Vigilance is in order! Declines, NTOs and Withdrawn applications are ‘killing the goose that laid the golden egg’ – placement ratios are the life blood of our long-term care insurance business. Bonus dollars are critically important to all of us, and they are now in peril!
We all know:
- There is nothing easy about the sale, underwriting or placement of LTCi. Successfully completing the process is mandatory. Wasting time and money on apps that cannot be placed is simply foolish.
- LTCi is acquired with the clients’ good health.
- Commissions and bonus is the manna that keeps us in the game.
- A decline or false start with an LTCi application helps no one and harms everyone from the customer all the way to reinsurance.
- Potentially every consumer that reaches out to buy is probably the worst possible prospect. It usually means they know something about their health, or family history that makes getting them insurance a problem.
- That’s why our real job is to help agents SELL AND PLACE quality LTCi – not just take orders for bad business!
Some helpful hints:
- Someone is almost always pulling your leg. Whether the health questions are on the application or not – always do you own prescreening. Ask the questions, never accept business without adequate field underwriting.
- Who initiated the request for the quote
- Height and weight
- All Rx medications
- Recent or anticipated surgeries
- Family history
- In point of fact – why even quote a case that has no hope of success?
- Always manage expectations
- Quote the correct and anticipated rate class
- Internalize the absolute certainty that nothing will “slip through” underwriting. If Para-Med exams are necessary, all health issues will be revealed.
- Prepare the client for rate class adjustments – exams, cognitive testing and the possibility that one spouse may not “make the cut”.
- Incomplete paperwork, or agent training certification being out of sync, will result in major delays – increasing the possiblity that applications may whiter on the vine or may have to be retaken
‘Preaching to the choir’ – more helpful hints:
- Take full advantage of the carrier underwriting ‘hot lines’. If there is any doubt at all, call and be sure to document the call.
- Recommend the use of e-applications, where we can monitor the apps before actual submission.
- If the company application does not ask the medical questions – you and the agents must do it anyway.
- LTCi agency support personnel must attend upcoming Broadtower Underwriting Training Webinars
Hand on your heart — please commit yourself and your team members to stop this very expensive waste of administrative dollars and damage to bonus profitability!
The bottom line is LTCi protection is more important than ever for all concerned, and it is more difficult to obtain. We must continue to try to complete this arduous process successfully. We must work together to make certain that we can maintain the margins necessary to continue to help as many as possible. Your immediate help and focus on placement ratio issues is required.