The Proven Value of Interviews by Underwriters

June of 2012 marks twelve years since the first IBU interview. Our signature service has proven it’s worth to the industry as a viable APS alternative.

Currently 25 companies use about 6,000 IBU interviews each month to reduce APSs and combat anti-selection. Some of these companies have actually modified their underwriting guidelines to require an IBU interview automatically in certain cases. Others have embraced Simplified Issue products using an IBU interview as the cornerstone to developing more competitive products with very fast turnaround. The fundamental value of IBU interviews is derived from the fact that all interviews are conducted by former home office underwriters.

Client Examples

Midwestern life insurer captures the middle market with very fast turnaround time.
The company wanted to find a way to provide competitively priced life insurance products to the middle market. In order to attract distribution and insurance applicants they needed to differentiate themselves from other companies. The company is achieving its objective by outsourcing most of its underwriting to IBU. Our underwriters review applications while checking prescription, MIB and MVR databases. Armed with this information, IBU underwriters conduct a telephone interview with the applicant, resolve any issues while on the phone, and make a decision upon completion of the telephone interview. Using the combination of an interview by an underwriter and an underwriting decision, this company is getting a significantly high percentage of its cases issued very quickly while providing competitively priced life insurance products to the under-served middle market.


Company rapidly grows its simplified issue business by using IBU for point of sale interviews and underwriting decisions.
A company currently in the simplified issue market wanted to find a way to provide more completive products and increase placement ratios while protecting mortality. Agents call into the IBU toll-free number while they are with the applicants and provide the IBU underwriter with information regarding the plan or rate class being applied for. The IBU underwriter then speaks with the applicant, obtains MIB and prescription database information, clarifies any hits and asks all of the interview or application questions. The IBU underwriter then gives the agent the rate class or product the agent should quote to the applicant. Agents love the process as they are able to adjust the face amount or product to the premium commitment during the initial sales call. Fewer not takens and faster commissions have resulted in satisfied agents and more business!

Large mid-western company reduces APS expense and improves time service.
Working with IBU, the company carved out certain impairments where they previously used an APS and began ordering an IBU by an underwriter instead. They successfully reduced their APS count from 28% to 20%. A thorough audit of 200 cases conducted by the company further increased its comfort level in replacing these APSs with IBU interviews.


Mid-size southern company reduces adverse selection.
The company was concerned by the number of claims they were experiencing on a particular block of business. To find out why, they started using an IBU interview on every case. The relaxed conversational approach and underwriting knowledge of IBU underwriters elicited far more information about the proposed insureds. This allowed the company to weed out adverse selection, reduce APS expense and get good business on the books more quickly.


Large term life insurer substitutes an IBU interview for APSs on certain cases.
One of the largest term insurance writers in the United States was finding that most APSs obtained for applicants with anxiety and depression were not detailed enough to allow for sounds underwriting decisions. This company now uses an IBU interview instead of an APS for these cases and gets better information from the IBU interview. In addition to better information, using IBU has resulted in lower acquisition costs as well as improved turnaround time

Mid-western life insurance company
Midwestern life insurance company with agent distribution channel switched from agent completed applications to completing all new life applications using IBU teleunderwriting with voice signature. This has resulted in fewer APS, faster turnaround and greater agent satisfaction.

Large mid-western company matches workload to available resources.
The company receives a high frequency of very large APSs. Depending on the volume IBU is flexible to vary the page count to trigger when an APS summary is the right solution. During periods of high volume, all APSs over 40 pages are summarized; during periods of lower volume the threshold is 60 pages or higher. This strategy of flexing the use of APS summaries by page count allows this IBU client to closely match workload to available underwriting resources.


Large life insurer adds capacity without adding overhead.
The company has multiple office locations each with small underwriting departments. They needed to add capacity but didn’t need a “whole underwriter” in any one location. IBU worked with the company to summarize all of its APSs for all locations. For each of the four offices, the cost of IBU APS summaries amounted to about one fourth the cost of a “whole underwriter.” This allowed the company to engage and pay for the exact amount of underwriting capacity needed at each location without the fixed costs of hiring additional underwriters.


BGAs and Producers tap into underwriting talent.
Many brokerage general agents (BGAs) in the United States use IBU APS Summaries as a tool to present cases to carriers. This allows BGAs to be able to engage underwriting without have to hire an in-house underwriter. In addition to the summary, the IBU underwriter provides an assessment of the case which includes a rating. Missing or incomplete information is also noted allowing the BGA to make the best possible presentation to the home office underwriter.

Caribbean company increases underwriting resources.
A company based in the Caribbean lacked underwriting resources for fully underwritten business and needed to outsource underwriting. Enabled by IBU's web-based system, IBU provided the necessary underwriters as well as system capability to achieve this objective.


Small company reduces costs without
compromising service.

A small fraternal company had its senior underwriter retire. Rather than hire an underwriter, the company uses an IBU underwriter to underwrite its cases. This has resulted in lower underwriting costs as the total number of cases that require underwriting does not require a full-time underwriter.


A brokerage firm meets high demand expanding its resources.
A brokerage firm who writes a high amount of disability coverage needed a resource to read EKGs. IBU now reads all of the EKGs as well as reviewing complex cases.


Large Midwestern company gains additional underwriting resources to handle a large volume of informal applications.
In addition, this company preferred to have IBU underwriters working on their underwriting system. IBU provided the desired underwriters who connected to the client company's underwriting system rather than the IBU system.