Insurance underwriters are fair—or at least they aim to be, and they usually succeed. I know it doesn’t always seem that way, but it’s true.
In life, things pull in two directions:
Up vs. Down
Hot vs. Cold
Ketchup vs. No Ketchup
Okay, maybe that last one is a stretch, but you get the point. Life is a balancing act between forces or values that are both good and necessary, but seem to be opposed.
In life insurance, these two forces are paying out benefits and making money. If everybody could get all the money they could possibly want for their families, that would be great, except all insurance companies would then go out of business. If insurance companies rigged the system so as to make money on every single policy, they wouldn’t provide a service—you’d be better off just opening a savings account. It’s the underwriter’s job to balance out these two opposing values so that everybody gets a good deal.
That doesn’t mean you, the applicant, will get exactly what you want. Most likely you’ll get a little less. Maybe you’ll get a lot less. Maybe you’ll grumble and complain and say nasty things under your breath about that underwriter who gave you a low offer.
Insurance underwriters, meanwhile, have to go by the review of medical records, exams, databases, applications, and any other relevant information, and what the insurance carrier’s underwriting book has to say about all of it. You don’t like it, and your insurance agent doesn’t like it, so you complain. Your agent is your advocate, and knows how to argue on your behalf and what additional information to provide. The underwriter will usually listen and see what they can do.
Even then, you might not like what you get. Baseball players don’t always like the umpire’s calls. They don’t have to like them—the calls just have to be fair. And that’s what underwriter’s try to do. They’re not trying to get away with giving you less than you want. They’re trying to balance the opposing forces of the underwriting book and what you want. Their goal is to create an offer that’s fair to everybody.