Experienced Independent Life Insurance Agent vs. Life Insurance Call Center: 6 things you need to know

Experienced Independent Life Insurance Agent vs. Life Insurance Call Center: 6 things you need to know


Almost every day we get people who call our office frustrated because they applied with an online call center and their life insurance application has been in underwriting for several months. Unfortunately, when it comes to life insurance people assume the process is the same and nothing could be farther from the truth. Just last week we had a case get approved with a doctor in Seattle who completed the application, paramedical exam, and blood-work two weeks ago and we got him approved at preferred non-tobacco. This doctor had applied with an online with a major brand insurance company through a life insurance call center six months ago and was completely disappointed and frustrated with the process because he was still not approved for life insurance.

When this client called our office, it took about ten minutes to go through the instant life insurance quote engine on our website, then we scheduled a time to meet later that week to complete the application and paramedical exam back to back and the entire process took a total of 30 minutes. Generally speaking, the life insurance industry is trying to utilize technology to make the life insurance process more efficient. There one huge problem… it’s almost impossible to automate the process because people’s health, medications, and activities are all over the board. Sure, if you have a healthy 30-year-old who is not on any medications, great height and weight, and doesn’t do anything fun, it would be really easy to streamline the underwriting process. But, if you have been to the doctor for just about anything, or do anything fun, get ready for a bumpy long underwriting process when applying online or through a call center. If you or someone you know is looking to purchase a life insurance policy it is important to work with someone who knows what they are doing and will fight for the best health rating and get and underwriting offer on the table in the shortest period of time.

First, most life insurance call centers will involve an additional telephone call with another call center associated with the insurance company you are applying with who will ask you the same medical questions and the process is a huge waste of time. A good independent life insurance agent will try to make the underwriting process as efficient as possible for the person applying for a policy and not waste their time with inefficient processes. It might mean a little more paperwork and extra hoops for the life insurance agent, but less time for the person applying for insurance and overall better client experience. For example, a great independent life insurance agent will facilitate completing a paper application (doesn’t matter the location, office, home, clients work) at 9:00am, have the paramedical exam done at 9:15am (which is better to do in the morning for best lab results), and the client is on their way at 9:30am. If the agent completed the paperwork and medical release forms correctly, the person applying for insurance (proposed insured) can sit back and wait for an approval from the life insurance company.

Second, in theory digital automation sounds like a good idea and most life insurance agents will try to submit the application electronically to save them more time. Meaning, you will typically have to get some form of electronic communication and digitally sign an application which can be tricky and a pain for people who aren’t tech savvy. Furthermore, if there is a delay on signing and submitting the application by all parties involved the entire process has to start all over again. This can delay the entire process because until everything is properly signed, no progress is being made and everything is paused.

Third, a paramedical exam company will typically call or email and suggest to set up an appointment two to three weeks out, or if they are busy, they will put it on the back burner for a couple of weeks. With an experienced insurance agent, they should have several paramedical exam venders saved in their phone and be able to get a paramedical exam scheduled anywhere from the next day to a few months out, all depending on what is best for the client’s schedule and timeline. If the person applying for insurance wants to move fast, no problem; if the person wants to move slow, no problem. Furthermore, a good experienced life insurance agent will request the best paramedical examiners who will actually be professional and show up when they are supposed to. If the paramedical exam is scheduled through an automated process expect someone who is inexperienced showing up to put a needle in your arm, or better yet, calling the day of the paramedical exam to tell you they’re having car troubles and cancelling the appointment (this has happened more times than I would like to admit when we were new to the life insurance process).

Fourth, now the application has been signed and the paramedical exam completed and you are curious to when you might find if you are approved and at what health rating. After a few weeks you reach back out to your agent to discover the underwriter needs to look at your medical records and the file has been just sitting there for two weeks because your doctor’s office requires their own special form (because they don’t want to get sued) for you to sign in order to release your medical records to the insurance company. An experienced life insurance agent would have caught this when completing the paper application because it is likely they have current clients who have used the same local medical provider in the area and have had you complete the HIPPA medical release form before the insurance company even asks for it. In addition, they would have one of their staff members already working on coordinating the records to be sent to the insurance company which speeds up the underwriting turnaround time.

Fifth, the underwriter comes back with an approval rating and it doesn’t match up to what your client is expecting. An experienced agent will have a team of people who advocate for your client to understand why the rating is what it is and push on the underwriter to improve the offer when necessary. Generally speaking, a call center or inexperienced agents will not push on underwriters to improve the rating for the person applying for insurance which means higher premiums for the person applying for insurance.

Sixth, and probably most important… you die prematurely. An experienced life insurance agent will be there for your beneficiaries and help them complete the death benefit paperwork and facilitate the death benefit claim process. You will be hard pressed to find a life insurance call center who will show up at your home (or wherever locally) to help fill out death claim paperwork and mail off a copy of the death certificate to the insurance company and make sure the death benefit gets paid out as quickly as possible.

So, if you want to get the best deal on the life insurance in the shortest time possible, work with an experienced, independent life insurance agent who knows what they are doing. It could literally save you thousands of dollars over the course of your term or permanent insurance policy. We work with thousands of people around the Bellevue / Greater Seattle area as well as people across the United States and we welcome the opportunity of serving you. Please reach out to us at 425-246-4222 or visit www.pacificinsurancegroup.com for a free instant life insurance quote without requiring your email or phone number. We are ready to speak with you when you are ready to speak with us. Life insurance is important – don’t wait.