3 Reasons Why the Life Expectancy Assessments You Ordered Don’t All Look the Same

A husband and wife looking at documents in front of a laptop

More often than not, life settlement companies, brokers and agents looking for life expectancy reports (LEs) for a customer will not order just one, but multiple LEs from different life underwriting companies. When they receive multiple reports from different vendors, there are bound to be some differences in the reports. 

The first thing most customers notice is that the lengths of the reports can vary widely.  Longer LE reports may be more appealing at first glance, because it seems that people think that if the list of impairments or medical issues is really long, that it correlates to a shorter LE, and the shorter the LE the more valuable the policy, generally speaking. However, nothing could be further from the truth. 

If you’re involved in life settlements or wealth planning  and you have discovered the LEs you ordered are all different, one or more of these three reasons is the culprit:

1) Every Underwriter is Different

Advisors and others buying LEs from different businesses are getting LEs issued by different underwriters. Just like chefs, plumbers, landscapers, and other professions – every underwriting company is different. ISC Services’ underwriters have a very consistent and specific way of sifting through medical records and personal information to underwrite each individual insured. Other underwriting companies have their own approach to the underwriting process. Understanding these differences is an important step to take before selecting an LE underwriter.

2) Not Everything is Meaningful

Don’t think everything matters. ISC’s reports filter out all of the meaningless noise and unless the issues in question matter with respect to human lifespan and how it can be increased or decreased by certain health care issues, regurgitating lists of things that do not matter is not where we focus. Those who are trained in life insurance underwriting are trained to know what information is or is not meaningful, and extract the meaningful things to be viewed in context and thereby produce an LE derived from only those meaningful impairments. 

There’s no correlation between the number of impairments mentioned in an LE report and either the severity or significance of those impairments; nor, in most cases, is there likely to be. The propensity to list things does not make the list as a whole, meaningful and these nuances matter in the underwriting profession. 

3) Evaluation vs Regurgitation 

As mentioned before, assessments are about the ability to discern the meaningful from the not meaningful. Information clients see in the report matters, and if there is information that’s not there, then it was left out on purpose. Through the life insurance underwriting process, all of the information was read, assessed, and deemed meaningful or not meaningful. Not all the impairments are listed because the impairments are all in the medical records of the insured. Listing meaningless information is repetitive and a waste of time. Sure, it makes reports longer, but it does not add to the assessment, and in fact, in some vendor’s reports, there is a propensity to apply meaning without basis and thus,  over assess the risk. A thorough, efficient, succinct underwriting assessment is what you’re paying for. Without a rationale or without the “why?”, you can’t understand the “what.” 

Getting an Explanation

If you have concerns about the information presented in the assessment, ask. At ISC, the team will go through the case and re-review, cross check, and verify that the assessment is supportable and was conducted correctly. The objective is that a sound rationale can be provided for each LE report issued.

Life Expectancy Reports from ISC Services

We are delighted to give clients the reasoning behind our assessment, not just the assessment itself. If you want a summary of what’s in the medical records, we can give that to you as a separate service. We are not in the business of regurgitating the data in the medical records that we work with as opposed to examining, identifying, and evaluating it with regard to whether it’s relevant and impactful. For more information on life underwriting assessments and how ISC Services evaluates medical information, contact us.