Technology

Underwriting Issues and Innovation Seminar Slide Presentations

Slides from presentations delivered at the Underwriting Issues and Innovation Seminar have been posted at the SOA website. Sessions with slides from Day 2 include:

- Big Data & Predictive Analytics
- Prescription Profiles
- Older Age Underwriting
- Simplified Issue

Top 5 Things to Watch For In The Life Insurance Space

Topics covered:

1. Simplification in product design and processes
2. Increased prevalence of combination products with accelerated benefit riders
3. Underwriting advancements and streamlining
4. Changes to the advice model
5. Internet distribution

Producers: Facing Down The Threat From The Tech Giants

With Google and Amazon now making tentative forays into the life insurance space, an urgent question arises: What are the implications for producers?

What Digitalization Means for Life Insurers

Digitalization and the emergence of the digital enterprise are unfolding as some of the greatest disruptions of all industries, including insurance.

Big Data Applications in the Life Insurance Industry (Slides)

Slides from a presentation covering the use of predictive analytics in life insurance have been posted by the Society Of Actuaries at their Asia-Pacific Annual Symposium page.

LOMA Resource: Technology, Innovation, Change

Speakers at the ACORD LOMA Forum offered fresh new ideas and advice, leaving attendees with a wealth of information that could help to change how they do business.

Underwriting of the Future

Moving forward, the focus of underwriting will shift away from internal processes and specific transactions and emphatically toward market-facing relationships and sales, giving underwriters more involvement than today. Increased automation and stronger analytical capabilities will also be a big part of the story.

Will Google and Amazon Offer One-Click Life Insurance?

The life insurance industry has been steadily in tradition for years now. Over time, the industry has been relying on legacy systems and there have been very few changes in the distribution.

The Future of Technology in New Business Processes

In the past ten years carriers have invested large sums of money and resources in technologies that automate new business processes, including underwriting. But many have not sufficiently connected their systems together to reap the full benefits of the transformation these technologies promise. This session examines real-world experiences in moving from disaggregated technology to a more uniform platform that can communicate across new business systems.

Accelerated Underwriting Drives Change

To combat the decline of life insurance ownership in the United States, Principal Financial Group is shortening the sales process through a home-grown automated underwriting system.

The Life Platform of the Future

If you’re working to bring on an existing block of life business or replace a legacy life administration platform, this session is for you. Hear about how Modern Woodmen of America partnered with se² to implement an enhanced life platform while converting 21,000 life policies from a newly acquired firm in just under six months.

Component Solutions to Legacy Challenges

Farm Bureau Life is one year into a multi-year transformation strategy to a Service Oriented Architecture. Within the last year they have implemented dozens of new components and integrated them into their existing IT environment using ACORD Standards and modern development patterns and practices. Attendees will learn how software that is truly components-based offers a viable alternative to major home-grown IT initiatives and large package implementations.

AI on the Cloud: What the Future Holds for the Industry - and You

By 2035, life insurance products will be substantially cheaper than they are today because of a rise in life expectancy. And a future iteration of Google Glass will give you access to an artificial human brain on the cloud, substantially boosting your powers of persuasion with clients.

Operational Considerations in Predictive Modeling

This article appears in the latest issue of SOA's Health Watch Newsletter on page 31.

3 Tech Trends Set to Rock the Insurance Industry

The 2014 edition of the Accenture Technology Vision highlighted six IT trends that will have a transformative effect on businesses over the next three to five years. For insurers, these trends will mean that business models must evolve at high speed, even while adaptation of new technologies is in process. Today, we'll discuss the first three.

Is Google the Future of Insurance?

With the growing dominance of massive companies like Google and Amazon taking over in all facets of business, could insurance be next to on the list?

Tech Makes Room for Life Insurance for the Middle Market

Most life insurance companies agree that the greatest opportunity for growth in the industry comes from the middle market. Middle-class consumers traditionally expect life insurance to be too expensive for their budgets or the application process too time-consuming. Insurers must rise to that challenge with innovative solutions, says Manish Bhatt, SVP and chief digital officer for MetLife (and a 2013 Insurance & Technology Elite 8 honoree).

Risk Management and The Power of Simplicity

The problem with this narrative—and the focus of this article—is the very real risk management costs associated with the increased complexity, efficiency and overconfidence in the predictive power of models.

LOMA Resource: Technology and Innovation

Today, innovation is more than just a buzz word. Read what top industry analysts are saying about the importance of true innovation and learn about some of the top technology trends for this year.

Special Presentation: The Future Is Now (RGA)

In these 15-minute webcasts, RGA subject matter experts discuss the actuarial and underwriting developments that are having an impact on the industry in the here and now.

