By: Adam Thompson, March, 2015
We all have the opportunity to work on difficult or unique cases from time to time.
There are a number of ways to handle the application submission, but a cover letter can provide clarity that can be the difference between tipping the scale one way or the other in the eyes of an underwriter. Here are some key considerations when deciding whether a cover letter is appropriate, and what should be included:
1) Why? – To provide additional detail (color) for the underwriter. Think of an application, lab results, and medical records as a black & white sketch of your client. The cover letter is the color that brings the picture to life.
2) When? – Any case where you and your client can provide unique background information or explanation of circumstances that would be beneficial for an underwriter to have. This could include cases with unusual health issues, unique financial circumstances, beneficiary designations that fall outside the norm, and more.
3) What to include in a cover letter? – Include important information that will help an underwriter develop the picture of who your client is. Examples of this information could include:
• Age, gender, tobacco use history
• Marital status (how long married)
• Pertinent details about health condition
• Children, and ages
• Community involvement
• Business owner (offer details)
• Exercise habits
• Does client own a home?
If you decide to write the letter because of a health condition, include a completed impaired risk questionnaire where applicable, available on the Impaired Risk Questionnaires Page. A very important piece of information to include in any cover letter, is the rate class you need in order to place the case. It is helpful for any underwriter to know if the agent and consumer’s expectations are realistic.
4) Who should write this cover letter? – You and your client should write it together, since you are including information to help an underwriter create a holistic picture of who your client is.
A cover letter provides clarity and value in those situations that might benefit from information not found in an application. Who is your client, and why does it matter? You and your client can probably put a letter together that would show an underwriter who your client is with regards to family life, and other responsibilities. Underwriters like this information because it can help them get a sense of what is important to your client, and can help that underwriter make the best possible offer on a case. Use the cover letter to tell your client’s story.
Adam Thompson is Senior Vice President for Business Development at The Thompson Agency. His background experiences in both Education and Marketing are invaluable contributors to his creative entrepreneurial thinking and writing. You can reach Adam at: 800.842.8289 Ext. 302 or firstname.lastname@example.org