There’s certainly nothing like a pandemic to bring one’s mortality into sharp focus.
With each day bringing grim news of more COVID-related deaths, Americans are consumed with protecting themselves and their families, not only from the virus but from the tragic after-effects for the family should a loved one succumb. As a consequence, the life insurance is facing a significant surge in demand for policies.
Fortunately, it’s not too late to purchase insurance coverage and adults of all ages should consider doing so if they are not already covered. For the moment, prices for term policies are relatively steady, despite the rise in applications, but that could change. For customers looking for coverage, it’s wiser to act sooner rather than later.
Life insurance companies are handling the pandemic in a variety of ways, so it’s important to find the carrier best suited to each customer. Most people with existing policies will find that no coronavirus-specific amendments are necessary. New customers, however, should hasten to submit their insurance applications before their health is affected. Certainly, anyone who currently tests positive for COVID-19 will not be eligible for coverage until they test negative and receive medical clearance.
The greatest challenge for the industry is that carrier employees and advisors alike are now working remotely, with face-to-face client meetings no longer possible. Everything must be done electronically. A number of carriers are offering accelerated underwriting programs that allow customers to complete applications and paperwork online, and some are dispensing with the medical exam requirement. It’s only to be expected that this new reality is creating logistical challenges.
Another stumbling block is the medical exam, which is commonly required for evaluating applicants and assessing risk. While these examinations are typically carried out by dedicated insurance examination companies, shelter-in-place and social distancing requirements may preclude carrying out any exams.
Even prior to the pandemic, some insurance companies have been turning to technology-based risk assessments in place of traditional medical exams. COVID-19 will undoubtedly push the industry forward in developing these alternatives. Such exams can only go so far and are obviously a more tenable choice for younger and healthier applicants.
In order to make the sales process more convenient for advisors, Cavalier has put together a comprehensive site with eResources that can help you seamlessly meet customer needs. Electronic applications are available from many carriers, both through iPipeline’s iGo platform and directly. AIG, Assurity, AXA Equitable, Foresters, John Hancock, Lincoln, MetLIfe, Mutual of Omaha, National Life Group Nationwide, North American, OneAmerica, Principal Financial, Protective, Prudential, Sagicor, Securian and Transamerica are all available on iGo, while John Hancock and Lincoln Financial can be accessed directly.
In addition to the forms you’ll need, we offer resources and quoting tools selected to offer the highest level of utility, ease of use and access. Online tools are an effective starting point for research on a case, but a call with a Cavalier marketing consultant can add clarity to the carrier selection process. It’s also easy to download the Cavalier Associates Producer Packet and complete an appointment request directly through our licensing portal.
Our eResources portal also offers comprehensive information on interviews (eInterviews or phone), e-policies and e-delivery, all organized by carrier, and well as complete information on accelerated underwriting program details. You’ll also find links for onboarding.
In addition, you’ll find information on annuity rates, underwriting status by insurance company, case studies, and a compilation of articles discussing pandemic-related changes in the insurance landscape. Finally, we’ve provided information on video conferencing tools to help you provide the same type of high touch service you would in person.