Why Experienced Producers Sell Their Cases to the Underwriter

Posted by Jack Cotlar, M.D. on Thu, Apr 05, 2012 @ 06:20 PM

PartneringConventional wisdom is that the process of selling life insurance involves only the interaction between producer and client; it is only the client who needs to be “sold” in making the transaction. This is not correct. Who is the other “decision maker” in the sales process? It is the carrier’s underwriter. Why? The answer lies in their job descriptions.

The underwriter’s job is to determine whether or not the case makes financial sense and whether or not the premium is in sync with the applicant’s health status, i.e. they determine whether or not the carrier is able to make an offer, and if so, at what rating (price). So the producer needs to “sell” the underwriter the idea that the contract will be profitable for the carrier.  A forward thinking and experienced producer understands that he or she should interact with the underwriter as business partner and not as an adversary. So how is this done?


The experienced producer will …

The inexperienced producer might …

  • provide the carrier the necessary underwriting information in a timely manner,
  • fail to meet deadlines and will give push back for any requested information,
  • avoid errors that create work for the underwriter,
  • carelessly complete forms and create problems that cause the underwriter to do additional work, needlessly,
  • provide an accurate and informative cover letter that provides relevant financial and medical information, succinctly and …
  • not bother to create a cover letter, of if he or she does, it contains little more than “fluff”, and …
  • communicate in a fashion appropriate for a business partner relationship


  • interact with the underwriter in a non-professional manner, then he or she will wonder why there appears not to be a good working relationship

 My point? Building sound relationships with both your client and the carrier’s underwriter evaluating your client’s case and providing the underwriter with tangible reasons to prove that a case is worthy of consideration are critical to the success of your placing your cases.

How do you define the role between you and your carrier’s underwriter? What do you do to make this happen?

Topics: Underwriter, experienced producer, medical underwriting, Insurance medical underwriting

MIB and coding

Posted by Jack Cotlar on Mon, Feb 27, 2012 @ 04:55 AM

MIB is as important to the insurance underwriting process as it is misunderstood. What MIB is, what it does and what it does not do was the?topic of my most recent blog, “What you need to know about MIB and how it functions It generated several emails from life insurance agents.

Their main concern was that if a test is "coded" because of being abnormal, an adverse underwriting decision will necessarily?happen. This is not the case. Often the abnormal test result does not have underwriting significance and because, by MIB rules an adverse underwriting decision is not to be based solely?upon an MIB code. In addition, a subsequent test that was coded normal might negate the significance of the earlier abnormally coded test. Case in point ... as the Medical Director of?an insurance company I was asked to interpret an EKG done in February 2012, which was normal. We are aware that there is an abnormal MIB EKG?code from January 2011. The underwriter will "code" the current EKG as being normal so that another underwriter seeing the case in the future?will have a more complete and accurate picture of the EKG information.

Topics: Life insurance medical underwriting, Dr. Jack Cotlar, Underwriting, Insurance medical underwriting, MIB, Strategic Medical Consulting