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Underwriting Criteria

Price and Risk Selection The role of the underwriter at Banner is to review your application for insurance and determine the appropriate underwriting classification. The classification will impact the price you are charged for coverage.

The underwriter will evaluate your situation in its entirety, examining your medical and financial history.

There are specific underwriting criteria that are considered in the medical history review. Your familiarity with the criteria and how each applies to you can help estimate the price for life insurance. The health evaluation questionnaire will guide you through the criteria and provide a probable underwriting classification.

Please understand that the probable underwriting classification is an estimate based upon the specific criteria. The ultimate classification will be made after the underwriter has completed a thorough evaluation. For example, Lab results and Attending Physician Statements provide further detail into your medical history.

Underwriting criteria are a set of guidelines that are used to evaluate each applicant who applies for life insurance. The most common criteria that are used to determine an applicant’s insurability and related underwriting class are personal health, build, cholesterol, blood pressure, cancer history, tobacco, alcohol or substance use, hazardous activities or occupations, driving history and family history. Also taken into consideration are financial factors and coverage need. This helps determine whether an applicant is applying for the appropriate amount of coverage. Underwriters evaluate each applicant as a whole, taking into consideration both positive and negative factors.

The underwriting process manages the risk that our company is accepting for your policy. A thorough evaluation based on the underwriting criteria allows Banner to offer the lowest possible rates to people like you.

Insurable Interest
The relationship between the insured, policy owner and beneficiary must be one where the beneficiary will suffer a financial loss upon the death of the insured and one where the policy owner has a responsibility to protect the interest of the beneficiary. An acceptable relationship must be demonstrated during the underwriting process.

Lab Results
All applications require that a blood and urine sample be taken. Your samples will be sent to a lab for testing and your underwriter will evaluate the lab results as part of the underwriting process.  Most companies will provide you with a copy of your lab results if you request them -- Banner sends you copies automatically.

Attending Physician Statements
Attending Physician Statements, or doctor's office notes, are sometimes required by an underwriter as part of the medical evaluation. Your doctor's notes will be able to provide a full look at your medical history, including treatment for any conditions that may affect your underwriting class.

Financial Underwriting
Part of the underwriting process is determining whether or not you are applying for too much life insurance. If you are applying for personal coverage the underwriter will assess your income and your net worth, for business coverage the underwriter will assess the financial information for the company. Sometimes additional financial statements or third-party verification is necessary to justify coverage needs. In assessing your application, the underwriter will verify that an insurable interest exists between the insured, the policy owner and the policy beneficiary. The policy owner must show that there would be a financial loss to the beneficiary in the event that you pass away.

Underwriting Classes
Banner Life Insurance Company offers six underwriting classes:
•  Preferred Plus Non-Tobacco
•  Preferred Non-Tobacco
•  Standard Plus Non-Tobacco
•  Standard Non-Tobacco
•  Preferred Tobacco
•  Standard Tobacco


A standard risk is one who shares the general health, life style and characteristics of the the average American citizen.  These individuals are expected to live an average lifetime.  Individuals who exhibit characteristics indicating a better than average life expectancy may be offered a preferred  underwriting class.  Individuals who have a life expectancy that is below average may be offered coverage at a price that is higher than one of the standard risk classes.