Avoid the year-end insurance panic

By Helena Smeenk Pritchard | October 4, 2012 | Last updated on October 4, 2012
2 min read

It’s the beginning of the third quarter, and the big year-end push is on. How can you get the best price for clients and get paid on your submitted insurance sales before December 31?

Read: 6 ways to close a prospect

Ross Morton, one of Canada’s top underwriters, has four tips that work any time of the year. They are:

  • Only quote standard rates. Standard rates refers to the average Canadian. Anything above standard means your applicant has to be in perfect health.
  • Provide the information that the underwriter has requested.
  • Don’t assume you know what additional information the underwriter needs. At the IFB Summit in London yesterday, I found out 38% of files are closed (and policies never issued) because of missing information.
  • Always write notes that explain unusual issues. A body builder will be off the charts for normal height and weight ratios, but is likely quite healthy. Distance runners will often have a pulse of under 50 beats a minute – in normal cases that would mean someone’s near death.

Read: Clients more willing to to talk about health coverage

When a paramedical or medical is required, explain to clients that the insurance company is trying to gauge their overall health. To help your applicants score high, coach them to:

  • Arrange the paramedical or medical appointment for as early in the day as possible
  • Fast for 12 hours ahead of the appointment, while still taking medications at normal times
  • Reduce salt intake a day or two before the appointment
  • Drink as much water as possible before the fast starts
  • Get a good night’s sleep

Read: Offering health support services for clients

If clients have a tough time with fasting, suggest they have a “live food day” the day before their paramedical.

Live food is defined as raw fresh fruits and vegetables. These foods typically have water content of about 80%, and, as anyone who’s ever dieted knows, you can eat large amounts without adversely affecting blood sugar. They also contain minimal sodium. If clients are hungry and prone to late-night snacking, tell them to go to bed earlier than usual.

Read: Don’t put your health on the backburner

You can also give clients some good news: tell them to avoid strenuous exercise.

Once the medical or paramedical is done and the information is in the hands of the underwriter, follow Ross Morton’s four steps, and then relax. You’ve done everything you can.

Helena Smeenk Pritchard has over 36 years of experience in the insurance industry and is the Principal of Helena Smeenk Pritchard & Associates, a leader in “Insurance Know-How” training. Helena publishes a weekly free ‘Did You Know’ newsletter on her site.

Helena Smeenk Pritchard