There, I’ve said it – the unjustifiably dreaded “F” word – FIELD Underwriting.
Nothing makes an underwriter happier than details to health histories – except maybe chocolate. Definitely chocolate! If I’m being honest, typed medical records and legible handwriting are close seconds – but I digress…
When a health history (“I’ve got a guy” scenario) is shared with me, I look for the basics of the Who/What/Where/When and Why. These details help frame the health history and add context.
I call them the curiosity questions or follow-up (another F word) questions, if you prefer. When they are missing, I wonder about the lack of curiosity that resulted in the incomplete details. To be fair, not all health histories are created equal, and not all health histories immediately prompt a list of reflex questions, so let’s start with the basics.
The standard set of questions include:
- What were the presenting symptoms?
- What is the nature of illness / health issue or underlying cause?
- For cancer, type of cancer, area affected, Stage and Grade, PSA readings (if applicable), any recurrence or cancer spread
- For Diabetes, most recent A1c reading, Type 1 or Type 2,
- How was the health issue discovered?
- Date diagnosed?
- Diagnosed as Mild, Moderate or Severe
- How is the health issue treated?
- Medication (include name/dosage)
- Surgery (date of surgery/fully recovered)
- Therapy (frequency of visits, type of therapy)
- Serial blood work (results)
- Is the treatment on going or has it been completed?
- Are symptoms well controlled?
- Any complications?
- Fully recovered?
- Date of last follow-up with a physician and the outcome
- Present Condition
- Height and Weight
- Any use of tobacco products (cigarettes, cigar, tobacco chew, e-cigs)
- Any family history such as diabetes or cancer
Every additional detail gleaned or morsel of information provided, builds the story of each particular individual – and allows the underwriter to provide a firmer response with quicker turnaround time, versus working with gaps in information in what could have been a well written story. Presenting each client’s history to the carriers in the best possible light will allow the CPS Team to provide you with solid recommendations, the best carrier options, products and plan for a successful outcome.
Avoid leaving the gaps in information to the imagination of the underwriter for completion – trust me on this one! I look at this way, what’s a good story without the development of character and motive? Plot too, but I’ll save that for another article. Last week, I received a wonderfully completed health history and if I could have added a gold star to the top of the fact finder page, I would have.
Instead, I obtained a great offer – an annual premium of $8,300 at Standard with an app already being completed for the following client:
- Male, 74 years old
- Build 5’10 and 210 pounds
- Type 2 diabetes, diagnosed 18 years ago
- Treated with two medications; Metformin (2 x 1000mg /d); Pioglitazone (30mg/d)
- Three A1c readings for the past 12 months – all within a “well controlled” range
- No diabetic complications; exercises 3 times or more per week
- Regular follow-up noting compliant with medications
Our Underwriting Team is here to provide guidance and direction – the full story of each client’s health history has a shot at a happy ending.
So, let’s get curious – Put the F back in Field Underwriting today!