How To Recover from a Decline

How To Recover from a Decline

Getting declined for life insurance is very serious

While a decline doesn’t necessarily mean an insurance company believes you are going to die very soon, it does mean they have concerns about your statistical life expectancy or personal history, or activities. And a decline by one insurance company can generally be seen by other insurers. So a decline “on your record” might just make it that much harder for you to be seen positively by another company.  So let’s talk about how to avoid a decline as best as possible.

Working with an experienced life insurance agent is crucial

If you have known health issues, chronic or otherwise, engage in potentially dangerous activities, or have a personal history that involves trouble with the law, you may find yourself an unacceptable risk to many insurance companies, and therefore a candidate for a decline. Does this mean you shouldn’t try to get coverage?  Well no, not without consulting an agent who is experienced and knowledgeable and who can first assess your potential “problems”, speak to underwriters about the information they need to make an informed decision, and then follow through to present the best and most accurate information possible to the underwriters. 

Many times it is incomplete, or even erroneous information about a prospective insured that leads underwriters to decline an application. Unfortunately, blame can usually be shared by an agent’s inexperience to ask the right follow-up questions, and an applicant’s attempt to tell the most favorable story about themselves that they can.  

So when you get declined you, here’s what you need to do:  
  • Write to the company representative who sent you the decline letter, and ask for specifics about why you were declined.
  • Follow-up with your agent when you hear from the company that declined you.
What can usually be fixed:
  • Erroneous information in a medical record.
  • Personal history that has not been updated.
  • Personal history that is not yours.
  • Incorrect information on the application.

If you have been declined and don’t think there is any hope in being issued a policy by any company, you should speak with one of our affiliated agents and get an understanding of what other options may be available.


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Income Replacement Coverage

Income Replacement Coverage

How would your family survive if you could not work and earn an income?

Income replacement coverage is just what the term implies, covering the future income, for those who are counting on it, family, business partners, creditors, etc. 

However, the income replacement calculation can be tricky because of the need to calculate project into the future and make some assumptions about future projected earnings, inflation, changing financial obligations and other items. 

Due to these variables, one could be looking at an increasing need, a decreasing need, or a static need. This must only be calculated with the help of an experienced, knowledgeable professional, as this calculation is too important to guess about.


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Mortgage Protection

Mortgage Protection

Protect your most valuable asset – your home – with life insurance

Mortgage protection coverage is a life insurance policy that covers the balance of a mortgage or loan over the period of that loan.  A mortgage protection life insurance plan can optimize the coverage so that only the approximate coverage that is needed at any given time interval, is being paid for. 

In other words, since the principal balance a mortgage decreases over time, an experienced knowledgeable agent can design coverage for you that declines approximately along with the mortgage balance, so you are not paying for excessive coverage.


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Final Expense/Funeral Coverage

Final Expense/Funeral Coverage

Final expense life insurance policies cover the cost of funeral expenses – and more

Final expense, can be utilized for funeral expenses, hospital/medicare and care facility bills that may otherwise become the obligation of other relatives, estate liquidity, (gives executors money to pay taxes, insurance and other expenses on real estate and other property, while settling the estate of deceased.) as well as other costs associated with the insured person’s passing. 

Heavily-marketed final expense policies may have hidden costs

Final expense insurance is best and most properly addressed with a permanent life insurance policy.  While there are companies that issue small policies through the mail, you must be very careful and understand that many of these policies are age banded, and when the insured reaches the next age band, their premium will increase if they wish to maintain the same amount of coverage.  

Some final-expense life insurance policies are “graded”

Some of these policies may be also be graded.   Grading means that there will be a period of time when the insurance isn’t in effect, and all the deceased’s beneficiaries will get back are the premiums paid and interest. 

What’s also important to know is that since final expense is meant to be available for the entire life of the insured, it is very important to speak with an experienced, knowledgeable professional, even if a policy with a small death benefit is needed or desired.


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No Roth, No Problem

No Roth, No Problem

Having too much income will prevent you from using a Roth IRA (Roth) to save after-tax money, and grow that money, tax-deferred, as well as use that growth, tax-free. Also, the type of income you have may prevent you from using a Roth, as contributions must be made with earned income, not income derived from dividends and other passive sources.  On top of all of this, the people who are most likely to want to maximize Roth IRA contributions, and may even use strategies like the “back-door Roth”, are likely able, and want to, make substantially higher contributions than allowed by law anyway.  For these folks, who want to enjoy tax-free growth and tax-free use of gains, well into the future, municipal bonds, don’t fill the bill; instead, the only mechanism left is the implementation of a properly designed cash-value life insurance plan. 

Cash-value life insurance has several tax advantages that can mimic a Roth IRA, except without income or contribution “limits” imposed on a Roth IRA (such as income phase-out, earned income requirement, and annual contribution limits). But selecting the correct type of permanent cash-value policy must be done with care for a variety of reasons. Firstly, there is not one type of cash-value insurance that is better than another type, each general type has a unique value proposition.  Also, the individual contract terms, carrier formation, carrier ratings, dividend history, underwriting standards, reserves, optional features and benefits, and other factors of each issuing insurance company’s contract, may play a part in your decision to use one type of insurance over another, with one particular carrier over another.  Said another way, the same type of insurance still differs from one carrier to another!

Complexities of cash-value life insurance should be explained by an experienced, licensed professional

Using permanent cash-value insurance for this purpose should be secondary, the primary purpose of the policy is to provide life insurance and it offers a panoply of benefits above and beyond tax benefits to the cash-value. 

A full understanding of:

  • cash-value crediting method
  • dividends
  • loan interest
  • direct or non-direct recognition
  • general account surpluses/obligations
  • carrier ratings
  • performance history

…along with several other items, need to be understood for all products being considered by the policy purchaser; also reviewing illustrations that can generally show the guaranteed and non-guaranteed aspects/projections of a certain type of policy. That being the case, it is most prudent to speak to an experienced, knowledgeable professional since the choice made, will have to be lived with for years into the future.

Filling the hole in a portfolio

Using permanent cash-value insurance can fill a significant hole in many people’s portfolio.  Typically, brokers advise clients on investments based on the client’s time horizon for needing to use the money, and risk tolerance.  Younger investors who want to be aggressive in their investing, may not have any “safe” money sitting on the sidelines, growing at a slower, but more stable pace, and this might prevent them from taking advantage of buying opportunities when the market has a correction; but the only significant money they have, might be tied up in securities that have lost value during the correction.  But as investors get older, many are advised to put an increasing percentage of their portfolio into bonds, or other fixed income instruments, but the issue here is that an investor would still have to liquidate securities to have the cash to take advantage of buying opportunities. 

Another issue is that sometimes an investment doesn’t allow for liquidating only certain segments, like just the bond portion, of the investment.  This might limit the down-side of the portfolio, but it can also inhibit the upside.  But certain types of cash-value life insurance can serve as the conservative aspect of a well-rounded portfolio, by leveraging the long-term stability typically  found in a highly rated insurance company’s general account.  Since access to the cash-value can be done without taxation, or penalty, it gives the policy holder liquidity that is difficult to achieve with regular investments, and when the tax load is considered, it makes the tax free use of an insurance policies cash-value, all the more attractive.


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