You have met with your client, completed an application, and submitted the application for processing. Next thing you know, you have an email saying the application is “Not in Good Order.” What?! How did this happen? What did I do wrong? Nothing! NIGOs are part of the process and even our top producing advisors receive NIGO emails.
What are NIGOS?
NIGO is an acronym for “Not in Good Order,” which automatically presents a negative connotation. No one wants to hear that something they have submitted is not in good order. However, NIGOs are the most common implication that occurs with an application. Reasons for NIGOs range from missing forms or initials, blank spaces, and even forgetting to fill in the client’s name again on page 17.
“NIGOs are a part of the process. They’re not scary, since they are bound to happen. It is simple human error.”Melesa Gulisano, Impact Partnership Case Processor
Gulisano estimates that about 19 out of 20 applications will have NIGOs. Also, every carrier and product is different. Carrier requirements vary too, which can be confusing for any financial professional.
How to Maybe Avoid NIGOs
First, confirm that product training has been completed with the licensing department. If you have not completed training for a product and submit an application for business, it will not even be viewed by the carrier until product training is complete. Why slow down the process? First, complete the training. Then, meet with your client to sell the product.
Finally, now that you are trained to sell that product, it is time to complete the application process.
The four most important things you can do:
- Slow down! We know you have completed applications before. However, each case is different. Simple human error is why NIGOs occur. If you slow down, you may notice the inconsistencies throughout the application. For instance, the address might be off by a number or the social security number does not match on the other pages.
- Never Leave anything blank. If it does not pertain to your client’s case, then answer that it is not applicable. On an application, blank spaces raises flags during processing. Luckily, electronic applications will not even allow you to submit an application with blank spaces.
- Always call for assistance. The Impact Case Processing team is here to help you with the application process. They want to ensure that the application moves through submission as quickly as possible for you.
“We are meant to be resources to our advisors. We don’t want to them to be frustrated. Give us a call and we will help.”Lindsay McVicar, Impact Partnership Case Processor
- Pay special attention to suitability and the replacement comparison form, if applicable. The suitability area is by far the most complex area of an application and needs the most attention. Lastly, if a replacement is occurring, be sure to properly complete the replacement comparison form. Most of the time, the client needs to call their current provider for this information.
How to Deal with NIGOs
After filling out the application with your client, set the expectation that you will have to meet with them again. Some advisors believe they have tarnished how their clients view them because they must obtain more information or signatures, after completing the application. Being issued an annuity or life insurance is a large task and it is best to inform your client that after submission, you may have to meet again to finalize the application. This will ensure that your client is not caught off guard and that they are involved in the process. Then, you can cover your bases for unexpected NIGOs.
After receiving a NIGO, you will need to be in communication with the processing team to finalize the application. Always keep a look out for emails from the Impact Operations Team and respond as quickly as you can. These emails inform you of the NIGOs and the requirements to resolve the issue. You may have to meet with your client again to obtain signatures or initials. If you do, you can email, fax, or even overnight those documents to Impact or the carrier for resolution.
At the end of the day, we are all humans and errors occur. You are most likely going to receive a NIGO email after submitting an application. The best thing you can do is set that expectation for your client, slow down, never leave anything blank, call Impact for assistance, and pay close attention to the complicated areas of an application. Remember, NIGOs are a part of the process and even the best financial professionals receive them.