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  • Time frame for disability insurance

    I started the disability insurance process sometime in last April during my fellowship and I still have no policy underwritten from Guardian.

    I went with one the agents that advertise here and hes fallen kind of short in terms of communication and service.

    My question is does it normally take this long (approximately 6-7 months!).

    Its left a bad taste in my mouth and having to shell out commissions to this guy kind of sucks.   Can I switch agents at this point?

     

     

     

  • #2
    Shell out commissions? Mine took a month maybe from start to finish. The thing that took the longest was scheduling the exam and labs. Otherwise took really a week or two. Something isn't right. Are you following up etc ?

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    • #3
      Although the typical underwriting timeframe is 6-8 weeks, Berkshire's underwriting is very thorough and can take a long time - especially if you have any medical issues or consulted with physicians a year or two prior to your application for coverage.

      I suspect that medical records have been requested from your physician(s) which, in some cases, can make the process seem endless - especially if a third party handles these requests.

      I would go back to your agent and find out exactly is outstanding. If you can intervene and call the physician's office that can often speed things up.

      I would image that your agent is as frustrated as you are and really can't do all that much without your help.

      Unfortunately, all agents experience these types of issues at one point or another. It just sounds to me like there is a lack of communication and your agent is not keeping you in the loop.

      You can easily change agents. All that is required would be a new application and a letter instructing Berkshire that you no longer wish to work with the original agent. However, be careful if you changed your state of residence as the same policy may not be available at the same premium or with the same discount as originally illustrated.

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      • #4
        Larry is spot on in his comments.  These things get out of our control often with medical records not being released in a timely manner but if you don't have a medical history then this is an a reason for concern.  I think the key to understanding what has happened is to look at the communication from the agent to you.  What has the frequency been?

        Another thing to take into consideration is that if you made an application but did not complete the medical, phone interview (if needed), or turned in your income documentation that too can be the reason it has not moved along.  If those have been completed and you have allowed them the 6 or so weeks typical underwriting takes after having completed all of your requirements then you are justified in questioning the efforts of your agent if they are not keeping you informed of the progress being made.
        Scott Nelson-Archer, CLU, ChFC
        303-953-0263 Direct / [email protected]

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        • #5
          Disclosure is, what disclosure does.

          Disclose nothing on the application, phone interview, insurance exam, and the underwriting time will be very short, because there is nothing to consider. Believe it or not, many applications are submitted with no disclosures. Some insurers choose to be willfully-blind and accept the lack of disclosure as truthful because the applicant attested to it, and signed the application, only to enforce rescission for non-disclosure later, at time of claim, resulting in a refund check instead of a benefit check.

          Lack of disclosure may buy underwriting expediency but it may also result in a rescission at time of claim for what may be later proven to be willful non-disclosure, the applicant’s failure to disclose meaningful and consequential information.

          Conversely, for an underwriter to understand a lengthy or complicated medical history, shared among several of the applicant’s attending physicians, can be like peeling back the layers of an onion (lengthy and tearful). Failing to gather all relevant data can lead to incorrect underwriting decisions, or worse for the insurer, not getting information that was disclosed on the application, during underwriting, could compromise the insurer’s ability to rescind a policy, if non-disclosure is later proven. So underwriters are dogged in their pursuit of all relevant data.

          Not surprisingly, the shortest underwriting times occur with complete applications including detailed disclosures of: attending physician’s names, addresses, diagnosis, treatment, prescriptions and if resolved, resulting in a complete historical medical episode that is “asymptomatic and treatment free” at time of application.

          It may take a little more time initially but complete applications can save weeks, even months of correspondence as the underwriter ferrets out the information that could have provided in one complete disclosure at the outset.

          Some may be concerned that complete disclosure could result in a modified offer (exclusions, ratings or lesser coverage) from the insurer. But it is far better to have coverage that will withstand scrutiny at claim time and pay a benefit, rather than a refund check. Let the underwriter decide what is relevant.

          Lastly, the 24-month omissions and misstatements clause in the policy does not protect the policyholder from fraudulent misrepresentations, laws vary by state, but generally, willful non-disclosure of material facts that a “prudent person” would mention may compromise the policy.

          The very best agents provide reasonable expectations of underwriting outcomes based on complete disclosure, and consequently they and their applicants enjoy the fastest underwriting times, returning policies in weeks, not months.

          Comment


          • #6




            I started the disability insurance process sometime in last April during my fellowship and I still have no policy underwritten from Guardian.

            I went with one the agents that advertise here and hes fallen kind of short in terms of communication and service.

            My question is does it normally take this long (approximately 6-7 months!).

            Its left a bad taste in my mouth and having to shell out commissions to this guy kind of sucks.   Can I switch agents at this point?

             

             

             
            Click to expand...


            Send me an email and I'll address it with the agent and hopefully get you some answers. Yes, you can switch agents. Nothing is a done deal until you sign on the bottom line. But if the issue is you/your medical records etc, it doesn't seem fair to penalize the agent. If it's the agent, then his loss for not prioritizing you. I agree that 6 months is too long, especially if the communication and service is crappy. You're paying too high of a commission to be getting crummy service.
            Helping those who wear the white coat get a fair shake on Wall Street since 2011

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            • #7
              Message sent.

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