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What To Expect When You Apply for Insurance

Purchasing insurance is an important decision and it’s helpful to understand all of the steps involved.

Needs Analysis

As your Advisor, I’ll work with you to analyse your insurance needs to determine the right amount of insurance for you.

Applying for your Policy

Be sure to answer all the questions on the application in full, including medical and financial questions. This will help the insurance company do a thorough and timely job underwriting your application and also ensure that your insurance benefit(s) will be payable at the time of claim. Once you are satisfied that your application is accurate and complete, sign and date the application. Application done. I’ll forward it to the insurance company

Providing Medical Evidence

You may need some medical tests done and the insurance company will arrange for these. The most common requirements include a paramedical exam and blood and urine analysis. A nurse will contact you to schedule an appointment at your home or elsewhere.

Preparing for your Medical Tests

Be prepared for your medical appointments by doing the following:

  • When the nurse calls to make your appointment, let them know if you require an oversized cuff or scale (over 300 lbs).

  • Prepare a list to bring with you, including your medical history, current medications (with doses), contact information for all your doctors, and a history of serious family illnesses

  • Avoid vigorous exercise or activities the day before your exam as well as caffeine and alcohol the day of your exam

  • Bring photo ID and arrive well rested to your appointment

Understanding the Medical Procedures

Depending on the type and amount of insurance applied for, I’ll let you know which of the following you require:

  • Paramedical examination - a medical questionnaire completed by a nurse

  • Blood sample

  • Urine sample

  • Saliva test

  • Electrocardiogram (ECG)

  • Inspection Report - a telephone interview with a consumer reporting company

  • An Attending Physician Statement - a report requested from one or more of your doctors by the insurance company. If the insurance company doesn’t hear back, I may ask you to call your doctor’s office to try and expedite their report.

What To Expect When You Apply for Insurance 1

Assessing your Risk

The insurance company will assign your application and any other evidence of insurability that you provide to an underwriter to assess your risk. This means considering things like your job, hobbies, financial and medical information, your lifestyle, travel, and for life insurance, your beneficiary’s insurable interest in your life. The coverage and premium rates the insurance company offers you will be related to the underwriter’s risk assessment. Depending on the complexity of your case, your policy should be approved within 4 to 12 weeks.

Issuing your Policy

The underwriter will review all the evidence provided and make an ‘underwriting decision’ concerning the policy and premium rates to offer. These are some of the underwriting decisions that could be made:

Preferred Rates

Because the applicant poses such a low risk due to good health, lifestyle and more, the insurance company offers a policy with a premium that is lower than the standard premium rates that were illustrated. (only available with some insurers and products)

Standard Rates

The insurance company offers a policy at the standard rates.

Rated or Sub-Standard Policy

Because of health or other risk related information uncovered during underwriting, the insurance company offers a policy with a higher premium than the standard rate originally illustrated.

Policy with an Exclusion

Exclusions usually only apply to plans like disability or critical illness insurance and may exclude events that could occur due to certain high-risk jobs or hobbies or illnesses or parts of the body that have been injured or treated in the past.

Postponed Application

The application process could be paused for a period of time because you have pending health related issues like a scheduled surgery or pending tests or test results.

Declined Application

The insurance company could decline to offer a policy based on the risk related information provided during the application process. If this should occur, you may still have options; check out this article You Have More Insurance Options Than You Think.

What To Expect When You Apply for Insurance 2

Reviewing your Medical Information

If your policy is not issued as applied for due to medical reasons, you can sign a “Release of Medical Information” form requesting that the insurance company release the medical reason to your physician. Then, you can visit your physician to discuss your case.

Delivering your Policy

When your policy is issued, I will schedule a meeting to review the policy with you. If you accept the policy, you’ll sign a receipt and pay any remaining premiums due. Once the receipt is signed, you will have a maximum of 10 days to change your mind and receive a refund of all your premiums paid. Store your insurance policy in a safe place.

Choosing your Payment Options

PRE-AUTHORIZED DEBIT (PAD) – You can elect to have premiums debited from your bank by signing an authorization and providing a void sample cheque.

CHEQUE – Typically, this option is only available when paying annually.

Servicing your Policy

Some insurance companies offer a client portal where you can review your policy values and make changes to your profile for things such as banking and address information. Beyond that, you’ll contact me for other types of policy changes like beneficiary or coverage changes as your circumstances and insurance requirements change. I’ll also be in touch to review your insurance needs from time to time to make sure your coverage is keeping pace with your needs.

Be sure to contact me if you have any service needs or changes that could impact your insurance requirements.