Are Your Clients Going Green?

Mia Dempsey – Manager, New Business

Something we are seeing more of in life insurance underwriting is marijuana use by applicants. Let us look at how the carriers view this risk.

For medical marijuana users, the insurance carriers will be more concerned with the underlying condition for which it was prescribed rather than the marijuana use itself. They will also be looking to see that the applicant has a ‘recommendation card’ (Rec) signed by physician. Click here to download our general health questionnaire to help uncover the applicants’ health risk(s).

For recreational users, the underwriters will consider a few things:

  • Are you in a state that has legalized the use of marijuana?
  • How old is the applicant?
    • The legal age for recreational marijuana use is 21. However, the carriers are underwriting applicants that are 25 and older. Any younger than that and they typically will not offer coverage.
  • How often does the client smoke? Or ingest edible marijuana?
    • A few times annually? Monthly? Daily?
    • The more often an applicant smoke/ingests, the bigger the risk
  • Will THC show up on their lab work?
    • THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol, is the chemical responsible for most of marijuana’s psychological effects. 1
    • Not all carriers will test for THC during the paramed exam

Some carriers consider any marijuana (medicinal or recreational) use as smoker/tobacco even if they do not smoke cigarettes or use any form of tobacco.  Fortunately, we do have a few carriers that will offer non-tobacco rating for marijuana users.

When filling out the application, make sure to disclose the marijuana use. You do not want the carrier to uncover it during the underwriting process.  Carriers do not look favorably on cases where it is not admitted up front and can result in a decline or smoker/tobacco health classes.

Contact your AMS dedicated case manager for any questions or to request a risk assessment for your client.


It’s Annual Review Time!

Mia Dempsey, Manager New Business

A lot can change in a person’s life in as short a time as a month. Any number of events could occur ranging from a death in the family to a wedding or the birth of a child or grandchild. All of these happenings could change their financial, estate planning, or legacy needs.  

Scheduling an annual client review is often overlooked in the financial planning process. Having a face-to-face or personalized Zoom meeting with your client to go over their progress and discuss any adjustments is essential to creating that deeper connection. They want to feel like a part of the “family” and something as simple as sitting down for an hour to discuss their goals, needs, and life updates can be the difference between loyalty and switching to another advisor. Let’s also mention that increased customer allegiance leads to more referrals! The more an individual feels they can trust you, and that you care, the more likely they are to encourage their friends and family to work with you.

Meeting with your client to go over their portfolio and its performance over the course of the year will also allow you to seamlessly uncover new assets they may have come into since your last meeting.  Asset’s Annual Client Review Kit will help guide you through the process and make the experience easy and meaningful for clients.

Here is what’s included in the Asset Annual Review Kit:

  • A customizable letter inviting your client to sit down with you
  • A comprehensive checklist to utilize during the meeting to be sure you cover all necessary topics.
  • An educational video of Angela Sloan discussing why client reviews are so important to her practice and the immense benefits they provide.

Set yourself apart from the competition and create deeper, everlasting relationships with your clients. Download the Annual Client Review Kit today and be sure to contact your Marketing Consultant to get more information about Annual Client reviews. 

Set Proper Expectations and Place Your Cases

Mia Dempsey, Manager New Business

Life insurance is about protecting the things that are important to your clients. When considering life insurance, you must think about the health of the applicant. An initial review of any adverse risk(s) will help determine insurability and allow you to set proper expectations for your clients.

Want to show a client instantly what carriers may be able to offer based on their build, blood pressure, cholesterol, tobacco use, family history, and/or driving violations? Visit the Life Department page on the Producer Portal and Run a Term Quote. At the bottom of the page select ‘Enter Health Profile’ to access this quick and easy tool.

Have a client with more a complicated risk or multiple risks? Use our Health Screening Questionnaire to complete the initial review to uncover those risks. We have 125+ specific health questionnaires to then assist you with getting all the answers the underwriters will need in order to provide a tentative offer for your client. This is completely confidential for your clients, so if a carrier determines they cannot offer coverage there is nothing added to the clients MIB. The response rate for this deeper dive is only 48-72 hours.

Contact your dedicated case manager today for more details and let us help you get those hard to place life cases approved (888-303-8755)

Carriers Adapting to a “New Way of Underwriting”

Mia Dempsey, Manager – New Business

In an effort to make life insurance risk assessment easier during the pandemic, carriers are continuing to streamline their underwriting processes. These methods include expanding and instituting new accelerated underwriting processes, and adding features to their websites to assist advisors with inforce business.  Below are some of the ease of business changes we’ve encountered.


