The Art of Big Cases

The Art of Big Cases

This newsletter will be part 1 of 2 where the second one will be about concerns and characteristics of the big client.  Don’t ignore this article if you are in the marketplace as many professionals that have been in the business for a long while have made some of these mistakes and lost a big case.  Manage expectations up front.  You need cooperative BGA’s and IMO’s to get all of these accomplished unless your office is fully staffed with professionals that do all of the following frequently.

Getting A Big Cases Issued

To my firm a big case starts with at least $25,000 of target premium.  Many of us are our own worst enemies in the way we handle cases.  These cases have to be handled differently than the small cases.  Manage the expectations in advance. Control Control Control are the operative words.  1) Control the application 2) Control the physical 3) Control the Attending Physician Statements (APS) 4) Control the submission 5) Control the Underwriting 6) Control the Issuance

Control the application

  •  Cover letters help and are essential
  •  Don’t write multiple applications fro separate companies on the same person
  •  Point out the concerns, the competitive nature, any outstanding financial or medical issues
  •  If there are items on the application related to financial or medical address up front
  •  Get Doctors letters telling the prognosis of the client
  •  Know which companies favor different illnesses or concerns
  • Alert companies if you are in competition or if there are multiple applications

Control the physical

This is the number one issue with many cases.

  • The examination companies get paid if they do the exam after a big meal or if it is first thing in the AM ( the results can be dramatically different)
  • Best to schedule first thing in the AM.
  • If your client is older make it easy for them, one of the best agents that does business with us goes to the exams
  • Control the pre exam actions of clients
    • Athletes shouldn’t work out within 24 hours of exam
    • People should not drink alcohol a couple days before
    • Have them drink plenty of water before the exam
    •  If they are a cigar smoker or alternative tobacco user have them stop for a couple of days before exam

Control the Attending Physician Statements

  •  Most doctors are practicing 2 kinds of medicine these days that is being a good Doctor and malpractice prevention medicine
  •  Doctors by nature are not involved in the APS process and their staff or copy service photocopies the file good or bad and then submits the records
  •   It is becoming the norm that aps’s start with all the illnesses they ever had with the doctors’ care as well as all the prescriptions they ever prescribed.  Many times it is hard to discern whether the client is currently being treated or taking prescriptions for a particular illness.
  •  Get prognosis letters for the ailment(s) concerned

Control the submission.
The application is a legal contract, Don’t expect companies to ignore inconsistencies after the fact.

  • Multiple applications on the same client with different companies could freeze the reinsurance market
  • Companies know when there are other applications out there and won’t give it their best effort
  • Many of the large brokerage companies blanket the market with so called informals.  Underwriters know these brokerage houses do this. They are reluctant to give offers knowing they have substantial competition and many times assume preferred standard or nothing at all.
  •  Many companies don’t consider it a real case until they have the case on their paperwork

Control the Underwriting

  •  Answer all questions completely that the company posted and make sure those answers are the same as on the application.  A hint here is we take on line reporting of case status and we put next to each question as we copy and paste the answers back in red.  Usually the companies use new business people who are not the same as the underwriters and are task sensitive instead of big picture oriented.  They forget or don’t always translate your answers correctly
  • Don’t put the cart before the horse to do all the administrative issues the new business processor wants as opposed to getting a consideration of an offer.
  • Don’t wait for the APS, Be proactive in obtaining and also see if you can get a prognosis letter from the doctor..  Remember that usually the Dr. has no involvement with the APS process and anything the client discussed with the Dr is on the APS (Don’t forget the doctors are practicing Malpractice prevention and include everything the client ever stated to them)
  • Go over the APS make sure it is consistent and that a prognosis of the conditions can be figured out.  Its like a chess game if something is in the records make sure you have something to back it up that elaborates or deals with the issues
  • It has been our experience that a lot of these APS’s have mistakes in them that can sabotage even the best case.  We have caught a couple big ones recently that could have killed the case and we confronted the doctors to fix it.  (they have a legal obligation from Hippa to fix any inaccuracies in the records) we had one that we called and faxed to the Dr. and we actually had a clarification within one hour.  Of course the Dr. will be defensive at first but the have an obligation to report accurately
  • Write to the doctor with the proper authorization asking for specifics to clear up any concerns the underwriter might have.

Control the issuing of the policy

  • Put the proposed offering in the illustration software with the underwriting decision and see if it meets objectives.
  • If it doesn’t talk to the underwriter and ask for an improvement (its amazing how many times I contested and they gave us the offer we needed)
  • If they have a temporary extra see if it make sense to have a permanent table rating (redo printouts to see if this makes sense)
  • Make sure the product still fits the prospect and see if the same company might have a better product for the situation
  • The companies invest lots of money into a case before it is issued, they want the case to be placed many times as much as you
  • When all else fails and you might have resources that most of us are not aware that exist  We have found that there are some through the marketing department that has no relationship with the underwriting department.  Be creative on who you get to help you in this circumstance.

As a service our agency does the above.  Many of the advisers agents forget all these hints or get lazy which means our job gets harder to deliver the desired result.  We have certain relationships with certain companies and get special results because the companies know that we can place the cases.  That may sound funny because we are not the Behemoth agency, but unlike a number of the huge agencies every case counts and we place a great percentage of what comes into the door whereas the bigger companies may treat it as any other case.
Call us for our creative ideas to help you land that next big case      
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Paul Himmelstein CLU, ChFC
Himmelstein Financial

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