UPDATED: Mar 26, 2020
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As life insurance agents, we like to get to know our clients well during the application process. During any given day in our office, you will hear us laughing and telling interesting stories with our customers. Knowing your customer is an important tenant of the life insurance profession. Sometimes we get to know our clients so well, they tell us things we don’t necessarily want to hear. Some are positively cringe-worthy, to a life insurance agent that is. If we had a nickel for every time we heard one of the statements below, well, we would be swimming in nickels!
1. You are a marathon runner.
Believe it or not, being a marathon runner doesn’t always mean a life insurance company will approve your application at the best rating class. In fact, there is controversial research out on the health implications of running great distances.
Applicants sometimes let us know they run marathons after something unfavorable has been discovered about them, such as high cholesterol or some random disease. The hope is this information will miraculously negate the adverse finding. Unfortunately, there is no magic ‘marathon bullet’ when it comes to applying for life insurance.
2. You ‘might’ travel to (insert exotic foreign country here) someday.
Yes, we all want to someday visit Africa, Peru, Brazil, Egypt, etc… But please only tell us this if you are going to travel to said location. Life insurance companies take foreign travel very seriously, and you might be declined if you plan on going to a dangerous country. The trick here is to distinguish between ‘wanting to go’ and ‘definitely going.’ The company doesn’t need to know where you want to travel; they just need to know where you are going to travel. Answer the travel question on your application honestly, and skip the details about your dream destinations, which may or may not happen someday.
3. You applied with a different life insurance company and didn’t tell the truth about something.
Instant cringe! We are life insurance agents who have ethical and legal obligations here! Along the same lines, please don’t ask us to lie to the life insurance company on your behalf. There is too much at risk for both parties. As always, honesty is the best policy, even if it means you won’t necessarily get the best policy as a result! You may have to pay a little more, but you won’t have to worry about your loved ones paying for your transgressions.
4. Your uncle, Cyrus, lived to be 100; while smoking, drinking and eating cheeseburgers.
Yes, that is lovely, and we are very happy for your uncle Cyrus. But just because your uncle or other relative lived a certain way and survived it, doesn’t mean you will. Life insurance companies use statistics to determine the amount of risk they are willing to take and at what cost. And it’s much more likely your overall health will suffer from poor lifestyle choices.
5. Your brother/friend/cousin applied with this life insurance company and got the best rating class.
Again, that is great, and we are jubilant for them. Just because one person is approved favorable with a certain company doesn’t mean the same will happen for you. You are a different person with different medical, financial and personal history. We recommend applying for life insurance through a brokerage that works with several different companies to find the one that fits your particular situation best.