Five Common Questions about Underwriting

1. What is underwriting?

Underwriting is the process used to assess your eligibility to receive a financial product like insurance. Very simply, the underwriting process helps define and clarify specific risks or attributes that can make an insurance product more or less expensive. In some cases, underwriting may involve basic medical questions, a detailed health history and/or a physical exam.

2. Why is underwriting required as part of the application process?

It helps ensure that we can offer the best rate available based on your health and other factors that affect insurability. It also ensures that your beneficiaries will receive the full benefit amount in the event of a claim. When information about risk is complete and true, we can offer the most appropriate and cost-effective product.

3. Am I required to answer the questions or provide additional information if requested?

If you want to obtain the specific type of insurance policy you applied for and underwriting is required, then yes—all questions and requests for information must be answered.

Alternatively, if you do not want to answer underwriting questions (which can include specific medical information), your application will be closed. At that point, we may be able to work with you to see if you qualify for another type of policy. Policies that require little to no underwriting may be available but would likely be more expensive.

4. Where does the information used in underwriting come from?

After we receive your authorization, the underwriting process draws information from a variety of sources. You provide some of this information yourself on the application. Additional information is sometimes obtained from third-party sources such as motor vehicle department reports or from MIB, Inc., a not-for-profit group that provides insurance companies with information. This information is always confidential and contains data that may be used in underwriting.

5. Why do underwriters sometimes call applicants? Don't they have everything they need? 

In some cases, underwriters call applicants to clarify information or get a better understanding of a specific situation.