By Cyril Tuohy
MetLife has announced the launch of what it calls a “field underwriting tool” that helps advisors and agents quickly deliver estimates of a life insurance applicant’s rating.
The tool, called MetLife QuickPredict, is viewable on a computer, tablet or smartphone, and is available to MetLife producers who sell the company’s life insurance products.
The product is the latest example of a life insurer making computer and Internet-based tools available on mobile hardware to help advisors communicate premium estimates immediately to advisors in the field, which often means in front of a prospective client.
“With MetLife QuickPredict, someone can leave my office with the knowledge that we’ve provided a more accurate estimate of the underwriting class for their life insurance policy,” said Susan Maginn Christ of Maginn Wealth Advisors in Indianapolis.
If applicants know right away that they aren’t even eligible for favorable rating status, they may decline to proceed with the application. This saves the advisor and the applicant from completing the application process only to be turned down weeks later, which is one of the most frustrating aspects of applying for life insurance.
Unlike credit applications, which are approved or declined in seconds, underwriting a life insurance policy takes several weeks as underwriters take into account medical history for a product that is going to be in force for the next 20 or 30 years.
The lower the rating class of a life insurance applicant, the higher the premium because underwriters have deemed an applicant a higher risk. (Smoking, a classic risk factor, usually means getting knocked down into a lower rating class, which entails a higher premium.)
If the applicant doesn’t give an answer that would prevent a better rating class, the tool will continue to identify a possible rating class at the end of the questions, without the need to enter the applicant’s name or personal information, MetLife said.
“It’s anonymous, it’s quick, it’s easy, and it provides more transparency in the underwriting process, which helps to cement trust between clients and producers,” Christ said in a news release.
Cyril Tuohy is a writer based in Pennsylvania. He has covered the financial services industry for more than 15 years. Cyril may be reached at [email protected].
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