Accelerated Underwriting: Clearing Up the Confusion

We’ve been discussing accelerated underwriting quite a bit within our blog, including our recent post providing a synopsis over what it is and how it works. Yet even with all this discussion, accelerated underwriting is still new to the market and with that, there is still confusion as the carriers launch out their own variations. This confusion even extends to the fact that there is no standardized name for “accelerated underwriting,” so it can be difficult to know which products from one carrier are comparable to another carrier. For example some call it accelerated underwriting, some call it predictive analytics and some call it rapid underwriting (among other names). It’s all the same (for the most part), but for this article we will use the term accelerated underwriting.

When a life insurance agent is attempting to submit a life insurance application for a particular carrier they often find little clarity through various online resources. We dug into this matter and after several calls and some research, we’ve decided to share our findings. We hope in doing so that this will clear up some of the confusion.


John Hancock

John Hancock’s accelerated underwriting product is labeled as “SP” or “Smart Protect”. In addition, quotes can only be calculated through the John Hancock quote portal, thus no 3rd party quote system can be utilized with their accelerated underwriting program. That said, John Hancock is possibly rolling out a new underwriting program this year and we believe Smart Protect could be even less of a factor if that happens. We would hope there would be more options for quoting too.


Minnesota Life

Minnesota Life’s program is called “Writefit” and is a rather now process. Their program will not be listed within any quote system. Writefit is like Principal’s program (more on that below), in that it is used for their regular products. So any quote shown for a particular product would cover the accelerated underwriting if they qualify. If they don’t qualify, the client will move through the regular underwriting process.


Banner’s process is straightforward. OP Term is their accelerated underwriting program and will be labeled as such in any quoting system. As long as you meet the parameters you can use accelerated underwriting.


Lincoln Financial

Similar to Banner, Lincoln Financial is product specific. Just look for the TermAccel product when running a quote.


The accelerated program for Principal Financial encompasses most of their life insurance product line. When applying for coverage, accelerated underwriting will be utilized if they meet the criteria.


Here’s how we would look at it:

1) Principal is typically the first choice (as of today) for accelerated underwriting. Lincoln Financial is a solid option as well, but they are less liberal in their process. Minnesota Life, while similar to Principal’s program, is still rather new so the jury is still out.

2) John Hancock is a non-starter right now for accelerated underwriting, but we also believe this could change if they roll out a new underwriting program in the coming months.

3) Mutual of Omaha and Banner are options, but wouldn’t be our first pick. Although we have heard good stories recently about Mutual of Omaha.

4) Expect more life insurance carriers to enter the accelerated underwriting game in 2017 and 2018. We anticipate three to four major carriers entering this space within the next year. We may even see one carrier possibly rolling out a program for their long term care rider.