Beyond the Phone Interview

Welcome to summer vacation season!

Warmer weather means more people out of the office. But the need to maintain time service standards doesn’t take a holiday. Home office underwriting departments feeling the pressure created by vacation absences are turning to IBU for APS Summaries. It’s a cost-effective solution that works because home office underwriters trust IBU summaries without needing to look back at the APS.

The use of APS summaries has emerged as a widely used method of coping with increases in underwriting workload. It is an effective strategy so long as underwriters feel like the information in the summary is sufficient. Some vendors providing APS summaries utilize experienced underwriters while others use off-shore non-underwriting resources. Off-shore resources tend to offer APS summaries at lower cost than firms using experienced underwriters. While this approach may seem less expensive, it often ends up costing more in time.

IBU uses experienced U.S.-based underwriters exclusively for APS summaries. Our underwriters are former home office professionals who review APS’s and document the right information the right way, which gives home office underwriters the confidence they need to be comfortable.

APS summaries are just one part of IBU’s two-pronged strategy to decrease the strain on home office underwriting departments. The other prong is the IBU APS alternative – Telephone Interviews by Underwriters.

Over the past 13 years, several leading companies have successfully used IBU telephone interviews to replace a portion of their APS’s. “Order an IBU” has become a catch phrase at IBU client companies. Replacing APS’s with telephone interviews by an experienced underwriter is much less expensive and less time consuming than ordering an APS. This savings in time and money more than offsets the price difference of APS summaries prepared by U.S.-based experienced underwriters.

To facilitate IBU’s two-pronged approach, we worked with our clients to refine the IBU/APS Selection Guideline. First introduced in 2003, this exclusive online tool helps clients know when to order an IBU interview and when to order an APS. It consists of 15 human body systems and 216 impairment subcategories. Each subcategory contains a recommendation for when to order an IBU interview and when to order an APS.

Together, IBU’s two-pronged approach of APS Alternative telephone interviews and APS summaries is providing the industry with a reliable underwriting overflow solution at the lowest possible cost.