Principal: Changes to Life Underwriting Requirements in response to COVID-19

04-13-2020

**Updated 4/13/2020**

On March 24, Principal announced Temporary Underwriting Guidelines to help lessen the difficulty in getting insurance exam requirements completed.  As the impact of COVID-19 continues to be monitored, Principal has additional underwriting changes to share:

  • Insured ages up to 59 will have a maximum table rating of either Table 6 or a flat extra of $10.00/1000
  • Insured ages 60-80 will have a maximum table rating of either Table 2 or a flat extra of $5.00/1000
  • Ages 81+ will not be considered at any rate class until further notice

For survivorship cases, both lives need to meet the new guidelines.  Additionally, risks with a combination of a table rating and flat extra will be postponed, and as a regular practice, Principal does not convert table ratings to flat extras nor flat extras to table ratings. 

These guidelines will be effective for any formal applications dated March 25, 2020 and after.  Any formal applications dated prior to March 24, 2020 and received by Principal April 9th or later will also follow these new guidelines.

March 24, 2020

The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has created unprecedented times. Principal's first concern is for the safety and well-being of their customers, business partners, and employees. 

The completion of underwriting requirements, specifically insurance exams, is more difficult at this time due to social distancing considerations and the orders in some states for all but essential businesses to shut down. The situation is changing rapidly, and Principal is adjusting to allow many individuals to get the protection they need.

Temporary underwriting guideline changes

Effective March 24, 2020, for any pending or newly submitted formal applications, Principal is offering additional solutions to underwrite without exam requirements. The Principal Accelerated Underwriting program may meet the needs of many, but they have also developed some temporary guidelines during this challenging time to help. Note, these guidelines will be reviewed regularly and Principal reserves the right to make changes at any time.

Applicant ages 18-40

  • For face amounts up to and including $1,000,000 - no change to Accelerated Underwriting program
  • For face amounts from $1,000,001 to $2,500,000, and meets the following requirements:
    • Case meets regular Accelerated Underwriting guidelines for eligibility
    • Applicant has had a complete physical, including labs, with all results normal within the prior 24 months
    • The underwriter can confirm the exam and lab results through digital health data

Applicant ages 41-60

  • Face amounts up to and including $1,000,000 – no change to Accelerated Underwriting program
  • Face amounts from $1,000,001 to $2,000,000, and meets the following requirements:
    • Case meets regular Accelerated Underwriting guidelines for eligibility
    • Applicant has had a complete physical, including labs, with all results normal within the prior 24 months
    • Principal can confirm the exam and lab results through digital health data  

Digital health data or attending physician statements (APS)

  • Principal will initiate the requests for digital health data, including the use of patient portal information through the vendor Human API. They have other sources of digital health data as well, so please do not request patient portal information or traditional APS without first consulting with your Principal underwriter.

Cases that don’t meet these criteria will be considered on an individual case basis. Principal underwriters will proactively review pending cases to identify options that may be available to continue underwriting without exam requirements and then notify the brokerage general agency of available options. 

A few other underwriting items you should know about:

  • With the global spread of the pandemic, the U.S. Department of State has advised against any travel outside the U.S. by airplane or cruise ship. 
    • Anyone planning to travel outside the U.S. may be subject to postponement of their application until travel is completed and an appropriate time has passed since traveling.
    • For anyone who has traveled outside the U.S. by airplane or cruise ship, applications will be postponed until 30 days after the date of their return to the U.S. 
  • Anyone who has been tested or been treated for COVID-19 is expected to disclose any tests or treatments on their life insurance application or supplement we provide.
  • Effective immediately, Principal will request a statement of health at policy delivery.

Principal is well-positioned to meet the needs of customers and business partners with their electronic and digital application capabilities through Principal Life Online and Accelerated Underwriting. 

 

Please contact the BUA life sales staff with any additional questions.