What expectations should you have of your general agent for impaired risk cases

In a prior Monday Memo, I highlighted the skills and practices you should have if you want to place substandard life insurance business. Here now I present the other side of the coin – the skills and practices that should be presented by your general agent. After all, it is through the collaboration of the GA and broker that the client’s immediate and future needs for life insurance are met.

I am pleased to say that the Hardersen Group has these qualifications, which is why I use them for my higher risk business – and which is why I am encouraging you to do the same!

  1. What to provide your GA: a Ready Buyer.

Your client must have a need for life insurance; the means to pay for it; and the intent to buy a policy now. Otherwise, it is not worth their time, your time, or the general agent and carrier’s time to prequalify them and put them through underwriting. Of particular importance is their premium threshold – the amount of money per month or year they would be comfortable paying for life insurance.

What to expect from your GA: attitude attitude attitude. 

They should be keenly motivated to get this done. If you as a broker deliver a client with his checkbook out – ready to do business – then your GA should be prepared to scour the ends of the earth to get an offer.

  1. What to provide your GA: thorough and accurate quote information.

This includes the completion of quote questionnaires; copies of prior application; medical records as needed; and the completion of risk questionnaires/follow-up information. If these items are not readily available, you will need to work with your client to obtain them.

What to expect from your GA: a sophisticated in-house quoting capability.

It can’t always be a question of just sending the case out to carriers and waiting for responses. If the GA truly is a specialist in high-risk cases, they should have enough skills and experience to get you into a price ballpark without having to shop it out. If the case is too complex to prequalify without records or carrier input, they should be able to specify in short order what additional information is required.

  1. What to provide your GA: an application.

It is expected that once prequalification is completed and reliable quotes are presented, you will close the sale and gain your client’s agreement to submit an application. It is vitally important that you have the highest possible ratio of applications to quotes in order to continue to receive favorable underwriting from carriers.

What to expect from your GA: concierge brokerage services.

Once you close the sale, their underwriting team should take it from there. They should get the application completed for you, get the client signature, and move right into case management. This way you can move on to the next sale and not burden yourself or your staff with administrative chores.

And they should do this for a case of any size and any product – not just the big cases.

  1. What to provide your GA: client management.

Both the prequalification and underwriting processes can be long and arduous. Your client will need you to lead them on this journey with confidence. You will need to keep them updated on their progress; help resolve issues that arise; and advocate on their behalf to make sure their interests remain front and center.

What to expect from your GA: advocacy.

There should be a full-court press to get an approval at the rate quoted. If no information emerges in underwriting to contradict the preliminary file, then you should get the rate at which you sold the case. What if one underwriter prequalifies the case at Table 4, but the underwriter who gets the app says it should be Table 6? Not your problem.

  1. What to provide your GA: client insurability monitoring.

For applicants that pose higher risks, the life insurance purchase often takes place in stages. Improvements in their medical condition/lifestyle can make them eligible for lower pricing and better value in the future. They will need guidance on when to go back to market to upgrade their coverage.

What to expect from your GA: guidance on setting up the next sale.

If a case cannot be placed now – and sometimes that is the case – then the GA should specify the circumstances under which the case could be placed. What changes in medical condition or lifestyle would need to be made?

Similarly, let’s say this time around the client qualifies for a Table 6. What has to happen for that to be Table 4 or better in the future?



This week’s seminar will take place on Thursday, February 8th, 4:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. EST.

A sales seminar with Darren Hardersen, FLMI, Principal of The Hardersen Group.

Darren is our General Agent with Crump, our MGA. He will discuss long-term care insurance product history, and explanation as to why rates keep going up.  He will explain how, through our brokerage services, you and your clients have access to virtually all the carriers in the marketplace. This product can still be sold if you involve people who know what they’re doing.



Come join our LinkedIn group!

“How to make your strategic insurance partnership hum with activity!”

This group is for brokers and advisers who have formed a strategic partnership with the Office of Steven H Kobrin, LUTCF/The Hardersen Group/Crump. It is also for financial professionals who want to learn more and potentially join us.

Strategic partnerships among sales people, general agents, and wholesalers are the wave of the future in our industry. Together we can bring the best products and services to more insurance consumers than ever before. This group will provide you with ideas and insights on how to do that. 

Simply click this link to join the group!   https://www.linkedin.com/groups/8635490
If you are a Linkedin member, just click the link and login.  If you are not a Linkedin member, you can join after clicking the link.