The question posed and so many other questions like it are the base on which Risk Life and other true impaired risk life insurance agencies are built. The life insurance industry was built on the “bucket underwriting format” where all people with depression or even a past history of depression are put in a bucket that already has a pre-determined underwriting outcome. Essentially they are saying that all depression is created equally and so on to all heart attacks are created equally, all diabetes, cancer, sleep apnea, etc.
There’s no question this is the simplest way for life insurance companies to deal with complicated underwriting issues. No fuss or muss. No need to confirm or deny a life insurance client’s claim to great control of their depression issue by reviewing medical or psychiatric records. In the time it takes to review one client in depth looking for a reason to give them something better than the bucket normally holds, a good, by the book, uncaring underwriter can have dispensed bucket justice on 10 cases.
Fortunately for us all there are life insurance agents, life insurance companies and life insurance underwriters that understand the inherent flaws in bucket underwriting and embrace the forward thinking of clinical underwriting. Clinical underwriting doesn’t ask the question, “How is your bucket doing?” but rather, “How are you doing?” These impaired risk life insurance teams understand that a little extra time can mean not just fairness, but customer loyalty.
Do these companies and agents and underwriters take on more risk? It doesn’t appear so. We come back to a question that was raised when a few of our better mood disorder life insurance companies suddenly got very conservative and actuarily blamed the move on the fact that there had been a substantial increase in the number of suicide related life insurance claims. When we cornered these companies and asked them to show us the percentage increase in suicide related claims, well, they didn’t and then when we asked them if there had been any suicide rate increase in those with fully underwritten, well controlled depression or other mood disorders, they came up conspicuously empty again.
When we are talking about minor or situational depression or past history of minor or situational depression it is our opinion that the mortality risk for life insurance companies is more present in those who aren’t diagnosed and aren’t under treatment than those who have sought help, complied with treatment and taken control of their mood disorder. There is really no reason that well controlled minor mood disorders shouldn’t equate to best rate class life insurance approvals.
If you have any questions or feel your particular case may not have received a reasonable assessment, call or email. We can help.
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