Don’t “Burn” Your Clients’ Insurability!

This article was generously provided by Christine-Lyne Fulham, Business Development Consultant, Financial Horizons Group, Quebec Region.


As a Financial Security Advisor, you meet, or undoubtedly have within your client base, some clients who have an unhealthy lifestyle. These clients are sometimes declined when they set out to purchase life insurance (or other forms of insurance, like disability, critical illness, etc.). Or, if they are accepted, it is with an extra premium. Are such situations avoidable? Yes! And this article will tell you how.

By following this simple advice, you will stop “burning” your clients’ insurability.

Unfortunately, advisors often meet clients who are no longer insurable at the standard rates because a less experienced advisor has submitted an application without properly assessing the client’s insurability. It is often early in an advisor’s career when he or she unknowingly submits an application for hard-to-insure cases to the wrong insurers, thereby “burning” the future insurability of these clients.


Warning: This Advice Also Applies to Experienced Advisors!

When you meet a client, it is important to act as the first underwriter and to do your best to properly assess the situation, even if certain questions can be sensitive. It is important to ask the right questions and to properly prepare your clients for the phone interview. Below are the most important points to address:

Alcohol Use:

  • Assess consumption and frequency
  • Has your physician ever recommended that you reduce your consumption?
  • Have you ever lost your licence due to alcohol use?
  • Have you ever been admitted to an alcohol treatment centre?

Drug Use:

  • When was the last time you used hard drugs?
  • Have you ever been admitted to a treatment centre following drug use?
  • Marijuana use (more than twice per week)?

Here are some other points to consider:

  • Upcoming medical or blood test or doctor’s appointment
  • Medication
  • Mental health problems
  • Checking weight and height
  • Absence from work during past two years due to a neurological disorder (depression, burnout, mental health problems)
  • Criminal record from the past ten years

By taking a few minutes to gather and analyze the responses, you will be able to make sure you select the right product and insurance company, enabling your client for approval without any issues. As well, you should be aware that asking for an opinion is also a great way of checking a client’s insurability and that simplified issue products are also a perfectly viable alternative.

It’s an advisor’s responsibility to serve his or her clients well, even in difficult situations! By following this advice and not “burning” the insurability of these clients, you will reach this goal and, what’s more, such professionalism will help you gain their respect and earn new clients.