Thursday, March 26, 2015

Impaired Risk Case-Preparation Tips


As a follow-on to our last post about effective cover letters, here are some tips to grease the skids on your next difficult Life Case.


Rapid turnaround is the result of thorough & thoughtful case preparation. When Impaired Risk Life Cases are presented, evaluated and priced quickly, everybody wins. By allowing the underwriters to concentrate on clients and medical histories, rather than sifting through documents and trying to organize pages, you get the answers you need in a timely and consistent fashion.

What makes an Impaired Risk Life Insurance Case “prepared”? The most important things are to:
  • Submit a cover memo attached to each case that explains
    the pertinent details in concise, to-the-point language.
  • Submit the entire case in chronological order, deleting duplicate pages.
Good Impaired Risk Life Case preparation has a tremendous impact on our ability to review and evaluate cases. As we get more efficient, that efficiency is passed along to you in the form of faster service, and when that happens, everybody wins.

Here’s what makes a good cover letter:
Good Impaired Risk Case preparation helps you better gauge what rates are attainable.
  • Putting the case in chronological order helps us understand and get to
    know the client.
  • Tabbing or otherwise highlighting pertinent pages allows the underwriter to
    quickly get to the details.
  • As cases are presented electronically and documents are scanned, good
    case preparation will lead to faster turnaround!



Adam Thompson is Senior Vice President for Business Development
at The Thompson Agency. His background experiences in both Education and Marketing are invaluable contributors to his creative entrepreneurial thinking and writing.
You can reach Adam at: 800.842.8289 Ext. 302
or email at: athompson@thompsonagency.net



Monday, March 16, 2015

Black & White Sketch vs. the Color Photograph

The Value of Writing an Impactful Cover Letter

 The Difference is Clear


By: Adam Thompson, March 16, 2015
 
We all have the opportunity to work on difficult or unique cases from time to time. There are a number of ways to handle the application submission, but a cover letter can provide clarity that can be the difference between tipping the scale one way or the other in the eyes of an underwriter. Here are some key considerations when deciding whether a cover letter is appropriate, and what should be included:

1)    Why? – To provide additional detail (color) for the underwriter. Think of an application, lab results, and medical records as a black & white sketch of your client. The cover letter is the color that brings the picture to life.

2)    When? – Any case where you and your client can provide unique background information or explanation of circumstances that would be beneficial for an underwriter to have. This could include cases with unusual health issues, unique financial circumstances, beneficiary designations that fall outside the norm, and more.

3)    What to include in a cover letter? – Include important information that will help an underwriter develop the picture of who your client is. Examples of this information could include:

•    Age, gender, tobacco use history
•    Marital status (how long married)
•    Pertinent details about health condition
•    Children, and ages
•    Community involvement
•    Business owner (offer details)
•    Exercise habits
•    Does client own a home?


If you decide to write the letter because of a health condition, include a completed impaired risk questionnaire where applicable (available on our website at http://www.thompsonagency.net/Impaired-Risk-Life-Insurance-Questionnaires.html). A very important piece of information to include in any cover letter, is the rate class you need in order to place the case. It is helpful for any underwriter to know if the agent and consumer’s expectations are realistic.

4)    Who should write this cover letter? – You and your client should write it together, since you are including information to help an underwriter create a holistic picture of who your client is.


A cover letter provides clarity and value in those situations that might benefit from information not found in an application. Who is your client, and why does it matter? You and your client can probably put a letter together that would show an underwriter who your client is with regards to family life, and other responsibilities. Underwriters like this information because it can help them get a sense of what is important to your client, and can help that underwriter make the best possible offer on a case. Use the cover letter to tell your client’s story.






Adam Thompson is Senior Vice President for Business Development
at The Thompson Agency. His background experiences in both Education and Marketing are invaluable contributors to his creative entrepreneurial thinking and writing.
You can reach Adam at: 800.842.8289 Ext. 302
or email at: athompson@thompsonagency.net




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Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Are you making Model Ts or faster horses?



By: Adam Thompson, March 4, 2015
 
On December 1st, 1913, Henry Ford installed the first moving assembly line to mass produce entire automobiles, and began producing the Model T (1). On that day, he changed the world as consumers knew it.

There are examples throughout history of companies and leaders who followed this same philosophy, and chose to make a “Model T” instead of a faster horse. What do these leaders and companies have in common? They all offered solutions to problems that people didn’t even know they had.

Apple’s iPhone is one of the greatest modern examples of the Model T. The company has sold more than 500 million iPhones, and can be credited with over 50 billion (yes with a B) downloads from their App store (2). Can anyone out there imagine using their flip phones to send an email, edit a photo, or check a Facebook status? Yes, there were companies out there offering phones that served a market demand (BlackBerry), but Apple did something different – instead of improving upon technology of the time (a faster horse), they recreated the entire industry with that touch screen and the first iPhone. What followed was a number of other carriers who have been trying to catch up ever since. How are they doing it? Mostly by trying to make a “faster horse”.

And Apple isn’t the only company to change the way consumers think about a product or service. Other companies who have impacted entire industries include Twitter, Instagram, Tesla, Strava, Zappos, Amazon, Patagonia, and Uber. These companies looked at what consumers were used to, and chose not to settle on building a faster horse.

How are you different from other agents? What makes you stand out? Whatever it is, make sure that it provides real value to your client. If Henry Ford started breeding Zebras to pull carriages, he would have been different, but it’s safe to say that the Ford Motor Company would not be where it is today. Differentiate, but in a way that provides value and meaning to your clientele.

All these companies had/have a leader behind it with a vision of something that could be greater. Great leaders in any industry have their own “Model T”. What’s yours?


1. History.com staff, “1913 Ford’s assembly line starts rolling” History.com, 12/01/2009, http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/fords-assembly-line-starts-rolling

2. Mark Rogowski, “Without Much Fanfare, Apple Has Sold Its 500 Millionth iPhone” Forbes, 3/25/2014, http://www.forbes.com/sites/markrogowsky/2014/03/25/without-much-fanfare-apple-has-sold-its-500-millionth-iphone/

 

Adam Thompson is Senior Vice President for Business Development
at The Thompson Agency. His background experiences in both Education and Marketing are invaluable contributors to his creative entrepreneurial thinking and writing.
You can reach Adam at: 800.842.8289 Ext. 302
or email at: athompson@thompsonagency.net


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