Expanded Accelerated Underwriting from $1.5 million to $3 million, as well as including Premium Finance business.

  • Accelerated Program guidelines that remain unchanged:
    • Ages 25-60
    • Preferred nontobacco or Preferred Plus nontobacco risk classes
    • Requirements: MIB, MVR, Rx, Underwriting Consumer report, and PHI


New Horizon drop ticket process generates an email to the client allowing them to complete an online application.  No more waiting for the client to be available for a telephone interview.

  • Carrier will then do MVR, MIB, etc.
  • This gives clients the flexibility to complete the entire application online in under 20 minutes 
  • Reflexive questions in the application reduce the need for exams and labs


Paperless term cases; electronic ticket Tele-App process with automated underwriting and Electronic policy delivery on all cases.

National Life Group  

  • New electronic policy delivery option for annuities and life cases
  • See actions that your clients are taking with the carrier call center, website, and mobile application by using the new Client Intelligence feature on the carrier website:

Give the Life Team a call to run an illustration, answer questions, or get a preliminary risk assessment done for your clients.  We’re here to help and appreciate your business! 

Important Note:  Despite the early underwriting challenges during the pandemic, our Case Managers’ average turn-around-times from submission to approval remains at less than 38 days.  

Favorable Underwriting for CAD

Mia Dempsey – Manager, New Business

Coronary heart disease is the most common type of heart disease, killing 365,914 people in 2017.1

Coronary artery disease develops when the major blood vessels that supply your heart with blood, oxygen and nutrients (coronary arteries) become damaged or diseased. Cholesterol-containing deposits (plaque) in your arteries and inflammation are usually to blame for coronary artery disease.2

If you have a client that has been diagnosed with CAD we have potential opportunities to get them a Standard or better offer with some of our carriers. 

  • American National – Ages 70+ with single vessel (right coronary artery) disease and other favorable factors, can receive standard rates. 
  • John Hancock – Possible Standard Plus or Preferred on treated CAD cases, ages 71+
  • Lincoln Financial – Cardiac credits – up to four tables’ worth of credits available to age 70. Standard rates may be available over age 70 with a history of coronary artery disease. 



Contact your Asset Case Manager to obtain questionnaires.  Send completed forms back to receive tentative offers from the carriers and help your clients insure themselves for their loved ones.  

(Note:  Final offers subject to full underwriting)

Medical Information Bureau (MIB) – Facts and Myths

Mia Dempsey, Manager – New Business
(Asset Marketing Systems)

Everything You Need to Know About MIB

An essential part on the life underwriting process is the use of the MIB report. MIB, Inc. is a consumer reporting agency for use by insurance companies. 

MIB maintains a database for the member companies to exchange confidential information of underwriting significance when a person applies for life, health, disability income, long term care and/or critical illness insurance. This information is maintained and safeguarded in a coded format that is accessible only to authorized personnel of a member company.

To access this information, the member company must receive authorization from the proposed insured to use MIB as an information source. The authorization is provided by the completion of an insurance application and is signed by the proposed insured. The primary purpose of MIB is to protect the member companies from proposed insureds who knowingly or unknowingly omit information about their insurability on their application.

Frequently asked questions regarding MIB:

1. Can an insurance company obtain the final decision(s) of the proposed insured’s prior applications?

The answer is no. MIB does not provide the exact decision made by the insurance company only the details that affected the decision.

2. When a person checks online for information about an Insurance company or receives a quote online from a company do these actions get reported to MIB?

The answer is no. To access information from MIB the insurance company must receive a signed application by the proposed insured. The application can be either in paper form or electronic.

3. Does MIB receive information directly from an individual’s Medical Doctor?

The answer is no. Only insurance companies report information to MIB. This is only after the insurance company has received authorization from a proposed insured.

4. Can an insurance company obtain the name of the company(s) the proposed insured has applied to in the past?

Upon request MIB will supply the name of any insurance company(s) the proposed insured has applied to in the past.

 If your client would like information on MIB, you may provide a copy of the brochure “A Consumer’s Guide to MIB’s Underwriting Services” to the proposed insured.

Contact information for MIB:
50 Braintree Hill Park, Suite 400
Braintree, MA 02184
Phone: 781-751-6000

Source: North American Company
This information for use only by Financial Professionals. Not for consumer use.