Whether you are evaluating existing coverage or seeking new insurance, Private Wealth Advisers uses a unique five-step process called Life Assurance 360™ to make certain that your policy fits your current needs and continues to serve its intended purpose for the duration of the policy.
By taking a comprehensive, 360° approach to designing, implementing and managing life insurance, we believe that the outcome produced for our clients is better than when each of these steps is addressed in isolation…that the whole is indeed greater than the sum of its parts.
In this step, we use our proprietary Life Assurance Design Questionnaire to educate you about your life insurance options while gathering information about your goals, preferences, and risk tolerance. Additionally, our one-page Pre-Underwriting Questionnaire helps paint a high-level picture of how your medical history may factor into the overall plan design.
Valmark Concierge Services simplifies the life insurance application process by providing a confidential and highly personalized service to help coordinate the client’s application paperwork and necessary medical requirements. These services are offered exclusively to the clients of Valmark Member Offices and their allied professionals.
These private insurance services are made possible by:
What many people don’t realize is that the single greatest impact on the price of a life insurance policy is the professional management of the medical underwriting process.
Using our knowledge of how carrier underwriters, medical directors, and actuaries make decisions, we proactively position your life insurance application in its most favorable light.
We accomplish this through a proprietary informal underwriting process where we complete 90% of the underwriting BEFORE an application is submitted to an insurance company. This preliminary process enables us to pre-qualify underwriting offers from insurance companies, while protecting your Personal Health Information from the Medical Information Bureau so that your insurability remains unchanged.
As a result, we are able to deliver the best possible underwriting offers to our clients. Once received, the top offers from various companies are analyzed by our team. We match the best underwriting results to the appropriate product and optimized solution. We then discuss all of this information with you so that you can make an informed decision.
Clarification of medical details results in a favorable rating
SITUATION: A couple in their early 70s needed $30 million of coverage for their estate plan. The husband was uninsurable due to multiple heart attacks. The wife was also considered uninsurable due to obesity with a history of multiple “mini-strokes”, high blood pressure, asthma, and sleep apnea.
APPROACH: After reviewing the case, the Underwriting Advocacy Team determined that the wife might be insurable. They worked extensively with the wife’s physician to demonstrate that the “mini-strokes” were, instead, migraines. They showed that the wife’s high blood pressure was well controlled, and the asthma and sleep apnea were mild.
RESULT: $30 million of coverage was issued at standard (vs. rated) rates.
A strategic approach to securing underwriting through multiple companies results in a more efficient insurance portfolio
SITUATION: A couple in their early 60s with a net worth in excess of $100 million needed $50 million of coverage at a more efficient price. They had $30 million of coverage in force.
APPROACH: Coordinating the applications for coverage with multiple companies was essential in this case. The Underwriting Advocacy Team first used a private inquiry process to secure initial offers from the companies. Secondly, they coordinated three applications in phases to avoid exceeding carrier capacity limits. Lastly, they arranged to have the clients examined only once for all three applications.
RESULT: $50 million of joint coverage at preferred rates which increased the overall efficiency of the couple’s insurance portfolio.
The addition of contextual medical information clarifies medical history and results in a favorable rating
SITUATION: A 60-year-old male diabetic needed $2 million of coverage. He had a history of burst vessels in his eye and also an abnormal amount of protein in his urine (an indication of a possible kidney problem).
APPROACH: The Underwriting Advocacy Team reviewed the client’s medical records and highlighted the client’s excellent history of diabetic control and normal urine findings. They also provided a detailed summary of the client’s medical records, which reduced the amount of assessment time required by the insurance company underwriters.
RESULT: A standard offer was received for the entire $2 million of coverage. The Underwriting Advocacy Team’s knowledge of which carriers viewed diabetics favorably as well as their ability to address the abnormal protein finding were critical in securing coverage at standard (vs. rated)
Before submitting an application, we collect all of the evidence required to render an underwriting decision so we can ensure your information is accurate. Any gaps can be clarified with your physicians before any evidence is submitted to the insurers. Also, contextual information can be added to help insurance company underwriters understand the big picture – why you are seeking insurance coverage, what you are doing to address any health issues, etc.
Most surprises in an underwriting evaluation come from the medical exam and lab work in connection with the life insurance application. Our confidential, private evaluation allows our team to review your exam and laboratory results prior to them being submitted to a carrier. These results, combined with a HIPAA-compliant confidential review of your medical records, allows us to assess your life insurance risk, address any abnormalities which may be present in the exam or lab results, and determine which carriers will have the most favorable evaluation of the application.
By proactively providing the home office underwriter with a clarified and coordinated presentation of your medical information, we remove as many surprises as possible and can usually help positively affect the evaluation of your risk.
Next, we submit your case to multiple insurance carriers using a carefully-structured methodology. This is where Underwriting Advocacy can be especially impactful in addressing the complexities of coordinating large amounts of coverage with multiple carriers.
