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3 Tips for Preventing Life Insurance Application Processing Delays

Ever wondered why it takes some applications longer to process than others?

We’re going to give you an inside look at what it’s like to behind the scenes. Once your application is submitted, certain factors can cause it to get held up along the way.

Here’s what happens:

Our office deals with over 20 major life insurance carriers, and each of the carriers have a different application.

That’s right no two applications are the same. In fact, they’re not even close to being the same.

It’s our job, as your general agent, to make sure that the processing of your application goes as smoothly as possible. However, in some cases, that can be a daunting task.

To get your application to the carrier, we need to make sure that it’s thoroughly completed. This not only means that every question is answered, but that the application includes all the necessary forms once it reaches the carrier.

Anything short of this will substantially delay the processing of the application.

In fact there are several carriers that will not even accept the application package until it’s complete.

Avoiding delays

How to avoid life insurance application processing delays

Avoid life insurance processing delays by:

  1. Using the right application and/or other forms
  2. Complete the entire application and any other forms
  3. Include a cover letter to the general agency regardeing the submitted application and forms

However, you can ensure the smooth processing of your application and avoid delays by following these three steps:

  1. Use the right application and/or other forms. Historically, the general agent would send the producer the application and accompanying forms. Agents would know that the forms were the correct ones to use to apply for the coverage. Today, producers download most applications and other forms from the general agent’s website. This way, you know the forms are current, but there are almost always secondary forms that must also be completed. Avoid missing forms by looking for downloadable “bundles” of forms on the general agent’s website to ensure you have everything you need. Even so, other forms may be necessary. The best course of action is to call your general agent and ask exactly which forms you should download.

  2. Complete the entire application and all accompanying forms. This step sounds obvious, but you’d be shocked at the number of incomplete applications our office receives. We’ve even seen applications that left out the name of the insured! Since there are so many different applications, it’s imperative that you take the time to review the application and the accompanying forms line by line and answer every question completely. If you don’t have the answer to a particular question, wait to submit it, or at the very least, let your general agent know that you’re in the process of getting it so they can act accordingly.

  3. Include a cover letter to the general agency regarding the submitted application and forms. The cover letter to your general agency is one of the most overlooked tools that can eliminate delays in getting an application processed. It should describe the purpose of the sale is and what it is that you’re trying to achieve, such as ownership and beneficiary issues, or other unique items related to the insured. You should also include people -- other than the insured/owner -- to be contacted for specific questions. Finally, this is the place where you would provide details on any questions that were left unanswered, along with information about how and when those answers will be forthcoming. Remember, you cannot give too much information in the cover letter.

These steps are guaranteed to help reduce the application process time by days -- if not weeks. If you’re confused or uncertain about any aspect of the application, call your general agent before you fill it out or submit it to gain clarity. The more complete the application with the least amount questions outstanding, the faster you will get approval -- and get paid!

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