#9 of 12 in the Life Insurance “Checklist For The Real World” series.
Once you’ve selected a life insurance agent, reviewed your choices, and made a final choice about what type of life insurance policy you want, how much coverate…etc., it’s time to fill out a life insurance application.
NOTE: Have your agent complete the application…
Let your agent fill out the life insurance application (unless it is specifically required for you to do it by the carrier you've chosen). It's pointless for you to learn all the ins and outs of each company application because each life insurance company’s paperwork is different. You can learn everything you need to know when you review the completed application.
Ask your agent or broker for a written outline of how things will proceed. (Status updates, ongoing underwriting requirements, etc.). Nothing is worse than being in the dark when it comes to financial concerns and there is a high likelihood of this happening when you just throw yourself on the mercy of your agent. Even if your life insurance agent is a good one, they may not have prepared an outline or plan of action for their clients. When you ask, don't let them get off the hook by verbally explaining it. Ask for it in writing. It isn't so you will have something on them for a law suit, it's because by putting it in writing, you'll take higher priority with them. Trust expereience on this one!
Review the application, make sure it was honest. If your agent “lied for you” to “help” you get a better rate, you have just put the whole benefit amount in jeopardy; If you lie on an application, they don’t have to pay your family when you die. There is usually a two year contest-ability clause that makes the life insurance contract very fragile with regard to lies on the contract. It just isn’t worth it. If there is anything on the application you don’t feel you could defend in court successfully, have the agent reword the application or line out the “untruth” and/or make changes (each insurance company has a different procedure for mistakes).
Ask questions BEFORE you sign it and send it back.
Sign, (date it ?) and send it in…
Life insurance companies are funny about how applications are filled out because of the potential fraud and one of the areas they’re very particular about are the dates. For example, many life insurance companies will decline temporary coverage (coverage while in underwriting) if the dates don’t match everywhere (the date on all pages of the application, the date on the check, and any other dates that are part of the application).
So be aware of this as you review your application. Nothing specific is recommend here, other than to be aware of the little things and ask your agent if there is anything you need to pay special attention to.
Also, make sure to send it in with a check for the correct amount (which depends on how you chose to pay- monthly, quarterly, semi-annually or annually). Lastly, KEEP A COPY and FILE IT.
Life Settlements FAQ – What If I Die Shortly After Selling My Policy?
Life Settlement FAQ – What if I Change My Mind?
Life Settlement FAQ – When Will I Get My Money And From Whom? And What Happens After?
Life Settlement FAQ – Is My Information Private & Confidential?
Life Settlement FAQ – Broker or Provider Representative?
Life Settlement FAQ – Do I have to sell all of my policy?