Using Cover Letters To Win High Risk Life Insurance Clients

I consider myself a high risk life insurance specialist.  I work high risk cases every day and have replaced countless policies from people who were paying too much just because their previous agent used the wrong life insurance company.

My secret weapon to placing so many high risk life insurance cases?  Cover Letters.

Not just any cover letter.  Awesome cover letters.

You’d be surprised how many agents either don’t know that you can write a cover letter or are just too lazy to spend the time to draft one up.  If an agent does draft a cover letter, it’s usually half-assed from what I’ve seen.

Cover letters can get you better health classifications for your clients.  Better life insurance offers = more placed premium.

I write cover letters for every case that has a possibility of being rated.

Recent Case Study

I had an article published in that generated a few new scuba diver clients.  One in particular needed my help big time.  He needed a $1.5M policy to secure a loan for his business and had an offer on the table with Prudential for $9600 AP.  He contacted me because of the article and wanted to see if he could get his premium down.

This guy was in perfect health, however he smoked pipe tobacco and dives deeper than 100′ when he scuba dives.  The previous agent automatically went to Prudential because he could get non-smoker rates.  Smart move, but when they did the scuba diving questionnaire, he stated that he had 2 dives over 120′ last year so Prudential rated him a Table 4.

With this information, I knew my options were limited to those companies who gave non-smoker rates for tobacco pipe use.  I grilled him about his dives.  Where they were, how many, his certifications, how long he’s been certified etc.  Lincoln would offer a Table 4 non-smoker rate as well because of the depths of his dives, but it would be more expensive than Prudential’s, so I knew my only shot at placing this case was convincing the underwriter to give a Standard health classification and let the underwriter know about the offer from Prudential.

Here’s how I positioned it.  I stated that he only had 2 dives over 100′ last year and he doesn’t have any definite plans to dive over 100′ this next year.  I also said all his dives were in resort towns in crystal clear waters and that he never dives in murky waters.  I also added his advanced certifications to the cover letter.  I closed the cover letter by saying that if we can’t get a Standard non-smoker offer, that the insured wouldn’t take the offer because of the offer already on the table from PRU.

Painting this picture landed me a Standard non-smoker offer for $5600 in AP.  This offer was outside of their normal underwriting guidelines but because I made his risk look a lot better than it does on paper (no future dives over 100′ scheduled, only 2 dives over 100′ last year, only dives in resort towns and crystal clear waters, advanced certifications), I was able to win this client.  A commission another agent lost out on because I went the extra mile.

The Opportunity

I know that none of the big life insurance call centers write cover letters.  Heck, some of them don’t even write substandard business.  Which leaves independent agents with a lot of high risk people looking for better rates online.

All it takes is qualifying a prospect correctly.  If your prospect has a health condition, grill them about it.  Dig deep.  If they were declined previously, don’t get discouraged.  Many times an agent just used the wrong company.

Once you get ALL the details, lean on your upline to help you find a company.   Your upline may tell you where the client needs to be in order to qualify.  Make sure you use that information in your cover letter.

Some of my biggest cases have been high risks where my cover letter provided information that wasn’t in the medical records, labs or application.

Life Insurance Cover Letter Tips

The purpose of a cover letter is to provide a “face” to the case that will help give the underwriter a better mental picture of the applicant’s situation.  Here are some tips:

  • Tell a story.  Why is this coverage needed?  What makes the insured a better risk than his medical records may show?
  • Attach a picture if you have a prospect that is overweight, but is mostly muscle.  Or when their chest is bigger than their waist.  Even if build isn’t an issue, attaching a vibrant photo of the insured will help the underwriter paint that mental picture and develop a personal association with the case.  However, if the insured is overweight, don’t attach a picture.
  • Divulge as much information as you can:
    – Purpose of coverage
    – How was the face amount determined
    – If it’s for a loan, give the details on amount and duration
    – ALL details of their health conditions painted in the most favorable light possible.
    – Daily exercise? Healthy eating? Daily vitamins?
    – Favorable lifestyle changes that were recently made?
    – Any sports or physical activities?
    – Are you in competition with another broker?

An awesome cover letter will help influence an underwriters decision.  A mediocre cover letter will do nothing for you.

Our sales duties don’t stop once we’ve taken the application on a high risk prospect.  You now have to sell the underwriter.  A cover letter is your only tool to “pitch” your client’s risk to the underwriter.

Get in the habit of writing awesome cover letters for your high risk clients.  Your bank account will thank you.