Giving you the right track to run on

A fortnightly pearl of wisdom to fast track your success

CHRISISM #42 - Your Role In The Underwriting Process

30 May 2017

Your Role In The Underwriting Process

Do you ever get the feeling that underwriters don’t want the business any more, that there is no longer such a thing as a cleanskin and you spend an awful lot of time selling loadings and exclusions? If so, read on to find out how you can turn all of these into an opportunity to create a quality experience for your client!


In today’s climate where cleanskins are the exception to the rule rather than the norm, I believe there are two key areas in which advisers can establish points of differentiation and thereby create a quality experience for their clients and they are:-

1) Pre-empting underwriting red flags and managing clients’ expectations – having always worked on a commission only basis as an adviser, I was always on a mission to minimise the occasions on which I did work for a client where business did not eventuate, so it was really important to flush out any potential underwriting issues right up front and before I prepare any recommendations for a client.

To this end, I would ask the client before the end of the first interview if they had ever had any illness other than a common cold, any injury other than a broken bone and whether they were today or ever had been on any prescription medicine whatsoever. As you can see, I was throwing out as big a potential net as possible and if anything was captured that could possibly represent a red flag for the underwriter, then I would paint the worst case scenario:- “Given that information, be assured that I will do everything I can to get the standard rate for your medical condition/height and weight (so important they don’t think they are getting “alternate terms”), but I can’t guarantee that I will be able to get you any cover at all.”

Preparing your client for the worst case scenario means that, if they are offered an exclusion or a loading, you can get back to them with “Great news! I can get you some cover – obviously it is going to cost you more or it’s not going to cover you for your pre-existing condition, but we can cover you for everything else; isn’t that great!”    

2) Being proactive during the underwriting process – hopefully you have confirmed with your client at the point of sale that they would rather that the underwriting process was quick and pain free rather than drawn out and painful, and therefore you have committed to doing everything you can to accelerate and facilitate the process, which will involve being proactive in the following ways:-

• Keep abreast of the underwriting status and keep your client informed on a regular basis

• Liaise with your chosen pathology service re. medical appointments

• Remind your client of medical appointments the day before the appointment

• Call you client the day after their medical appointment to make sure it went ok

• Chase up PMARs yourself and keep your client in the loop, getting them involved where necessary

• Contact your client at least twice during underwriting on a totally non-business related basis – this will cement and add layers to your relationship with your client

By fulfilling these roles in the underwriting process, you will move from completing a transaction for a policyholder to creating a quality experience for a client and this will open the door wide for referrals.

If you think you would benefit from a full day of ideas designed to create a quality experience for your clients in the risk advice space, then you should come along to my upcoming Risk Workshop in your capital city. REGISTER NOW by clicking on the link below for venue, timing and registration details in your location.

Register for your City using the links below.
Cost: $450 + GST per person
Earlybird: $400 + GST per person
Time: 9.00am – 4.30pm

Sydney - Tuesday, 18 July

Melbourne - Friday, 21 July

Adelaide - Wednesday, 26 July

Perth - Thursday, 27 July

Brisbane -  Wednesday, 2 August

The Risk Workshop by Chris Unwin

Are you a financial adviser who would like all of your clients to have appropriate types and levels of personal protection? But perhaps you feel you need a more structured and client friendly engagement process?