Sunday, October 28, 2007

I Am Not a Carpenter

I am not a carpenter, but I do know which end of the hammer is to be used for driving a nail.

I am an insurance broker and (most say) a very knowledgeable one.

So what does one have to do with the other?

I don't tell carpenters how to build a house, or mechanics how to fix my car or plumbers how to remove pantyhose from the toilet. (Don't ask).

So why do folks who are very good at what they do want to tell me they can do a better job of finding health insurance than I can?

Beats the heck out of me.

(Phone rings). I am looking for health insurance for my wife & me.

I take down a few details needed then start into the medical questions.

Well my wife has a heart condition, nothing serious. She takes Toprol for it. Oh yeah, and she is a smoker.

Bells go off. I know this is going to be tough. I press for more information on the heart condition. Finally have to call the wife. She calls the doc, then later tells me it is PSVT.

Doc says this is fairly common. Maybe 80% of the population has it and doesn't know it. No big deal.

No big deal to you, and apparently no big deal to your doc, but underwriters look at it differently.

I tell her I will have to check with some carriers before quoting.

Oh it won't be a problem (her husband tells me). Never has been in the past.

So I contact the carriers. I have 2 immediate rejections, a few full cardio waivers (no coverage at all for cardio issues), one modified waiver (arrhythmia not covered) and one possible full coverage with a 50% rate up.

I am ecstatic.

I relay the information to the husband. He goes ballistic.

She has never had a problem before. One carrier (who said either a rejection or a 40% rate up AND 3 year cardio waiver) had covered her before without a problem.

And she doesn't have arrhythmia. She has PSVT.

(I tell him PSVT is a type of arrhythmia. Even provide him with references he can look up.)

Well that was then, this is now. That carrier used to take anyone who could fog a mirror. They got burned playing that game and now they are the most restrictive.

Here is the truth. You are a carpenter and I would imagine a very good one. You have made a living at your trade for over 10 years. You must be doing something right.

I make my living helping people like you find health insurance at an affordable price. The prices and terms are realistic, not some fluff job. I have been doing this for over 30 years.

At that point he hung up.

I stewed over it for a few minutes. OK, maybe a bit longer.

Actually, it still bothers me.

I know my business very well. I deal in truth, not lies or fluff.

Sometimes carpenters, mechanics, school teachers, etc. would rather believe something else.

Guess Jack Nicholson said it best in "A Few Good Men."

You can't handle the truth.
blog comments powered by Disqus