Asked about nine different subject areas as diverse as reputation to commission structure to underwriting responsiveness, advisors gave the latter subject the worst rating of the bunch.
“To say it’s an exact science might be the understatement of the year. Not only is underwriting unresponsive and slow, and full of decisions, declines and exclusions that are often baffling to advisors, but communication between carriers and advisors leaves a lot to be desired,” found LHP’s first annual Advisors on Carriers
survey. “It should come as no surprise that underwriting received the lowest average score from advisors, clocking in at 3.49.”
Looking ahead insurance advisors see a myriad of issues facing the industry in the next 6-12 months. At the top of the list is underwriting with 39% of advisors suggesting it will be the most important issue affecting the advisor/carrier relationship in 2016.
When it comes to commenting on underwriting by the major carriers advisors weren’t shy about expressing their feelings on the matter.
“Underwriting time and accuracy,” is a problem a respondent told LHP. “Sometimes [underwriting] reads too much into a case, when there is nothing to read into. Communicate with the field underwriter more.”
“Understand what goes on in the front line so that they can better help the business process occur (rather than requiring an initial from the client on a piece of paper versus a pdf - i.e. use electronic signatures),” said another survey respondent.
Again a top answer, 20% of advisors said they’d like to see insurance carriers improve their underwriting in the next 6-12 months, not a surprise given advisor comments like those above.
However, all is not lost.
Advisors gave Transamerica, Blue Cross and Empire Life
very respectable overall scores of 4.19, 3.92 and 3.90 out of 5, respectively.
Positive comments from advisors weren’t nearly as frequent but one respondent’s comment stands out as a beacon of hope for the underwriting process.
“Generally underwriting is quick. Communication with advisor is very good. Online application is easy to use and very effective, saves a lot of time.”
LHP asked advisors about insurance carriers in the latest print edition of the magazine and out in front leading the pack was a concern about underwriting. While not all the feedback was negative it highlights the work insurers still need to do if they want to keep advisors happy.