Copy of Copy of LTCP (2)

May 19th, 2020

I really hesitated to write an article that referenced Coronavirus or COVID-19. If you are like me, you are probably sick of hearing about it and just want things to get back to normal.  No more emails, articles, news stories, Facebook posts, face masks, quarantines, webinars……the list goes on.  We want our friends and family to be safe. We want to visit our friends and family.  We want to go to restaurants. We want our sports back.  We want to get back to work.  We want normal!

Gilpin

Scott Gilpin

Life Marketing Manager
800.541.6705

Although we are not past this pandemic yet, we cannot deny the fact that it has and will forever change our world going forward.  So many things have changed and some of it will probably never be quite the same again.  I’m sure you’ve noticed that one of those things that have changed is the insurance industry.  I don’t think I have ever seen so many changes in our industry happen all at the same time.  It’s been very challenging to keep up, especially if you have been working remotely and out of your normal work routine.  Although it is impossible to know for sure what will stick, I think we can reasonably assume that some of the changes we have seen are going to become the new normal.

Electronic Applications

Although we are not past this pandemic yet, we cannot deny the fact that it has and will forever change our world going forward.  So many things have changed and some of it will probably never be quite the same again.  I’m sure you’ve noticed that one of those things that have changed is the insurance industry.  I don’t think I have ever seen so many changes in our industry happen all at the same time.  It’s been very challenging to keep up, especially if you have been working remotely and out of your normal work routine.  Although it is impossible to know for sure what will stick, I think we can reasonably assume that some of the changes we have seen are going to become the new normal.

We all knew that electronic applications and drop ticket applications were already becoming a trend over the last couple of years, but I believe this pandemic will push this process into the dominant way to submit life insurance applications. 

They are fast, easy, and do not require the agent to be face-to-face with the client.  You can “drop the ticket” in about 5-10 minutes during a simple phone call with your client.  Depending on the carrier you write, the client will either complete a phone interview to complete the rest of the application process, or they will receive an email from the carrier to complete the rest of their application online. Both methods are an easy way to complete the life insurance application and they allow the client to do it on their own time…..all while never leaving their home.  I believe that insurance carriers will be working hard to get their other product lines, not just term, on this platform. Stay tuned.

Electronic Health Records

This is something that has been violently pushed into the forefront our industry as a result of the pandemic. I’m sure you all know about electronic health records, but the life insurance carriers are now looking to use them as an alternative to paramed exam requirements and possibly even traditional APS’s. We already have some carriers that are utilizing EHR, but many more are looking at incorporating them into their underwriting model.  Electronic health records can sometimes be used in lieu of exam requirements if the client has been seen by their doctor in the last year because it gives them most of the information they need, and they can also sometimes be used to satisfy full medical records.  This is a huge win for everyone because getting EHR are almost immediate. Traditional APS’s can take anywhere from 2 weeks to 2 months, but most EHR can be received within minutes to a couple days, after the client has given permission.  This can drastically reduce the overall underwriting time and save the client the inconvenience of doing a paramed exam and labs. I believe that most insurance carriers will strongly consider using electronic health records as a possible alternative to exams and traditional medical records. 

Accelerated Underwriting

Again, this is something that has been making huge strides in recent years, but this pandemic has opened the eyes of the carriers that do not currently have an accelerated underwriting model.  The carriers are looking at new and innovative ways to underwrite life insurance in the least invasive way possible, and that is a good thing for you and your clients.  Although we have seen a lot of carriers recently tighten up their underwriting for certain age groups and impairments that are more susceptible to COVID-19, we are also seeing carriers loosen the strings on their accelerated underwriting capabilities and guidelines.  I think we can assume that carriers that do not currently have any accelerated underwriting capabilities, will quickly learn that they need to take those steps to stay relevant and competitive.

Like I said earlier, it is still too early to determine the overall impact that this pandemic will have on our industry as a whole, but I’m convinced that some of these changes we’ve already seen, are here to stay.  From my chair, I see this as a positive and a move in the right direction. It will be a challenge stay on top of everything that has changed and the changes that are still yet to come, but we are committed to help you through this and continue to help serve your clients in the best way possible.