Stephen Tarr, MSM, CLU®, ChFC®, CAP®, CASL®, Senior Vice President of The American College and Wealth Channel Magazine Editor in Chief sat down with Dr. William B. Camm, FALU, FLMI, CLU® , ARA, ACS, Vice President and Corporate Medical Director for the OneAmerica Partner Companies One of a small number of physicians to have earned a CLU®, ACS, FLMI, FALU, and ARA, Dr. Camm is in a unique position to discuss medical conditions as they relate to insuring clients and the parallels between medical and financial service professionals.
ST: When you underwrite a case, does the agent's name affect your decision because of his or her reputation?
WBC: I'd like to say no, but I also know that we're all human. I think an agent's overall reputation does come into play. Obviously, there are agents who submit well-written, fully completed applications whose risks, when we get records, compare to what the agent has told us. Ask any underwriter; they know who submits good, well-written applications and whose risk people are more comfortable with, compared to others.
ST: When you're assessing a risk, what are some of the things that you really try to go through in your mind?
WBC: Let's take cancer. If you had cancer, what are the things that I need to know about that risk? How old are you? What type of cancer do you have? Cancer is not one disease. It's several hundred diseases (lung cancer, leukemia, colon cancer, etc.). They all have their own set of prognostic factors that will dictate how well you’re going to do with that particular cancer. At the end of the day, that's what I'm really trying to figure out. My job as the medical director, and our job as underwriters, is to try to as accurately as possible predict your longevity. With cancer, I'm typically looking at stage, grade, at the extent of disease and how long since your original diagnosis to the current date. Obviously, three years, five years, eight years, 10 years – the longer you go from your date of diagnosis and treatment, the better we are going to feel about this risk.