Topics Covered:

Disruptive Medical Technologies
Predictive Modelling
Using Pharmacy Records to Predict Mortality

Celent: Customers Not Ready for Big Data

Big data is a hot topic in insurance, but the majority of customers are not ready for its realities. That's according to a recent report from Celent entitled “Customers Don’t Want to Buy Insurance from Big Brother.” Survey results revealed that the majority of consumers are opposed to receiving messages that incorporate personal data.

Dealing with the Data

Back in the 1990s, Pan says big data spawned by the business intelligence movement created a metrics-driven culture. Now companies are returning to data, especially predictive analytics data, in order to achieve business goals. However, Pan says the metrics aren’t always used properly.

Disruptive Advances in Medical Technology (RGA)

In this white paper, RGA experts discuss how new technologies are being used and what insurers can do to balance the risks and opportunities brought about by technological change.

Life Insurers Warm to Predictive Modeling Tools

Gen Re has followed up on its 2010 survey to find out how the use of predictive analytics is developing in the life insurance industry.

Why Automating Sales & Distribution in Life Insurance Optimizes Financial Performance Part II

Needs and leads are the way producers and brokers know they are selling the right product to the right person. Selling the wrong product can lead to early attrition, minimal top-line growth, and lost opportunities for future sales.

Coming Together: Six Converging Dynamics Will Define the Future of the Insurance Industry

Today there are many demographic, social, technological and economic forces affecting the future of the insurance industry. The primary challenge for life and health insurers is that the Quantified Self movement and its related technologies may increase the information asymmetry between applicants and underwriters.

Strategic Considerations for Automated Underwriting

The motivations that drive insurers toward automation vary greatly. Some companies are looking for expense reduction. Others want to improve efficiency. Still others are looking to improve their client service through a better overall customer experience. In this paper, Paul Okeefe outlines the key factors that insurers should consider, and the questions they must answer, when making automated underwriting a part of their strategic plan.

Research Brief: Google Edging Nearer to Insurers

A slew of new products and data sources emphasize the speed with which the insurance industry is changing, which could threaten “fast followers,” according to Strategy Meets Action.

LOMA Forecast 2014 (Resource)

Industry leaders predict what's ahead for sales and profits, structural change, information technology, customer service - and more.

Unlocking the Potential for Big Data for Underwriting

In the new underwriting paradigm, the differentiators are those who are pushing hard to get the information they have to the underwriting process.

How Automated Sales and Distribution Optimize Financial Performance for Life Insurers

Life insurers can find financial success through the automation of sales and distribution processes.

Digital or Analog? Life Insurers Have to Do Both

U.S. life and annuity carriers, which have spent the past several years reducing risk exposures, repricing products and rebuilding their capital base, are well positioned for 2014. Now another challenge comes knocking: marketplace bifurcation.

Big Data: What Is It, How Is It Collected and How Might Life Insurers Use It?

Big data and the potential uses of this information have been receiving a significant amount of attention. Who collects consumers data and why? Who uses this consumer data and why? What regulates the use of consumer data?

Why Distribution Innovation Has Not Yet Occurred Among Life Insurers

Today’s insurance sales environment is certainly much tougher, and one would think that, if anything, the tools used to sell insurance would be much more powerful and finely honed, but I find that the critical capabilities for sales illustrations have not changed greatly over the last 30 years.

Big Data: What It Is And Why We Need It (Slides)

The slides from this presentation by Bill Moore have been posted at the Actuaries Club of the Southwest website.

Two Steps Past Automation (LIMRA)

The role of technology and innovation in the financial services industry is evolving more quickly, and with greater potential impact, than ever before. Going forward, those organizations with the foresight to make wise, strategic investments in technology will lead the industry. Those organizations bold enough to embrace innovation and embed leading-edge technologies into every aspect of their operations will be well-positioned to thrive.

Big Data - Better Life Insurance (Gen Re)

Big Data refers to data that is too large to handle with traditional database technology. While most commercial organizations don't need to focus on the technical aspects of managing Big Data, they should seize the opportunities presented and create value from their data. This article aims to show some examples and opportunities for life insurance companies.

Google, Amazon Might Plant Big Footprints in Insurance Distribution

Internet superstars Google and Amazon are likely to become competitors for online insurance sales, according to predictions from life insurance and property-casualty executives polled by Accenture, a global consulting firm.

Want Big Change? Use Big Data, LIMRA Chief Says

All parties involved in the life insurance process — carriers, producers and customers — will benefit from using “predictive analytics,” said Robert A. Kerzner here at the opening session of LIMRA’s annual meeting.

Life And Annuity Carriers Sign Off On Electronic Signatures

For life and annuity carriers, the era of electronic signatures is at hand. Agents and carriers have come around to the advantages of signing on the dotted line in electronic form, particularly when it comes to new business.

Danger in Predictive Models for Underwriting

The purpose of this article is to alert the reader to a potential danger in using predictive models as part of the underwriting process.

