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  • Insurance Planning

What to Expect When You Apply For Insurance

April 04, 2024

Purchasing insurance is a significant decision. This guide will walk you through the process and help you understand what to expect at every step.

1. Needs Analysis 

Your WealthCo Insurance advisor will collaborate with you to analyze your insurance needs thoroughly, ensuring that you receive the right amount of coverage tailored to your unique circumstances. 

2. Applying for your Policy 

Completing the application accurately is crucial. We help ensure all questions, including those regarding your medical and financial status, are answered in detail. This helps us expedite the underwriting process and ensures that your benefits are payable when needed. Once your application is complete, sign and date it, and we'll take care of the rest by forwarding it to our underwriting team. 

3. Providing Medical Evidence 

Depending on your policy, you may need to undergo medical tests. We'll arrange these for you, typically including a paramedical exam and various laboratory tests. A designated nurse will contact you to schedule these appointments at your convenience in the comfort of your own home. 

4. Preparing for your Medical Tests 

When preparing for your medical appointments, consider the following: 

  • When the nurse calls to make your appointment, let them know if you require an oversized cuff or scale (over 300 lbs). 
  • Prepare a list to bring with you, including your medical history, current medications (with doses), contact information for all your doctors, and a history of serious family illnesses 
  • Avoid vigorous exercise or activities the day before your exam as well as caffeine and alcohol the day of your exam 
  • Bring photo ID and arrive well rested to your appointment 

5. Understanding the Medical Procedures 

Depending on the type and amount of insurance applied for, we'll let you know which of the following you require: 

  • Paramedical examination - a medical questionnaire completed by a nurse 
  • Blood sample 
  • Urine sample 
  • Saliva test 
  • Electrocardiogram (ECG) 
  • Inspection Report - a telephone interview with a consumer reporting company 
  • An Attending Physician Statement - a report requested from one or more of your doctors by the insurance company. If the insurance company doesn’t hear back, I may ask you to call your doctor’s office to try and expedite their report. 

WealthCo will submit your application and any other evidence of insurability that you provide to an underwriter to assess your risk. This means considering factors such as your job, hobbies, financial and medical information, your lifestyle, travel, and for life insurance, your beneficiary’s insurable interest in your life. The coverage and premium rates we offer you will be related to the underwriter’s risk assessment. Depending on the complexity of your case, your policy should be approved within 4 to 12 weeks.  

6. Issuing your Policy 

Our underwriting team will review all the evidence provided and make an ‘underwriting decision’ concerning the policy and premium rates to offer. These are some of the underwriting decisions that could be made:   

  • Preferred Rates  Because the applicant poses such a low risk due to good health, lifestyle and more, you may receive a policy offer with a premium that is lower than the standard premium rates that are illustrated. (only available with some insurers and products) 
  • Standard Rates  Insurers offer a policy at a standard rate.  
  • Rated or Sub-Standard Policy Because of health or other risk-related information uncovered during underwriting, insurers may offer a policy with a higher premium than the standard rate. 
  • Policy with an Exclusion  Exclusions usually only apply to plans like disability or critical illness insurance and may exclude events that could occur due to certain high-risk jobs or hobbies or illnesses or parts of the body that have been injured or treated in the past. 
  • Postponed Application  The application process could be paused for a period of time because you have pending health-related issues like a scheduled surgery or pending tests or test results. 
  • Declined Application  Insurers could decline to offer a policy based on the risk-related information provided during the application process. If this should occur, you may still have options; check out this article: You Have More Insurance Options Than You Think.  If a policy is not issued as applied for due to medical reasons, customers can sign a “Release of Medical Information” form requesting that our insurance company release the medical reason to their physician. Then, they can visit their physician to discuss the case.

7. Delivering the Policy 

When a policy is issued, we will schedule a meeting to review the policy with you. If they accept the policy, they’ll sign a receipt and pay any remaining premiums due. Once the receipt is signed, they will have a maximum of 10 days to change their mind and receive a refund of all premiums paid. We suggest that you store your insurance policy in a safe place.   

8. Choosing Payment Options 

  • PRE-AUTHORIZED DEBIT (PAD) – Customers can elect to have premiums debited from their bank by signing an authorization and providing a void sample cheque. 
  • CHEQUE – Typically, this option is only available when paying annually. 

9. Servicing the Policy 

Some insurance companies offer a client portal where customers can review policy values and make changes to their profile for things such as banking and address information. Beyond that, customers can contact our WealthCo Insurance team for other types of policy changes like beneficiary or coverage changes as their circumstances and insurance requirements change.  We’ll also be in touch to review your insurance needs from time to time to ensure your coverage is keeping pace with the evolving needs of your life.