Underwriting is the process whereby Member Firms assess a client’s insurability and advocate for the client to obtain the most favorable underwriting offer for the client.
Through this process, Member Firms determine the carriers that are most appropriately suited for the client’s profile based on current health, tobacco use, avocation, existing insurance in place, and financial data.
Review of Medical Records
During a process that can take approximately two to four weeks, Member Firm professionals look for health impairments, consistency, and accuracy among all physicians’ records compared to information received from the client. In some cases, discrepancies are found and the Member Firm assists with the resolution.
In most circumstances, the client’s medical records and insurance exam results are submitted to various carriers on an informal basis. Not only does this informal submission avoid a permanent record on the Medical Information Bureau (MIB), but it also allows the Member Firm to compare and negotiate a favorable pricing offer. In addition, Member Firms are able to speak directly with senior underwriters to advocate on behalf of their clients.
Member Firms have access to M Financial’s dedicated underwriting advocacy team, which has decades of experience working with Member Firms and carriers to overcome challenges in the risk assessment process. The team’s expertise in a variety of key areas—including exam results, case presentation, carrier negotiations, and capacity management—enhances a Member Firm’s ability to simplify the underwriting experience for clients, facilitate competitive underwriting offers, and deliver effective underwriting support and service.
Member Firms provide clients with a clear understanding of the medical and lifestyle assessment and the related product pricing, including any rating and/or surcharges. At this point, Member Firms often provide tentative, non-binding offers which help set expectations for final pricing. These offers are dependent on the formal underwriting results.
Member Firm professional staff coordinates the scheduling of medical requirements based on age and death benefit applied for. A paramedical exam, lab work, and, in some cases, an EKG is required. The client is provided a pre-exam checklist to help achieve the most accurate test results.
Formal Application Process
After the carrier and products have been chosen by the client, Member Firm professional staff coordinates completion and submission of all related paperwork to the insurance carrier. The Member Firm serves as the client’s advocate, fielding questions and assisting with obtaining outstanding requirements.
Obtain Exam/Lab Results
Some carriers automatically send results to the client. If requested, Member Firms will provide the client with the required authorization to obtain copies of insurance exams and/or lab results. This enables the client to share and review medical results with their personal physician.
Confidentiality and File Maintenance
Protecting client confidentiality is critical for every Member Firm. Emails may be encrypted, information is only shared with third parties when expressly authorized by clients, and many Member Firms utilize electronic file storage to archive client records to aid in future underwriting and service.