Underwriting Practices of Voluntary Carriers

Cost: $3,500; published 2021

Voluntary underwriting practices continue to evolve as carriers strive to meet the increased service levels and quick turnaround times brokers/producers, employers and employees expect. And while these customers also have high expectations for enrollment, billing and claims, underwriting can be a make-or-break service area because it deals with difficult topics such as rates and employee eligibility.

The 2021 Underwriting Practices of Voluntary Carriers Spotlight™ Report provides data so carriers can compare their voluntary underwriting practices with those of other key carriers active in the voluntary market. This report provides an overview of overall voluntary underwriting practices but does not provide any product-specific underwriting guidelines or information.
Some of the topics covered in the report include:

  • Voluntary underwriting structure, organization and specialization
  • Group-level underwriting practices
  • Underwriter authority and exceptions process
  • Use of census versus shelf rates
  • Percentage of voluntary sales by type of underwriting
  • Employee eligibility guidelines
  • Participation requirements for guaranteed issue
  • Renewal process
  • Quoting/RFP process
  • Underwriting time standards
  • Voluntary underwriting concerns and future trends


View Table of Contents

1. Executive Summary

A. Report Objectives

B. Methodology

C. Key Findings

2. Findings by Carrier

A. Carrier Data

1. Product Platform Offered

2. Separate Voluntary/Worksite Underwriting  Area

3. Underwriting Structure and Organization

4. Underwriting Specialization

B. Underwriting Practices

1. Group-Level Underwriting

2. Underwriter Authority

3. Exceptions Process

4. Use of Census vs. Shelf Rates

5. Group Size Claims Data Required

6. Technology Funding

7. Percentage of Voluntary NBAP by Type of Underwriting

8. Minimum Case Size Accepted

9. Account Set-up or Implementation Unit

10.Employee Eligibility Guidelines

11.Spouse Coverage if Employee Not Eligible

12.Process for Coverage Amounts Above GI Limits

13.Percentage of Applicants for EOI/Medical Underwriting

14.Underwriting Checks

15.Participation Requirements for Guaranteed Issue

16.Combined Participation Requirements

17.Participation Requirements Waivers

18.Guaranteed Issue Offer Differences

19.Actions When GI Participation Not Met

20.Frequency of Participation Requirement Waivers

21.Renewal Process

22.Objectives of Renewal Process

23.Rate Increase Frequency

24.Results of Rate Increases

25.Across-the-Board Rate Increases

C. Quoting/RFP Process

1.Quote Initiation Process

2.Timeframe for Case Quote


4.RFP Response Time

D. Underwriting Time Standards

1.Typical Turnaround Time for Case Approval/Disapproval

2.Hold Time for Pending Applications

3.Timeframe from Point of Application to Policy Issue

4.Timeframe to Issue a New Case

E. Voluntary Underwriting Concerns and Trends

1.COVID-19 Underwriting Guidelines Changes

2.Post COVID-19 Underwriting Guidelines

3.Future COVID-19 Underwriting Concerns/Obstacles

4.Other Underwriting Concerns/Obstacles


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For more information, please contact us at [email protected] or (860) 676-9633.



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