What is the Hidden Healthy and How Does it Aid in Underwriting?

We’ve talked a lot this month about the declining rates of individually owned life insurance policies. Consumers tell us one of the reasons is the perception that it “costs too much.”

The Need For Speed (Best's Review)

Convenience may be the key to placing life insurance with middle income americans, and that means faster underwriting.

Changing Consumer Buying Behavior – How Do Insurers Evolve?

This article does not argue that all life insurance should henceforth be sold online, but rather that the behaviors associated with online shopping, now so familiar to consumers, cast the often tortuous life insurance buying experience in a dim light. Nor does it place a microscope over insurers’ underwriting standards or guidelines but instead looks at ideas to improve the efficiency of data collection, the underwriting process and, in turn, consumers’ overall purchasing experience with an insurer.

The Future of the Tech Titans Juggernaut

The stunning announcement on August 5th of The Washington Post's acquisition by Amazon.com Founder and CEO Jeffrey Bezos could be a harbinger of big things to come — and not only for failing newspapers.

The Next Generation of Insurance Technology: Are We Ready?

Instant medical records. Personal monitoring devices. New technology will re-shape life insurance as we know it — and we should embrace it.

No Needles, No Blood for Prudential's 'Virtual' Life Insurance Physical

With sales on the decline, life insurance companies are scrambling to find new and easier ways for people to buy life insurance products. Prudential Financial is introducing two life insurance products that incorporate a "virtual" physical and delivery of the new policy directly to your email.

LOMA Resource: Transformation, Technology and the Future

Speakers at the ACORD LOMA Forum offered fresh new ideas and advice, leaving attendees with a wealth of information that could help to change how they do business.

Insurance Tech Trends 2013 (Deloitte)

This year’s trends build on the continuously emerging phenomena of social media and mobile computing – a tangible manifestation of the concept that customer needs and experiences will drive marketplace differentiation. Meanwhile, insurers are facing changing demographics, buyer values, and increased demands for transparency – and many of these technology trends have a role to play in those efforts. In addition, the threat of increased regulation and privacy concerns in the industry must be accounted for as new technologies are integrated with legacy environments. In this environment, “knowing your customer” takes on a completely new meaning.

Life Insurers Slowly Ramp Up Mobile App Offerings

The number of top-100 life insurers with agent- or producer-focused mobile apps has more than doubled in two years to 27, and that number is expected to rise as more carriers add new tools and features, according to a new report.

E-Signature Implementation Checklist

There are no more excuses for avoiding e-signatures, according to a recent report from Novarica.

E-policy Delivery: Is the Industry Ready?

Business has moved to a world where almost everything is done online. Mail, bill delivery and payment, banking, and product ordering can all be done via ecommerce. Why should issuing life insurance policies be different?

A Brave New World: Big Data's Big Dangers

Article by Adam Frank at NPR about the potential dark side of big data.

Life Insurers Deliver Agent Ease Of Use With E-Signatures, E-Apps And Automated Underwriting

Life insurance remains one of the most undersold categories of protection products, but insurers are working to change that through the adoption of technologies, such as e-applications, e-signatures and automated underwriting, that provide greater ease of doing business for their distribution forces. Technologies that minimize errors -- reducing not-in-good-order (NIGO) applications -- and speed policy delivery please agents and enable growth.

Shining a Light on New Opportunities

With access to new and better data sources, insurers of all types are modernizing and automating underwriting to expand into new markets, increase share-of-wallet and close more business faster.

Wired People: Coming Soon To An Insurer Near You?

Dr. Peter Diamandis is the chairman and CEO of the X Prize Foundation, which creates large incentive prizes intended to drive radical breakthroughs for the benefit of humanity. You’ve likely heard of the $10 million Ansari X Prize for private spaceflight, and perhaps you’ve heard of the $10 million Progressive Automotive X Prize for 100 miles-per-gallon equivalent cars.

Underwriting Evolution or Revolution?

Underwriting is helping insurers improve accuracy and cycle times, but third-party data could have a profound impact on the industry.

Is Big Data Insurers Savior — Or Destroyer?

Big data can be an incredible competitive differentiator for insurance companies -- or could be the source of their demise, if they allow other businesses to gain the upper hand in the use of analytics and data to better manage and price risk and create new, more profitable products.

Predictive Modeling Applications for Life and Annuity Pricing and Underwriting

The session will begin with a review of the predictive modeling tools that will be discussed, followed by the application of the tools to specific situations as examples. The session will provide guidance for when predictive modeling tools can be effectively used and when they cannot.

Can Electric Toothbrushes Yield Insurance-Relevant Data? One Company Thinks So

According to Advertising Age, one insurance company is beginning a pilot with Beam Brush, a manufacturer of toothbrushes that connect with smartphones to collect data on brushing habits.

