Broker Check
What Does Good Underwriting Look Like?

What Does Good Underwriting Look Like?

| April 09, 2019

A topic we are constantly addressing with brokers is the underwriting process. “Is your underwriting competitive?” is the question that is often asked. To understand the answer to this question, let’s look at the different perspectives involved in taking a policy from application to issue.

The underwriting process is really interpreted in 4 different ways:

The Client

The client often wants the process to be fast and convenient. They are busy, and they want to dedicate as little time to it as possible. From their point of view, “quick and easy” is often the best solution. If they have a long medical history, they may be willing to answer some questions about it, but they still want the process to be painless.

The Producer

The producer often wants a process that is organized, professional, and reflects well upon them. This is their client. They do not want mistakes made. They want a clean, efficient operation that treats their client respectfully and reinforces their decision to apply for the insurance in the first place. Often, clients will confuse 3rd party medical examiners with the insurance company, so mistakes made by them can reflect poorly upon the producer.

The Underwriter

The underwriter has a delicate balance to maintain. They must assess risk from the company perspective but also cater to the needs of the producers. They are expected to adhere to certain guidelines but also make “business decisions” to help producers win business in a competitive situation. For many, this is their career. They have years of experience. They know when to take chances. For others, they may just be starting out and afraid to step outside the lines to help a producer. Their decision can have real-world consequences for their career development. They are often in a no-win situation.

The Company

The company must think long-term. If they are committed to a line of business, they must make strategic underwriting decisions that look to impacts years in the future. They must plan appropriately. They must anticipate problems before they arise. They must constantly reassess their block of business for potential long-term problems. The company needs to be financially strong in the future to satisfy the commitments it makes to policyholders.

Where does Guardian fit into this?

Guardian is a 150-year-old mutual company. When we make a commitment to a policyholder, we expect to keep it. Forever. Our underwriting comes from a mindset that the decisions we make today must reinforce our commitment to our policyholders in the future. We do not buy business. We do not make bold decisions that could endanger our responsibilities. When you purchase life or disability insurance, you are not just buying the coverage itself. You are also buying the experience, financial strength*, and services of the insurance company. With so much change in the financial and insurance industry, you can feel confident in Guardian's long-term commitment to its policyholders.

Contact an Ashford Brokerage Manager to learn more about how Guardian can help your clients, and how we intend to keep our commitments to them when it matters most.

*Financial information concerning Guardian as of December 31, 2018, on a statutory basis: Admitted Assets = $58.5 Billion; Liabilities = $51.3 Billion (including $44.3 Billion of Reserves); and Surplus = $7.2 Billion.