Individual – Life Insurance FAQ

Life Insurance FAQ:

This FAQ can be used as a guide to assist your client


How Do I purchase a policy?

First, an application is sent for your signature. At the same time a medical examiner contacts you to set a convenient time at your home or office to take blood and urine. On larger amounts or older ages, a resting EKG or blood pressure check may be required. It is important to give blood after a 12 hour fast so it is better to do the exam in the morning. Once the insurance company receives the exam results, the application, and any additional doctors records that the insurance company obtains at their expense, we receive an offer. Every expense in this process is paid for by the insurance company!


How Long Does this Process Take?

If no doctors records are ordered, 3 to 4 weeks( Less if there is an urgency). If doctors records have to be obtained, 4-7 weeks since we are dependent on the promptness of the doctor.


If I apply and don’t get the rate i requested, what happens?

The company many times will make another offer. If our office thinks we can get a better offer from another company, we will ship your file over there.


Are these Stable Companies?

Every company our agency uses has a strong financial rating as determined by the various rating agencies such as A. M. Best, Standard and Poor’s and Moody’s Bond Ratings.


What is “Preferred Plus,”  “Preferred,” and “Standard?”

Insurance companies are learning more and more about identifying their risks. Since cancer and cardiovascular disease are the two leading causes of death where the risk can be lessened by the individual, companies zero in on these risks. Those that qualify for the super preferred would be less at risk, then the preferred, then the standard. These companies look at height and weight, blood pressure, cholesterol(good and bad), family history(relatives dying before 60 of CV disease or cancer), personal history of cancer and CV disease, and smoking history. A more specific guide is as follows:


What if I Don’t Fit Into Any of these Categories?

If an individual has one or more of these risk factors, they may still qualify for preferred or standard. If even standard is out of the question, there are some highly rated companies that will still take the risk. Insurance companies fear the unknown. If they can identify what those risk factors are, there is a greater chance they will offer a policy. For example, someone just finds out he has a blood pressure problem and his doctor is trying different medications to bring it under control. Until the blood pressure is under control, this remains an unknown to the insurance company. Once under control it could be a preferred with some companies, standard to others.


Do Most Companies Treat Pilots the Same Way?

No. If a pilot has enough hours to lower the risk to the insurance company, it is possible to get preferred. Two of our companies with the lowest rates will consider preferred.


Do Insurance Companies Treat All Tobacco Smokers the Same?

Cigarette smokers that smoke less than a pack a day have a chance to get a non smoker rate with one company. Other companies treat pipe smokers, chewers, and cigar smokers as non smokers. Still another company gives almost all tobacco users a non smoker rate for the first 3-4 years! This same company gives a preferred rate if you use tobacco less than three to four times a year. They look at the amount of nicotine in your system.


What if an Instant Quote isn’t Right for Me because of my Special Medical History?

Using the same diligence we use to find the lowest preferred rates for our customers, we will prepare a custom quote. Of course we need to know the medical condition, its duration, treatment and prognosis.


Can I Apply at My Age?

Our agency works with individuals 18 to 85! A few companies provide policies to age 85 for term, second to die or Disclaimer insurance. Occasionally Disclaimer is available past 85.


How are Companies and Rates Selected by ASR?

A. M. Best is the industry’s most recognized insurance rating organization.

A.M. Best uses a letter grade to rate companies overall strength and solvency. Our agency uses only insurance companies that have at least an “A” rating with A. M. Best The top three ratings with A. M. Best are:

A++ Superior

A+ Superior

A Excellent

The companies rated lower than this, generally speaking, don’t have rates that are as competitive.



Please read this section before you apply for insurance expecting a particular rate. Almost all companies have a super preferred, preferred, and standard rate. Although the requirements for super preferred are similar for the term companies with the lowest rates, Our agency knows these differences and would like to put you with the one with the lowest rate but also the more feasible. Some companies only have 10-15% of their applicants come back with the super preferred. Others are less strict and that percentage is closer to 50%. The following are some general guidelines for super preferred: (unisex)

Height Weight Height  Weight 
 5’1″  160  5’11”  215
 5’2″  165  6’0″  220
 5’3″  170  6’1″  225
 5’4″  175  6’2″  230
 5’5″  180  6’3″  235
 5’6″  185  6’4″  240
 5’7″  190  6’5″  250
 5’8″  195  6’6″  260
 5’9″  200  6’7″  265
 5’10”  210

Each company is slightly different, and most allow 5lbs leeway.

No tobacco usage last 2 years.

Cholesterol 180-220 (A couple of our companies will go as high as 230 to 250)

Blood Pressure 140/90 (untreated)

Family history (No deaths before age 60, siblings or parents) (sometimes one allowed) of cancer or cardiovascular disease

Aviation-No super preferred

Avocation (hazardous) -No super preferred

Driving- No more than 3 moving violations in last 2 years.

Travel- No extensive travel to underdeveloped or politically unstable countries.

If one or more of these variables are out of the guidelines, it can move you from super preferred to preferred. Even if moved to preferred these are still very competitive rates and only 5% to 10 % higher. Again, the preferred rates vary between companies so it is important to try to find which company will consider you preferred. That’s where we can help! The requirements vary between companies but here are some general preferred guidelines:

Height and weight is the same as super preferred but with more leeway sometimes up to 20-25 pounds.

Cholesterol 250 to 280

Blood pressure 150/90 (treated or untreated)

Family history cannot have both parents or one parent and one sibling die before age 60 of cancer or cardiovascular disease.

Aviation-Sometimes depending on situation

Avocation-Sometimes depending on how hazardous

Driving- Same as super preferred

Travel- Similar to super preferred but not as strict

These are general guidelines and will vary more from company to company than the requirements for super preferred.

If after seeing your quote, you would like to discuss this with our office by e-mail, phone or fax, our office will be glad to advise. Click here

Other factors that may or may not exclude someone from preferred are:

Current or history of alcohol/drug abuse

Rheumatoid arthritis

Asthma (current treatment)

Personal history of cancer or cardiovascular disease


Crohn’s disease

Current treatment for depression

Diabetes (oral diabetics can get standard rates, others can get a slightly higher premium)


Kidney/liver disease

Mental illness