Help! I’ve Been Declined

It’s never a good feeling to be declined for anything. This is exceptionally true when you are declined for life insurance coverage. You might experience feelings of hopelessness, fear, rejection just to name a few. However, even though you were declined there is hope. There are many carriers and product types all of them have different rules for underwriting.

Work with a Broker

It is important that you are working with an insurance broker for many reasons, but having a selection of tools to utilize for a variety of health conditions is one of the main reasons. A broker will understand which companies are favorable towards certain conditions. Additionally, a broker will likely inquire about your prescription history. Even prescriptions from a decade ago can trigger a decline in a life insurance application.

A broker will also have direct access to underwriters. Oftentimes, they can find out why an application was rated or declined. This helps them guide you in the right direction.

Don’t Give Up

Remember why you were applying in the first place. Remember who you are doing this for… your kids, your wife, your parents, yourself. There are other options. It is easy to turn your back on the process and say, “FORGET IT!!”, but don’t do that. It is important to take the information your broker has found and push forward with another company. For this reason, Bell Benefits Group has access to carriers that allow us to find coverage for just about anyone.

It is also a possibility to appeal the underwriting decision with your broker. If there is an error in your MIB, a health report used to underwrite, you can have it corrected. Even if the MIB is accurate, sometimes your broker can submit supporting documentation to have decisions overturned. Perhaps a preventative medication caused a decline and an APS (Attending Physician Statement) can get the underwriters to change their decision.

This exact example was true of one of my clients when applying for a Medicare Supplement. She had been prescribed Donepezil, a medication typically used to treat Alzheimer’s and Dementia. The application was quickly declined, at which point I inquired with the company. They disclosed the medication that triggered the decline. The first company would not reconsider their decision, however, we got a note from the prescribing physician and submitted it with another company and she was approved!!! Had she given up, she would have still been paying $160 more per month for the same coverage.

Last Resort

While working with a broker is in your favor, you should vet the agent you are working with. There is no reason to apply for coverage with companies that will decline you. A great example would be a diabetic who has a problematic A1C. If you have an A1C that is over 9, getting preferred coverage is difficult, and if you apply and get declined – getting coverage in the future becomes more difficult. My advice is to apply for what you CAN likely qualify for and then improve your health. You always have the option to add to existing coverage or apply for new coverage when you circumstance has changed. Your broker is your best friend when it comes to this approach.