So your client is ready to apply for life insurance.  Have you discussed the application options with them?  Paper applications, e-applications, drop tickets?  There are several options, though not all are available from each carrier.  Not only that, but drop ticket applications vary considerably in the initial questions that are asked by you the agent, and the length of time the telephone interview will take.

So the good news is that your comfortable with your options now, the bad news is that not all options are available from every carrier. In fact there are only a few that offer all three options. Here is a list of a few Life insurance carriers and their application options:

  Depending on your point of view, if you are a P&C agent or a Carrier life agent, you will either love or hate drop ticket applications.  Regardless, these types of applications are not going away, only evolving.  The issue with the drop ticket application is not in its design but rather the execution.  Every Carrier asks different questions on the initial “ticket” ranging from only a few with Banner, to nearly the full application with Protective.  The second part of the application is the telephone interview, and likewise these vary quite a bit between carriers.  The one consistency is that they all use call centers of one form or another to gather the needed information.  When a carrier has a short initial ticket, the telephone interview is considerably longer, but when the ticket is longer the call is shorter. 

The last major difference between drop ticket providers, is less about the application, but more about the underwriting and new business process.  For most carriers, the drop ticket process is just another way to secure an application for life insurance.  If during underwriting, something comes up that requires communication with the client, those carriers will reach out to you the agent for that help.  However, there is one carrier, Banner, that will truly take care of the entire process from start to finish with very little agent assistance.  For Banner the drop ticket process is a different underwriting and new business process entirely.  If something is needed from the client, even after the application has been submitted, Banner will reach out directly to the client for that info.

When applying for life insurance, it may be best to let the client dictate the process.  Explain the options that are available and be flexible with how you do business.  You never know, you might come to appreciate using technology to assist with life insurance applications.