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What to Expect When Applying for Life Insurance

Lisa Quist
Educational Opportunities: 
Grain, Dairy, Swine, Beef, Timber, Young, Beginning Farmers
Home > Education & Events > September 2018 > What to Expect When Applying for Life Insurance

You have made the decision that life insurance is an important step in your risk management plan, but now what? You don’t want a hassle, you just want to get what you need and move on. Here is an outline of what you can expect when applying for a life insurance product.

Application: The first step is to fill out an application. Depending on who you work with, the product you choose, and the insurance company you will be using, this could be a paper application, or it could all be done online. The application will include questions about your health and financial information. Important to note: the application will ask for your net worth and your driver’s license number – be prepared with that information. Also important to note, you will need to name a beneficiary: You will need their full name, address, date of birth, and social security number.

Phone Interview: After your application has been signed and submitted, you will be contacted by telephone for a verbal interview. Be prepared for the call by having information for all of your doctors handy. This includes their name, address, phone number, when you last saw them and why. Think beyond your family physician. If you have seen a specialist recently, be prepared with their information as well.

Paramed Exam: Most applications for life insurance also include a requirement for a paramed exam. For this, a nurse will come to your location of choice (home, office, a Compeer office, etc.) gather your height and weight, draw blood, take your blood pressure, and collect a urine sample. If you are applying for over $1MM of coverage, they may also require an EKG, depending on your age. This can all be done in the comfort of your own home. Important to note: It is important to keep in mind the results of these tests will determine the offer you get from the insurance company. If you are not normally a smoker, do not have a cigar with the guys the night before – or even the weekend before your exam. Do not eat a meal high in sugar within 24 hours of the exam.

Underwriting: After all of this is completed, your case goes to the life insurance underwriting department. They will review the information you have provided along with the results of the paramed exam. At this point they will order medical records from your doctor if they feel they need more information. If this is required, there may be an additional release form you will need to sign. Keep in mind, ordering medical records is a lengthy process – sometimes taking as long as 6-8 weeks for the insurance company to get the records back from the doctor. During this time, your application is in a holding pattern just waiting for the doctor’s office.

Offer: Once all the medical records have been reviewed, you will receive an offer from the life insurance company. Your rate will be higher or lower than the quote you were given based off your medical information. At this time you have the option to accept the offer or change the coverage you are applying for.

Acceptance: Once you have settled on the coverage amount, you will be required to write a check for the premium and sign the delivery requirements. Once this is done, your new life insurance policy goes into force and the process is complete.

It is important to talk to an expert in the life insurance industry to ensure you are getting the coverage that will best fit the needs of you, your family, and your farm operation.
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