Acronyms used in Life Insurance Underwriting part I

By | January 21, 2009

If you have ever applied for life insurance or for that matter health insurance you might have run across some words and acronyms that made no sense to you at all. I decided to put this article together to try and list some of the most common acronyms used in life insurance underwriting.  The goal is hopefully it may give you an idea of what your broker/agent or the carrier’s underwriters are talking about when you are in underwriting.

List of top Acronyms used in Life Insurance Underwriting:

ABI: Ankle-Brachial Index

This test is done by measuring blood pressure at the ankle and in the arm while a person is at rest. Measurements are usually repeated at both sites after 5 minutes of walking on a treadmill.

ADL’s: Activities of Daily Living

Activities of daily living (ADLs) are “the things we normally do in daily living including any daily activity we perform for self-care (such as feeding ourselves, bathing, dressing, grooming), work, homemaking, and leisure.

APS: Attending Physicians Statement

An attending physician statement (APS) is a report by a Physician, Hospital or Medical facility who has treated, or who is currently treating a proposed insured. In traditional underwriting, an APS is one of the most frequently ordered additional sources of medical information. The APS is also one of the more expensive underwriting requirements, as well as the most time consuming as it is often completed when a doctor has time as his primary focus is caring for his patients. The underwriting cycle time is often severely hampered by the APS as it could take weeks or even months to obtain. Once obtained, it can be laborious to review it and summarize as APS reports can be large documents containing medical history information.

ASD: Atrial Septal Defect

The septum is a wall that separates the heart’s left and right sides. Septal defects are sometimes called a “hole” in the heart. A defect between the heart’s two upper chambers (the atria) is called an atrial septal defect (ASD).

BP: Blood Pressure

Blood pressure (BP) is the force exerted by circulating blood on the walls of blood vessels, and constitutes one of the principal vital signs. The pressure of the circulating blood decreases as blood moves through arteries, arterioles, capillaries, and veins; the term blood pressure generally refers to arterial pressure, i.e., the pressure in the larger arteries, the blood vessels that take blood away from the heart.

CAD: Coronary Artery Disease

Coronary artery disease (CAD) is a condition in which plaque (plak) builds up inside the coronary arteries. These arteries supply your heart muscle with oxygen-rich blood. Plaque is made up of fat, cholesterol (ko-LES-ter-ol), calcium, and other substances found in the blood. When plaque builds up in the arteries, the condition is called atherosclerosis

COPD: Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease

COPD, or chronic obstructive pulmonary (PULL-mun-ary) disease, is a progressive disease that makes it hard to breathe. “Progressive” means the disease gets worse over time.

CVD: Cerebrovascular Disease

Cerebrovascular disease is a group of brain dysfunctions related to disease of blood vessels supplying the brain. Hypertension is the most important cause that damages the blood vessel lining endothelium exposing the underlying collagen where platelets aggregate to initiate a repairing process which is not always complete and perfect.

Part I of the top acronyms used in the underwriting process.  Each one of these factors could play a role in your underwriting offer from the carriers.  If you have health issues prepare to have your broker or agent to shop your file to multiple carriers. 

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