Life Insurance

Life Insurance Underwriting Process: Bowtie Vs Traditional Insurers

The underwriting process allows insurers to review the insured’s health history and basic information to determine whether to approve the insurance application. Medical insurance requires underwriting, but is it necessary for life insurance? How do underwriting procedures differ across different insurance companies? Bowtie is here to run you through the life insurance underwriting process, the time required, and the potential issues that may arise.
Author Bowtie Team
Date 2021-11-17
Updated on 2021-11-17
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Is underwriting required for a life insurance policy?Common underwriting procedures for life insurance Typical underwriting questions for life insuranceBowtie’s underwriting process Bowtie has only 3 health-related Questions?How long does it take for a Bowtie Life Insurance to go into effect?Get Insured for yourself or your family

Is underwriting required for a life insurance policy?

Regardless of whether you’re applying for medical or life insurance, you need to undergo the underwriting process. Insurance companies assess the health of the insured via underwriting and in turn, decide whether to accept their application and for how much.

As far as life insurance is concerned, if the insured has a higher risk of death (being older, suffering from a chronic illness, etc.), the insurer may decline their application or add a loading (additional cost) to manage the risk of covering the insured against loss.

Common underwriting procedures for life insurance

Applying through intermediaries

Generally speaking, there are two underwriting methods available if you are applying for life insurance through an intermediary:

  1. It is handled by an insurance agent, who will personally ask the policyholder about the health of the insured. The agent will then submit the answers to the Underwriting Department for approval;
  2. The policyholder can contact an underwriting clerk by phone. The clerk will read out a list of health problems to the insured. The insured will confirm whether or not he/she has any adverse health conditions. The response is then submitted to the Underwriting Department for approval

The underwriting takes a considerable amount of time because a lot of manpower and documents are involved. If necessary, the insurance company may request supplementary information or require the insured to take a health checkup.

Applying online

If you apply for insurance online, the entire underwriting process will take place online. The insurance company will provide a set of questions (mostly multiple-choice questions), and the applicant only has to answer the questions based on their own (if the applicant is also the insured) or the insured’s health status and personal information.

Typically, the applicant passes the underwriting process fairly quickly (even in 10 minutes). However, if the insured’s health status is more complex, the underwriter of the insurance company may need to personally follow up with the customer for additional information before making a decision.

Typical underwriting questions for life insurance

Since different insurance products are associated with different kinds of risk, the underwriting questions for different products vary accordingly. The underwriting questions for life insurance mainly focus on the following areas:

  • Gender and age 
  • Current or past illness records 
  • Any genetic disease/ chronic disease 
  • Mental health 
  • Rehabilitation status/ treatment progress (if applicable) 
  • Smoking habits

Bowtie’s underwriting process

You can apply online, and 95% of the questions you’ll encounter are multiple-choice questions. After you’ve declared your health status, Bowtie‘s unique underwriting system will provide the insured with a real-time quotation, showing monthly premiums, projected premiums for the next 5 years, additional costs, or exclusions. However, if the reported medical history fails to pass our underwriting system, the case will be followed up and reviewed by our underwriters, who will then decide whether to approve the application or not. 

Bowtie never collects any personal information prior to the confirmation of monthly premiums. Without having to disclose any personal information (name, identity document, credit card, etc.), an applicant can utilize the Bowtie online underwriting system to find out whether the insured or themself (if the applicant is also the insured) is qualified for coverage. You’re not required to register an account or leave any personal information in the process.

Bowtie asks only 3 health-related questions to complete the entire underwriting process?

For life insurance applications, Bowtie’s underwriting system first asks the applicant to fill in basic information, such as gender, height, weight, etc. We do not store this information until the underwriting is completed. 

Basic information of the insured

  1. First of all, the insured has to name a “beneficiary”.
bowtie term life underwriting
  1. The insured’s gender and date of birth
bowtie term life underwriting
bowtie term life underwriting
  1. The insured’s smoking habits
bowtie term life underwriting 4
  1. The insured’s occupation, height, and weight
bowtie term life underwriting 5
bowtie term life underwriting 6

The rest only consists of 3 questions related to the insured’s health. We believe that these questions are sufficient for assessing the mortality risk of the insured. 

3 health-related questions

These 3 health-related questions are all multiple-choice questions, including: 

  1. Have the proposed insured ever been diagnosed with cancer, heart disease, stroke or progressive neurological disorder?
Bowtie Underwriting System-Question 2
  1. In the last 5 years has the proposed insured been diagnosed or suffered from any of these conditions: diabetes, high blood pressure that requires medication, for elevated cholesterol that requires treatment, asthma or breathing problems, any disease of or problem with the liver, kidneys or gallbladder, anxiety, stress or depression, attempted suicide, hospitalization for more than 3 days (not including pregnancy or bone fracture)?
Bowtie Underwriting System-Question 3
  1. Apart from the previous answers, is the proposed insured receiving any medical treatment, or awaiting investigation results, or a hospital appointment?
Bowtie Underwriting System-Question 1

How long does it take for a Bowtie Life Insurance to go into effect?

For traditional insurance companies, underwriting may take 3 weeks or more to complete. However, Bowtie’s underwriting process takes as few as 5 working days!

Get Insured for yourself or your family

  • The monthly premiums above are for reference only. The actual premiums are affected by time, inflation, underwriting, Insurance Authority levies and other factors.
  • Any content related to Bowtie products in this article is for reference and educational purposes only. Customers should refer to the detailed terms and conditions on the relevant product webpage.
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