What is underwriting and why is it important to me?

You’ve looked at various life insurance policies, you’ve compared companies, and now you’re ready to apply for a policy. You may be about to embark on a long and winding path before that newly issued policy is in your hands. This is especially so if you have a significant health condition ranging from minor (e.g., height and weight, blood pressure) to major (e.g., cancer, heart disease). To get your policy issued, you must successfully pass the company’s underwriting process. Choose your company with care: There are differences in underwriting philosophy from company to company.

Take the time to discuss the underwriting process with your insurance advisor so you will know what to expect. Make sure that your advisor is experienced enough to get you the best offer from a suitable company. A lot of agents will wait until the company makes an offer. Only at that point, and sometimes only when the client persists, will the agent seek quotes from other companies. My philosophy is to do this ahead of time, in the hope and expectation that the company, with whom we start the process, will issue a policy. This involves an informal, advance discussion of the case, with an underwriter, to reduce or eliminate any surprises.

Visit “Okay, I’m Ready To Buy Some Life Insurance, What Should I Expect” for more details on the underwriting process.