Latest Trends in Executive Benefits

Interview with Denise Bandsuh, Underwriting Account Manager at Enza Financial. Written by: Chelsea Poore

COVID Prompted Demand for Streamlined Process

With the emergence of COVID-19, many industries had to be flexible and divert from the way things had always been done; one such industry which was not immune to the effects of the coronavirus was that of executive benefits. Denise Bandsuh, Underwriting Account Manager at Enza Financial, explains that “Technology is changing and the formerly stringent process with life insurance and underwriting over the years had to change too”. With 23 years of experience in the industry, Denise is no stranger to this process.

This pandemic prompted an immediate demand for a streamlined process. “COVID-19 really accelerated the process with carriers. People were working from home and feared seeing a doctor or having someone in their home, so it was not easy to perform medical exams and paperwork as it was before.  We are now seeing carriers removing medical requirements and providing accelerated options, to speed up the overall process. Times were changing and carriers knew things had to change as well.”

Denise further explains that removing medical requirements meant supplementing with existing medical records, therefore, the old laborious process of obtaining records also had to be streamlined.  You are now seeing several types of technological advances in providing medical records to the insurance underwriters.

According to the LIMRA/Life Happens 2020 Insurance Barometer Study, 50% of consumers say they are more likely to buy life insurance through automated or simplified underwriting than through the more time-consuming traditional underwriting. “The accelerated underwriting process is still in the early phase, but it is here to stay,” says Bandsuh. Like many things, there are growing pains and changes are needed to perfect the process moving forward. Hopeful for more improvements along the way, Denise shares, “It’s a process and one that is starting to move in the right direction.”

Source: Life Happens and LIMRA. “2020 Insurance Barometer Study Reveals a Significant Decline in Life Insurance Ownership Over the Past Decade.” Accessed Jan. 21, 2021.