April 20th, 2019

Insurance Understood: Want a backstage pass?

By Medicine Hat News on February 9, 2019.

Have you ever gotten a backstage pass to a concert or event? Why did you want one? How did you get one? What happened backstage? All of these questions make me think of insurance underwriting for life, critical illness, disability and long-term care insurance.

With a backstage pass to underwriting you get a different experience and usually a few more perks than the average person, just like you would at a concert or event. However, in order to access those perks you need the right advisor with the right relationships with the insurance company you are applying to. This is especially critical if you have any complicated health history, risky avocation or participate in hazardous sports or interests.

Let me be clear, not every advisor is treated the same at an insurance company. Generally, the higher the volume of business done provides more access to tools, resources and exceptions. Plus, there is always a human element of building relationships and friendships at the insurance company. Insurance companies have full-time teams to make sure that the right advisors get the right support.

Last month I was at an insurance conference for a major carrier. During that time I met with underwriters and worked through cases. My highlight was finally having breakfast with a field underwriter that I have worked with many times over the years but had not met in person yet. This is a specialized underwriter whose job is to help you pre-assess and form a complicated case before it lands on the desk of the regular underwriter. The field underwriter has more experience and time to look into finer details of a case. Therefore, the case tends to have a smoother ride to approval. This field underwriter helps advisors set realistic expectations for clients.

Every insurance company has a backstage that is robust and creative. One evening, I sat with two individuals whose job description was to essentially be flexible to make business happen when it otherwise would not. They had the authority to make exceptions. Whether that is looking past contract terms to make a deal or authorizing a discount on large cases, it is always nice to be part of those cases.

I love being where all the action and creativity happens. For most people, insurance is boring. However, I like a challenging case, especially when I know that I have access to the backstage. It is a dynamic place where things get done to make the show happen. I would love to hear your backstage stories from a concert, event or insurance. You can link them to our social media when this column gets posted.

Steve Meldrum B.Mgt. CFP CLU is the founder of Swell Private Wealth Ltd. For over a decade he has specialized in helping individuals and businesses expand protect and perpetuate their wealth. For further information or tailored advice, contact him at 403-487-0490, steve@swellwealth.com or connect on social media.

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