18 October 2012 0 Comments

Looking For The Silver Lining … In Life Insurance Underwriting

In my last entry I started a series of blogs that will deal with certain medical histories and what to expect when applying for life insurance.  I started with Diabetes, but before moving on to other conditions I will discuss the importance of providing the insurance company with information that might give credits to offset the debits resulting from a medical condition or history.

Your agent may not always ask these questions, but should, if you have an underwriting issue.   So, volunteer this data and either put it in writing to your agent for transmittal to the insurance company underwriter, or make sure that the agent sends a cover letter containing this information.  Point up all of the positives you can think of, including:


Do you avoid fatty foods, red meat, excess sodium and sugar?  Are you an organic food advocate?  Limit calorie intake?

What about supplements:  multivitamin/mineral supplements, special doses of any specific vitamin or folic acid, daily baby aspirin?


Describe your exercise program and any sports in which you engage.  What about alcohol use?  Are you actively at work on a full time basis?  Describe a happy home life with a partner, pets and neighborhood—a zest for living!

Family History

Information on your family history will be requested on the application, but does not go beyond parents and siblings.  If your grandparents had exceptional longevity with good health, provide this information.

Medical History

Medical history will be gathered by the medical examiner, but be sure you list all medical practitioners you have seen and all prescriptions you take.  If you have maintained a healthy weight for many years, tell about it.  Demonstrate that you understand the importance of good control.

This information is best contained in a cover letter to the underwriter from your agent who should add any personal information possible, such as the number of years he/she has known you, what a pillar of community and family you are and your robust appearance (all of this, of course, only if true).  The proposed insured should become a real person to the insurance company underwriter, not just another application.  An cover letter should not be sent with every application, or the agent’s comments will become hyperbole.  But, when there is a tough medical history this type of information can cut extra charges from the premium.

In my continuation of how to deal with specific conditions, next I’ll be discussing the affect of alcohol use on life insurance premiums.

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