Cover letters: The importance of telling Clients’ stories

August 08, 2023

Submitting insurance applications can be easy now that we’ve introduced our pre-approval feature in Sun eApp. However, strong communication and transparency are key to securing an approval if you have a complex application or case with over $5 million face amount. An important tool that can help you succeed is a cover letter - your opportunity to paint a picture of the Client’s story.

We know writing isn’t for everyone so mastering a cover letter can be daunting. Where do you start? What information do you include? Over the next few months, we’ll be releasing a series of content to help you with cover letters. To begin, we’ve pulled together a few important tips to help you position Clients’ applications for success.

A cover letter should be used for complex or larger cases. 

For cover letters, we define large cases as $5 million in face amount, or when the total family or business coverage exceeds that amount. 

A complex case is when the application doesn’t cover information that could be critical to underwriting. For example:

  • Unusual ownership arrangements
  • Unique residency situations where the finances may be key
  • An explanation of past alcohol, drug, driving, or other lifestyle histories
  • Medical impairments that are acute, chronic, improving or worsening that may affect the underwriting decision
  • Foreign travel (frequent or high-risk)
  • Participating in high-risk activities like mountain climbing, scuba diving, Heli-skiing
  • Increased amounts of coverage on children (over $500,000)

It’s important that you customize each cover letter to fit the needs of the Client. Relying on templates doesn’t always help the Client or effectively position your application.  Ideally, you should submit a cover letter at the same time as the application. 

Note: Cover letters are not required for straight forward cases. Submitting a cover letter means the application will no longer be eligible for pre-approval in Sun eApp. 

A cover letter benefits you as much as the Client. This is also your opportunity to build your relationship with the underwriters and bring more attention to details by:

  • introducing the Client and the purpose of the coverage, 
  • showcasing your knowledge and professionalism,
  • emphasizing that you know the Client and care about supporting their financial health and security. 

The time you spend drafting the cover letter will save you time later as it will speed up the entire underwriting process. 

Submitting a cover letter will help direct the underwriter’s analysis and understanding of the application. It eliminates ambiguity and can reduce the number of communications for the Client, the underwriter, and yourself. This is possible because you’ll be giving additional details that aren’t normally collected through the traditional application process. If reinsurance partners are involved, the cover letter information will also be shared with them. This will help them make informed decisions about the Client’s application.  

When writing a cover letter, you want to resolve any assumptions the underwriter may have. Make the content thorough and be clear. While drafting, remember that you want to:

  1. Include intricate details.
  2. Describe the purpose of insurance, (e.g. the need you’re trying to solve).
  3. State how the amount of insurance was calculated.
  4. Include personal net worth or the fair market value for their company.
  5. Use numbers, be specific, and make it obvious.
  6. Provide supporting documentation, when possible.

Putting time and effort into your cover letter can lead to a better experience for the Client, the underwriter, and yourself. It’s time to put your creativity hat on and tell the Client’s story! Over the next few months, we’ll publish more information that will help you build stronger and more meaningful cover letters - positively affecting Clients and your business. 

Painting a picture of your Client

If you think about a painting, the application is your canvas, the medical and financial information is your frame, and the cover letter is your opportunity to turn black and white into colour!

Questions? Our Sun Life Select team is happy to help.