin to undertakers in a hearse, driving your impaired risk case right into the same old actuarial rut of declinations, postpones and high alphabet table ratings. And they do this as if death claims were off the charts or life insurance sales were through the roof. The same old actuarial rut, which is just a grave with the ends knocked out. Welcome to the nightmare that is substandard.
But right around Halloween, a supernatural event occurs that seemingly has nothing to do with actuarial science or the underwriting protocols of a carrier. Like marketing magic, independent impaired risk managers come to your rescue like emergency medical personnel driving up in an ambulance and performing triage field underwriting to stabilize your case for transport to the carrier who best suits the impairment.
It’s time to exhume these cases from the commission graveyard and breathe life back into them. If there’s ever been an opportunity to salvage substandard cases, it’s now. And here’s why.
It’s no dark secret that life insurance sales are flat, a contrary view from the recent spin report in an industry magazine that touted an increase in total life premiums. The devil’s in the details.
And if the devil is in the details, then the numbers are skewed. But the bottom line here is that carriers crave new premiums like a vampire craves human blood. Speaking of vampires; they supposedly experience inordinate longevity. But the real mortality revolution among humans is based on an emerging social culture of healthy lifestyles, medical advancements and long-term geriatric care assistance.
Carrier competition is fierce, like a pack a werewolves fighting over a fresh kill. Right after Halloween, medically mindless marketers stage a coup and overthrow carrier underwriting protocols and control the company until the end of the year. Medical requirements disappear with the wave of a wand. Table shaving programs and lifestyle credits go high voltage in the laboratory of the declined, postponed and heavily rated.
Supernatural forces are at work as super preferred offers are extended for cases that shouldn’t see the light of day. But mystical marketing is at play here in the basement of these billion dollar insurance companies, as the zeal of the sales zombies cast their spell over seasoned underwriters, compelling them to make offers that would never occur in the first nine months of the year.
But it’s Halloween. You’ve entered the Twilight Zone. And the dawn is still two months away.
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