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Adopt the "3 Tier Underwriting Process" to get better underwriting results, place more business, and get paid quicker!
Tips & Updates for each carrier are shared below!
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The Ark Group’s “3 Tier Underwriting Process” - The purpose of our system is to empower our broker partners to become Effective/Efficient with their Life Insurance business. We want your experience and your client’s experience to be excellent. Our system will help you determine which carrier will give your client the best underwriting result. PLEASE READ the short notes for each carrier BEFORE you present a quote to your client. Knowing what carrier(s) to SKIP can save a great deal of time and headaches during the underwriting process. 

Overview of our 3-Tiered system:


  • Tier One: Full Underwriting – These are all familiar carriers you’ve seen on iPipeline. Many with the possibility of the exam being waived, even “instant issue” in less than 24 hours. Ideal for your “standard” to “preferred plus” clients without moderate to significant underwriting issues.


  • Tier Two: Simplified Underwriting – Consider these carriers for your moderate health issues and lower face amounts. These solutions offer a true “No Exam” process. Again, this tier solutions are always non-exam solutions. Don’t try to squeeze a client into a Tier One carrier for $100,000 hoping they get that Table 4 health class. Use the Tier Two carrier and get the policy issued within days…not weeks or months.


  • Tier Three: Broad Underwriting – These solutions are for your clients with Chronic Health Issues. This tier consists of specific term plans, final expense whole life, accidental death, and at times, carriers and solutions from Tier One carriers.

Tier 1 Carriers: Clean / Lower Risk Health Cases

All are available on iPipeline for quoting and e-applications (except for Illinois Mutual). Consider these carriers for your clean cases:

  • American National (Permanent Life only. NO Term.) - Great "Living Benefits" with the GUL, IUL, & Par WL plans. 

  • Ameritas Life (the FLX Living Benefits line) - Best in Class "Living Benefits" Term. Solutions for both Tier 1 & 2.

  • Assurity - A Long Time Favorite. Term, WL, UL, Accidental Death, Disability, & Critical Illness. This is a versatile carrier with good technology. The Term Life has optional Critical Illness & Disability riders! Aggressive with some Impaired Risk cases. Emerging appetite for Foreign Nationals. 

  • Banner - Consistently a Low Price Leader in the Term Life market. Due to recent experience, please choose Banner for your ultra clean cases. If your client has any possibility of being table rated, please call The Ark Group to discuss an alternative carrier. 

  • Corebridge (formerly AIG) - It is our opinion that you should only use Corebridge for your Preferred / Preferred Plus cases. Term, GUL, IUL, and a Guarantee Issue, Final Expense Whole Life. 

  • Illinois Mutual - Term, Return of Premium Term (best in class!), Whole Life, & Disability solutions, PLUS great Broker Service, makes Illinois Mutual a great carrier choice. Update as of 10/17/2023 > Illinois Mutual is emerging as a top choice for Impaired Risk cases. Please call us to discuss your clients that cannot qualify for Standard or better rates. Run your Illinois Mutual Quick Quotes HERE. 

  • Lincoln Financial Group - Competitive Term and a broad IUL portfolio. Aggressive Underwriting for some Impaired Risk situations. Update as of 10/17/2023 > We've seen more cases being approved by Lincoln faster and possibly "better than applied for" rates as compared to all other carriers. 

  • Nationwide - Best known and utilized for their UL solutions with a Long Term Care Rider. 

  • North American Company for Life and Health Insurance - A solid choice for decades if you need good term rates (with some living benefits included). Highly competitive in the Index Universal Life market. Above Average Height & Weight Chart and a leader for Foreign National clients. 

  • Protective Life - Incredibly competitive Term Rates. Also, one of the lowest priced GUL solutions in the industry. Can be aggressive for Impaired Risk Cases OVER $1,000,000 in Death Benefit. Consider them for your very clean cases below 1 Million. 

  • Prudential Financial - Mostly accessed for Impaired Risk Cases. Individual consideration should be taken when applying with PRU. 

  • Securion (formerly Minnesota Life) - A solid carrier more often used by Financial Planners. 

