Thursday, October 30, 2008

Terrific Client Tricks

Yesterday, a client taught me something.
I've been working with this particular client, we'll call her Shirley, for a few weeks; she's been shopping for additional life insurance. We found an appropriate plan, and she completed the application. I explained to her that I would submit this to the carrier, and order a "paramed" exam, at the carrier's expense, as part of the underwriting process.
Almost all companies require a "paramed" when the amount at risk (the face amount, or "death benefit") exceeds a certain amount, typically $100,000. This generally consists of a few additional health questions, and the "drawing" of blood and urine. She asked me what was being tested, and I replied, "oh, for HIV, cholesterol, liver enzymes, tobacco, drug use, that kind of thing." I presumed, based on past experience, that this would be sufficient.
But it wasn't.
She wanted to know exactly what was being tested, and asked if I had a list. I must admit, I was a bit taken aback by this. In fact, I was a bit miffed, although I really had no right to be. I answered that I'd call the underwriter, to see if such a list existed.
It did, although he sounded as surprised as I had. He agreed to fax it to me.
But a funny thing happened between the time Shirley asked for the list and the time I spoke with the underwriter (a matter of a few minutes): I realized that not only was I wrong to be angry with her, she was actually the very first person who had ever asked me for such a list. As I pondered that, I realized that she was absolutely right, and that it was I who should be chagrined: why hadn't any other client ever asked for this? It seems to me that this is important; after all, how many times do we give blood and urine for testing? I daresay not very often, so it makes sense to know precisely what's being tested.
After I received the fax, I scanned and emailed it to Shirley, along with the information that, once the policy was issued, all the test results would be made available to her (this is a free service offered by that carrier). A few minutes later, I followed up with another email thanking her for making me take a second look - heck, a first look! - at this routine process.
I'd call that a good day.
blog comments powered by Disqus