What to Expect When you Apply for Insurance

Prepare for the future. Live in the moment. You hear this advice all the time and wonder which makes more sense. Well, the answer to that is easy – if you prepare for the future, it makes living in the moment a lot easier to do.

Applying for life insurance is an important task that can help you plan for the future but it can be a little overwhelming. There are difficult decisions, questions, paperwork, interviews, and medical tests. So where do you start and how can you ensure the process goes smoothly?

First, meet with your advisor to discuss which insurance product is best for your specific situation. They can provide you with several options and explain what the advantages and disadvantages are of each. Once you’ve selected the product that best meets your needs, you will then need to go through the application process with the insurance company. Ensure that process goes smoothly by knowing what to expect. Here are the steps and a few tips:

1. Application and Submission – with your advisor, answer all medical and financial questions on the application form with as much detail as possible. Once complete, your advisor will forward your application to the insurance company.

2. Underwriting – once the insurance company receives your application, they will assign an underwriter to your case to do a risk assessment. It is possible that they may ask you to provide any, or all, of the following:

  • Medical information – bring all medical information with you to your medical exam, such as a list of all significant illnesses, family history of illnesses, and current medication you are taking.
  • Medical exam – this is performed based on your age and the amount of insurance you have applied for. It will take around 30 minutes depending on your health history. A paramedical professional will ask a series of health questions, including names and addresses of your physicians, any illnesses, and medication. Your blood pressure, height, weight, and a urine sample will be taken. To help optimize results for both the insurance company and you, fast for 10 – 12 hours prior to the exam.
  • Attending Physician Statement – this is a confidential personal health history record, detailed by your family physician or other medical advisor.
  • Inspection report (financial underwriting) – this confidential interview is conducted by a professional consumer reporting company or credit agency contracted by the insurance company. Questions may include finances, lifestyle, driving, foreign travel, etc.

3. Policy Issue and Delivery – once the underwriter has assessed the risk for the policy, a decision will be made on behalf of the insurance company. Your advisor will meet with you to review your new policy and have you sign a delivery receipt to acknowledge that you accept the coverage as outlined. You will have 10 days after that to change your mind. If there are any premiums due, these will need to be paid.

4. Policy Service – once your purchase is complete, your life insurance policy is a living document in that certain aspects of it may change as your life experiences do. Store your policy in a safe location and contact your advisor if you experience any life changes, such as a job loss or the purchase of a business, which may impact your insurance needs.

Expect the process to take from 4 weeks to 4 months to complete, depending on your specific situation.

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