Each carrier has a limited amount of risk it is willing to accept on a particular life. One large case submitted inappropriately to too many carriers at once, can flood the market. This can essentially block you from gaining access to higher amounts of coverage.
MEDICAL EXAMS: Although several companies may be selected at the beginning of the underwriting process, the Underwriting Advocacy process enables you to use one medical exam for all companies, avoiding the inconvenience of unnecessary or duplicate tests. The medical information can be shared with all companies in a format designed to present your case in its most favorable light.
UNDERWRITING INTERVIEWS: During the home office underwriting evaluation process, we conduct phone conferences, as needed, between your physicians and carrier underwriters so that the proper information and positioning is provided to obtain the most favorable offers possible.
After underwriting offers have been received, we consult with you and your advisors to select the best products and offers from the most appropriate insurance company or companies.
Key to the success of this proactive approach is expert implementation by a world-class underwriting team made available through our relationship with the Valmark Companies. Our consulting team includes several former insurance company Underwriting Vice Presidents and Medical Directors, a licensed physician, and a senior staff of case management, business processing and policy service specialists. Together, they confidentially represent, clarify and coordinate the details of your application with multiple insurance companies throughout the underwriting process.
Through our relationship with the Valmark Companies, we have access to The Policy Management Company which provides policy monitoring and management services for our clients’ in-force life insurance policies.
This is accomplished through an effective combination of technology, a dedicated team of policy management experts, and a professional process developed from Valmark’s 50+ years of experience with sophisticated life insurance policies.
Together, they form a durable bridge connecting your expectations of promised policy benefits with actual results. Our goal is to give you the assurance of ongoing policy performance while creating what we believe is a superior insurance experience. Potential advantages to both policy holders and trustees include:
Guaranteed products need to be continually monitored and managed. The slightest deviation from the policy plan can cause a guarantee to go off track.
SITUATION: A 50-year-old entrepreneur purchased a $2 million Guaranteed Universal Life policy with an annual premium of $50,000 and a lifetime guarantee.
CHALLENGE: In Year 2, the premium was two weeks overdue, and the entrepreneur received a termination notice from the carrier giving him the option to pay $50,000 and receive a one-year guarantee or pay $145,000 for a lifetime guarantee.
Upon investigation, the advisor learned that the late payment had automatically caused a rate change that would have cost the entrepreneur $95,000 to reinstate the lifetime guarantee
RESOLUTION: The Policy Management Company was called in and was able to leverage its relationship with the carrier to reinstate the lifetime guarantee without additional premium. Of note, had the policy been originally supervised by The Policy Management Company, this situation could have been avoided due to proactive services such as premium alerts and advance notices.
Over time, sustained low interest rates can significantly affect the performance and guarantees of many different types of insurance policies.
SITUATION: A recently-retired, 65-year-old corporate executive purchased a $3 million Universal Life policy for a single premium payment of $850,000. The original policy was projected to sustain the death benefit to age 100 based on the current interest rates.
The client, who is now 85 years old, was notified that his policy is projected to lapse at age 89 due to the sustained low interest rate environment.
CHALLENGE: The carrier gave the client the choice of paying an annual premium of $129,079 to extend coverage to age 95, or $173,338 per year to extend coverage to age 100.
TAKE AWAY: This particular product design has the greatest risk of lapsing early due to the current low interest rate environment. If the policy would have been monitored more closely over the years, early intervention could have significantly reduced the amount of premium required to maintain coverage until age 100.
Advances in medicine, technology and health awareness have allowed us to live longer. However, with greater longevity comes the risk of eventually needing some type of extended health care. How you prepare for that possibility directly impacts the security of your entire portfolio and can pose one of the greatest threats to your retirement income security.
As health care costs continue to rise, more and more people are wisely deciding to assign the risk of needing long term care (and the financial impact that comes along with it) to an insurance company through a hybrid life and long-term care insurance policy.
After we assess your personal situation, we can help you design a policy and plan individually tailored to protect your assets now and in the future for a variety of situations. These plans can help:
Situations may arise when you no longer need or want your life insurance policy, generally due to:
When these situations occur, we work with you and your advisors using our Life Settlement Advocacy Program™ which first analyzes the existing policy and examines the potential for a life settlement. Based on our findings and your objectives, we provide detailed analyses and recommendations of various options that may include:
Valmark Securities supervises all life settlements like a security transaction and its’ registered representatives act as brokers on the transaction and may receive a fee from the purchaser. Once a policy is transferred, the policy owner has no control over subsequent transfers and may be required to disclose additional information later. If a continued need for coverage exists, the policy owner should consider the availability, adequacy and cost of the comparable coverage. A life settlement transaction may require an extended period to complete and result in higher costs and fees due to their complexity. Policy owners considering the need for cash should consider other less costly alternatives. A life settlement may affect the insured’s ability to obtain insurance in the future and the seller’s eligibility for certain public assistance programs. When an individual decides to sell their policy, they must provide complete access to their medical history, and other personal information.