Beyond the Phone Interview
Telephone Underwriting Has Arrived
Since June of 2000, IBU has employed experienced underwriters who have conducted thousands of teleinterviews and teleunderwriting interviews every month. While we continue this service today, the introduction of voice signatures as well as improved web-based tools to access MIB and Rx histories has made telephone underwriting a reality for life insurers.
IBU underwriters can now accesses MIB and Rx history while on the telephone with the applicant. This allows them to ask the application health questions as well as any relevant follow up questions needed to make a decision according the company’s guidelines.
Telephone Underwriting Leads to Greater Profitability
Telephone underwriting using experienced IBU underwriters is serving the industry on two fronts. One front is in helping companies to be more profitable by enabling them to write smaller face amount term products. Agents and consumers are really responding to obtaining insurance (and commissions) quickly. Companies utilizing this strategy are penetrating the underserved middle market and are profitably putting more policies in force.
The second front is in the simplified issue market. Many companies have lost money in this market due to adverse claims experiences. They are looking for that “extra dose” of underwriting. Experienced underwriters on the telephone with the applicants will most likely illicit full disclosure as they are able to quickly synthesize MIB and Rx data and ask follow up questions to the applicant. An underwriter’s “gut instincts” can usually tell when something doesn't seem right. The less than honest agents tend to take their tricks to other companies who don't utilize experienced underwriters.