Nationwide: COVID-19 Update on Life Insurance Underwriting Enhancements and Adjustments


As we continue to feel the effects of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic in one way or another, the underwriters at Nationwide have demonstrated creativity and flexibility. Below are the latest updates regarding the enhancements Nationwide has made to their life insurance underwriting processes, as well as the adjustments made that were driven by the pandemic.

Nationwide is NOT turning away healthcare workers, nor are they limiting the ages on which people can apply.  Nationwide is not limiting table ratings, riders, nor are they mandating Good Health Statements on all policies. However, Nationwide will require Good Health Statements if there are any indications of COVID-19, any travel outside of the U.S., any offers over the age of 60 or over their internal retention, any requests to reopen closed applications and on any applications that are more than 60 days old.

Nationwide's position on COVID-19:

  • Effective through January 1, 2021, Nationwide will postpone underwriting by 30 days for any applicant who travels, plans or anticipates travelling outside of the U.S.
  • If a proposed insured tests positive for COVID-19, Nationwide will postpone the underwriting process for 30 days from the time of recovery.
  • If a proposed insured is exposed to COVID-19 with no testing, Nationwide will postpone for 30 days post-exposure and will require a health statement.
  • If a proposed insured is hospitalized with COVID-19, Nationwide is postponing for at least 180 days following discharge, subject to a full recovery without symptoms, continued infection or functional sequelae; Nationwide will require favorable post-discharge pulmonary function testing.
  • Healthcare workers who have not experienced or tested positive for COVID-19 may be approved as qualified with a Good Health Statement.

New accepted alternatives for medical records and medical requirements:

  • LabPiQture through ExamOne, which provides up to seven years of lab and test results from an applicant’s doctor through Quest, as well as past insurance lab results
  • Electronic medical records (EMRs) through Clareto and Human API
  • Patient Portals
  • Proposed insured’s access to their own medical records
  • Physicals with labs completed within the last 24 months

New permanent Intelligent Underwriting guidelines

Though not a direct response to COVID-19, as of March 20, the limitations on maximum age and face amount in Intelligent Underwriting (IU) applications have been lifted. With this permanent enhancement, clients are now eligible for an IU application within product guidelines, with the exclusion of Survivorship IUL and CareMatters®. Previously, the maximum age and face amount were 70 years and $5 million. Nationwide is excited to expand the capabilities of theirIntelligent Underwriting platform.

New permanent acceleration guidelines:

  • Ages 18 to 50 applying for face amounts of $100,000 to $2 million on eligible products
  • Ages 51 to 60 applying for face amounts of $100,000 to $1 million on eligible products
  • U.S. citizen or permanent resident (10-year green card status) or acceptable visas are eligible for acceleration
  • Risk classes of Nontobacco Preferred Plus, Nontobacco Preferred, Nontobacco Standard Plus, Tobacco Preferred and the newly added Standard rate class

Other underwriting programs with no medical requirements:

Finally, Nationwide is proud to share that they are not experiencing interruption in their service-level agreements in getting applications submitted, underwritten and issued. 

Please give us a call at 1-800-792-6795 if you have any questions about these updates.