I know it’s not funny to the people affected, but when a life insurance company attaches a standard rate risk to someone with mild OCD, well controlled with Prozac, we have a chuckle and then get to work finding them the preferred plus rate they should have received. But to some companies, in this case USAA, if it says standard in the underwriting manual then no matter how absurd the decision seems when held up to the reality of a person’s life, it’s what they offer.
We’ve run into several USAA decisions lately that seem to confirm what we’ve suspected for a while. In spite of their huge presence and strong brand when it comes to underwriting life insurance risk they are mediocre at best and actually laughable when compared to some of the better impaired risk life insurance companies. Our question is how can you hold yourself up as this patriotic company just waiting to treat our military and veterans the way they deserve to be treated when the underwriting decisions don’t match up to the image?
This most recent example is an absolutely unbelievable underwriting decision. A man who finally figured out that his obsession with safety was a little overboard. He wasn’t putting himself or anyone else at risk when he would get up in the night if it was raining to check and see if the basement was flooding. He sure wasn’t a danger to himself when he would double and triple check locks when they were going on vacation. And his compulsion about safety was all related to the home. There was no OCD at work or when they had actually left home. And the Prozac changed the whole picture.
It seems some life insurance companies are beginning to get a little skittish about mood disorder risks citing an increase in suicide related claims. The national suicide rate has increased in the last 10 years, to about 14 per 100,000 people in the country per year. Underwriters cite the economic problems and the general stress and anxiety in our country, but how do they then explain the fact that the suicide rate is actually almost identical to 1991. If there’s been a spike in suicide related claims it because people are more aware than they have been that after the 2 year suicide clause ends, the death is covered. And that’s a good thing. People should know what they are legally due if a loved one dies.
But back to our lock checking client. We would challenge any underwriter from any company to cough up the proof of the mortality risk associated with this well controlled mild OCD. If you’ve run into this kind of mistreatment when applying for life insurance, call or email us. We can help.
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