Help Us Help You: The Art Of The Cover LetterJulie Brooks
Back in elementary school we called the game Gossip. You know, everybody got in a circle and the first kid started a story by whispering it into the ear of the person to the left and then he or she passed it on until it had gotten all the way around. The last person would relate the story to the whole group and everybody would laugh because the final version was so different from the original after passing through so many intermediaries.
Well, think of a brokerage carrier underwriter as the last person. By the time the paperwork for new coverage arrives at the Mother Ship (AKA the carrier) it has gone through (to name a few) the advisor, the advisor’s staff assistance, a case manager at the brokerage agency and the new business person at the insurance company. If the story is still clear it is not because it hasn’t had every opportunity to get muddled.
The best way to avoid the delays, confusion and possible declines that might come from ruptures in the convoluted lines of communications is a cover letter submitted with the case.
It doesn’t have to be Pulitzer Prize-worthy, just a clear and concise explanation.
Don’t necessarily count on the brief information requested on the app to paint the full picture for an underwriter.
Expand on the following in a cover letter:
- Restatement and/or fuller explanation of the purpose of the coverage
- Method of the determination of the face amount
- The relationship(s) among the owner, insured, beneficiaries and premium payer
- Full description of applied for and inforce coverage on other family members (if for personal purposes) or other key people (if for business purposes)
- Available documentation available if needed – e.g. trusts, financial information, business agreements
- Any other information concerning circumstances that might raise questions with the underwriter (e.g. where the amount of insurance is more than the standard financial guidelines)
Playwright George Bernard Shaw said, “The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.”
The Apostle Paul said, “A letter covers a multitude of sins!”
Don’t rely on the illusion of clarity that often hovers over an application as it is passed around the circle. We have staff on board who fancy themselves literary and will help draft and submit the cover letter you need. Call and ask!