Accelerated Underwriting: A Transformational Trend
As the life insurance industry continues to look for innovative ways to respond to the changing needs, expectations and buying preferences of 21st century consumers, insurance companies and their reinsurance partners have responded by expanding research and development capabilities. As a key area of research within the industry, cross-functional R&D teams of actuaries, underwriters, data scientists and statisticians are focusing on providing value-added intelligence and advice around the mortality risk implications of using risk scores and new data sources in accelerated and enhanced underwriting programs.
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Impending Death of the Life Insurance Medical Exam
Peeing in a cup, giving blood samples, getting blood pressure checked and stepping on the scale were once unavoidable (and often dreaded) parts of applying for life insurance. But data services and technology are gradually replacing the life insurance medical exam.
From the initial recognition of HIV virus in 1981, HIV infection has turned from an almost universally fatal infection, to one that could be managed with medication to extend life, to a disease which can be controlled with newer and revolutionary medication therapies. While many companies continue to see the HIV virus as uninsurable, that corner has also been turned, and life insurance in selected cases of treated HIV infection is now possible. Even though the conditions that must be met are numerous and the criteria stringent, applicants with HIV now have the possibility of acceptable insurance offers.
What Drives People to Self-Harm and What Does it Mean for Insurers?
When thinking about self-harm, we most associate it with youth. More than half of 11-14 year olds and eight out of ten 18-21 year olds have self-harmed - or know someone who has - according to the results of a UK poll undertaken during 2015.
Much is said about blockchain technology, and how it will change how business operates. As with any new technology, a gap exists between understanding the theory and seeing the practical applications. But it should be no surprise that blockchain technology is already being used to secure the digital electronic health record (EHR) of large numbers of people in Europe.
Our paper, “Cystatin C: A Promising Test for Insurance Screening,” was published in early 2009. At that time, most studies about this test were focused solely on its role as a novel kidney disease marker.
In the interim, several hundred new studies have greatly expand- ed our knowledge about cystatin C in a broad range of contexts. For this reason, a new comprehensive literature review is needed if we are to understand the true underwriting implications of this test.
A presentation at a recent underwriting gathering was billed as being focused on the use of predictive analytics in contexts other than risk appraisal.
Feedback from several attendees suggests it was just the opposite, centered largely on their deployment in underwriting.
So much for the verisimilitude of at least some session descriptions!
Fact is, insurers are presently being inundated with risk screening options no one would have imagined possible a decade ago. The developers of some of these tools are aggressively promoting their deployment in the underwriting process.
Bilirubin is a potent antioxidant and antiinflammatory agent. While bilirubin levels tend to be lower in cigarette smokers, the adverse effects of low/below normal bilirubin impact both smokers and nonsmokers.
High normal/elevated bilirubin has been convincingly linked to a significantly lower risk of circulatory diseases, diabetes and other prevalent medical impairments. Conversely, low normal/below normal bilirubin levels are now a well-established marker for increased risk of these diseases and their complications.
It is a widely held notion that one does not have to know the job to manage people who do the job.
This certainly makes sense for most blue collar and clerical occupations.
Does the same rationale apply to non-underwriters (defined as individuals that have never been underwriters) managing underwriting professionals?
At our study groups, this is recognized as an increasingly important question, in part because the number of individuals with no underwriting background who oversee new business departments is increasing.