  • Symetra Life (SwiftTerm) - One of the latest additions to the Ark Group lineup. The newer A.I. underwriting process looks promising. If you have a CLEAN case and the client wants a policy quickly, SwiftTerm might deliver an approval in just 18 Minutes. If the A.I. cannot swiftly approve your client, the case is reviewed by a live underwriter and you might have your approval within 72 hours or less. 

  • United of Omaha (Mutual of Omaha) - A Mutual Company with a DEEP portfolio of solutions, including Term, IUL, Disability, Long Term Care, Critical Illness, & more. Their Term Life Express is a top choice amongst the "Tier 2 Carriers". 

What about an exam?

Although many Tier One carriers might 'waive a medical exam through an accelerated underwriting process or even 'instant decision', please understand these are all fully underwritten solutions. These 'quick to issue' options are great for the VERY HEALTHY. If you have a client that is a solid preferred plus / preferred health class, set up the expectation with wording like, “The medical exam MIGHT be waived."

We hear about clients getting frustrated because they were told, “This is a no exam process." All the carriers on iPipeline can, and most often will still order an exam. This could possibly include an Attending Physicians Statement (APS), depending on your client’s medical history.

If there is an underwriting consideration, such as height and weight, medications, driving history, medical history, hobbies or occupation, please check the underwriting guide or consult with an Ark Group specialist before you send a quote to your client.


Tier 2 Carriers: Moderately Health-Challenged Cases

Several of these are available on iPipeline for quoting and e-applications. Allstate must be quoted from the carrier website. Consider these solutions for your moderately health-challenged cases.

  • Allstate Health Solutions – 5 Year Renewable Term: Fast and easy for your smaller face amounts with instant issue.

  • Ameritas FLX Living Benefits Term - Rapid Standard: Best Living Benefits in its class. The underwriting is a bit more comprehensive than the others, yet worth the good rate and best living benefits if your client qualifies.

  • Foresters – Strong Foundation Term: A GREAT choice for controlled diabetes and Non-Tobacco. Chew, Vape, Pipes, even marijuana, is considered 'Non-Tobacco.' Liberal underwriting, additional riders (state dependent), and 'living benefits.'

  • Mutual of Omaha – Term Life Express: A carrier everyone knows, liberal underwriting, additional riders (state dependent), and 'living benefits.'

  • United Home Life – Simple Term & Simple Term 20 DLX: The Term 20 DLX has up to $50,000 in death benefit and extremely liberal underwriting!


You will issue cases faster and with less headaches if you use these solutions when you have a build issue, diabetes, chronic illnesses, driving history, family history, etc. The best way to determine if this is the correct tier/solution is to simply read the application questions. Most of these are pass/fail based on the application questions, Rx check, MIB report, and MVR. Each is a 'Simplified Underwriting' solution. Consider these plans to be Table 2 to 4 underwriting priced at a single rate. There will NOT be an exam, EVER. These solutions are GREAT for your small face amounts (under 400K, varied by carrier) and clients who want something quickly.

Tier 3 Carriers: Impaired Health Risk Cases

Several Tier 1 carrier that is open to the case at a table rating. Several of our carriers have a sweet spot for various underwriting risks. A few of the carries we are seeing wonderful results from when matched properly with the client’s situation are:

  • Illinois Mutual

  • Lincoln Financial Group

  • North American

  • Ameritas

  • Assurity

  • Prudential (when needed)

Your ability to field underwrite will determine if we should go with a Tier 3 solution, which is for impaired health risk cases. This can include, but is certainly not limited to height/weight issue, diabetes, cancer/heart/stroke history, autoimmune diseases, driving history, sports/hobbies, and all other health conditions that would not warrant a Standard or better from a Tier 1 solution.

  • AIG (Guarantee Issue)

  • CVS/Aetna

  • GTL (Graded Benefit)

  • Foresters

  • United Home Life

  • United of Omaha

  • Illinois Mutual

  • & more! 

At times, the only option is an Accidental Death policy.

We have FIVE carriers that have Accidental Death, or Accidental Death & Dismemberment. It’s state dependent like all solutions. With face amounts of up to $350,000, $500,000, and possibly $1,000,000, accidental death is either the last hope for your client OR a great add on for people with a table rating to pump up their coverage and meet their monthly budget.

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