Underwriting at Sun Life FAQs

How does someone apply for non-medical underwriting?

If the Client(s) meet the criteria for a non-medical cell on our Life Underwriting Requirements chart, they’ll be considered for insurance without labs.

Complete the application using the Sun eApp or our usual paper application and select a tele-interview.

Remember: Non-medical means that labs are not automatically required. We may ask for additional information (including lab tests) based on the Client’s risk profile. We’ll let you know when labs are not needed. You can then share the great news with the Client! 

How are we increasing our non-medical limits?

We use data analytics and predictive models. They determine which Clients require blood, urine and vitals (labs).

The model uses the disclosed history collected through a Client’s tele-interview to make this decision.

You can reference our new Life underwriting requirements charts for more information.

How should I communicate underwriting requirements to Clients?

On average, 76% of Clients won’t need to submit labs with their application.* It’s important you set expectations with Clients and make them aware additional requirements may be needed for their application based on their individual risk profile.

We’ll let you know if labs aren’t needed, and you can share the good news.

*We’ve based this estimate on the recent volumes of life insurance applications Sun Life has received.

How do the data analytics and predictive models work?

The models consider over 200 variables. Many Clients tend to have a high number of favorable factors so we’re able to approve them quickly without the need for labs. Other Clients may have favorable factors but we need more information to approve them.

When this happens, the model tells us we need additional labs or information. The variables they consider are both medical and non-medical so while some Clients appear in perfect health, there may be non-medical factors that trigger the need for labs.

Some examples of variables that we look at are:

  • family history
  • build
  • medical history
  • driving
  • activities
  • travel
  • date arrived in Canada
  • tobacco history

When will the application be assessed by the predictive model?

We’ll assess applications within 2 days of receiving the disclosed history, including the tele-interview. The underwriter will review the outcome and contact you if more requirements are needed.

How will I know if labs are required?

If labs are needed, they’ll show on the Activity Centre as a requirement. We’ll send a confirmation email to you.

Can I order labs if they are needed?

Based on your selection in the application, you or Head office will order labs if they’re required. If no preference is selected, Head Office will order the labs on your behalf.  This will improve the speed of service because labs will be ordered right away, rather than asking you to book them.

Will preferred rates still be available for SunTerm applications?

As of June 14, 2021, preferred rates will be available for ages 41+, applying for $250,001 and above.  For ages 18-40, preferred rates remain available at $1,000,001 and up.

For more information, review our product guide.  Applications for preferred rates require labs.  

If I did not apply for preferred rates but a Client needs labs, could they still potentially qualify for preferred rates?

If labs are completed, preferred rates are available.

How do I apply for preferred rates?

If the Client wants to be considered for preferred rates, include a note in the special instructions. These cases are not eligible for the predictive analytics models so they will need labs.