Blueprint for Success - Life and Annuity Process Re-engineering through Technology Innovation

Join this panel of thought leaders as they explore the advantages of defining a blueprint for success for process re-engineering. The conversation will touch on what is currently happening in the market today; focusing on the importance of and benefits provided by straight-through-processing (STP), rules engines, workflow and case management, and automated underwriting solutions. Including a case study, this session will outline the critical success factors of a leading carrier’s incremental implementation of these technologies; resulting in empowered agents and underwriters and accelerated growth.

Big Data - Big Opportunities (Gen Re The Bulletin)

Over the past decade, the world has seen an explosion of Internet, social networking and social media activity, all of which is generating vast amounts of data. This has led to the emergence of the term "Big Data."

Electronic Document Delivery – Look Before You Leap

Everyone immediately sees the obvious savings in reduce print and mail costs? But have we really look at the impact of no paper? How will it impact your sales and referrals or your case management flow? How will it impact your service delivery? Will your compliance procedures be changed? A panel of eDoc Delivery pioneers will discussed what they are finding.

Big Data and Insurance

Companies in all industries are seeking out new ways to gather, interpret and leverage the massive and ever-growing collection of personal information now available about consumers, thanks largely to smartphones, GPS and social media.

Investing for Advantage: Life & Annuity Technology Plans

Many leading insurers are rethinking their products, distribution, and value proposition to customers. IT has a key role to play as insurers make changes across the value chain to address the current environment and capitalize on new opportunities.

Transforming Underwriting and Claims Management Practices

This article by Kim Cohen for the April/May issue of RiskeBusiness explores the way medical and information technology will impact underwriting and claims practices over the next decade.

Views of Insurance CIOs on Technology Evolution

Top insurance industry CIOs discuss change in the industry overall, emerging trends, top technology initiatives and challenges.

Tablets and E-signatures: The Future of Life Insurance Sales?

I recently spoke with three top producers about how technology is changing, for better or worse, the way they do business. Here, they talk about whether they're using e-policies and tablets and what those products mean for life insurance sales today ... and down the road.

Big Data: Dark Side

Big data has the power to revolutionize society, but also to become Big Brother, warns new book.

The Next Great Thing in Predictive Modeling

The integration of predictive models across departments and lines is transforming the insurance industry.

Addressing David Brooks' Data Skepticism at the New York Times

Decision making is never fundamentally about available information, but rather the questions one is able to ask about it.

Tech Spending Plans of Insurers (LOMA Resource)

The results of a survey by SMA and LOMA on technology expenditures and projects by life insurers for 2013.

Using Technology to Improve Customer Interaction (SCOR Global Life)

Over the past decade many life insurers poured money into rebuilding and upgrading technology infrastructures. At the same time, the reach of advanced technology products continued to trickle down to the general consumer. Dave Dorans, Senior Vice President, Value Added Solutions, and Craig Weber, Chief Executive Officer of Celent, discussed this evolution of technology and its effect on the consumer-agent and agent-carrier relationships. Technology holds promise in improving the life insurance business model. Still, overcoming cultural attitudes will be an ongoing challenge.

Opportunities For Analytical Techniques In Life Insurance

Applying analytic techniques can help stem the current risks of deteriorating profits, adviser churn and lapsing individual risk business in the life
insurance industry

LOMA Resource: Forecast 2013

Resource asked insurance industry leaders to share their thoughts on what 2013 holds for sales and profitability, structural change, information technology, and customer service.

Predictive Modeling: A Life Underwriters Primer

Use of predictive models is becoming more common throughout the business landscape. Underwriters need to understand the basic concepts as these models impact pricing, marketing and underwriting of life insurance products.

Streamlined Underwriting

Slides from John Gramelspacher and Rob Schaber's presentation at the fall Actuaries Club of the Southwest meeting have been posted.

LOMA Focus: Data and Analytics a Game Changer

Analytics plays an increasingly important role in customer acquisition and competitive advantage in the life insurance industry, according to a new research report. The December issue of LOMA’s Resource magazine takes a look at the report, and interviews an SMA partner on the topic.

Emerging technology and the future of distribution

There is a place for the independent life insurance producer in tomorrow’s multi-channel, consumer-driven “I want it now” world. But it’s not so much face-to-face with the customer (unless it’s a video chat).

Electronic Applications and Policy Issuance Greatly Reducing Cost of New Business

Per unit costs for life insurers drop dramatically, as do errors and the business-cycle time.

Insurers Hit the Underwriting Mark With Big Data

While insurers are still in the early stages of adopting big data for underwriting, those that can hit the target now are likely to outpace their competitors — if they can get the insight into the hands of decision makers.

Social Media - Another Item for the Claims Toolbox

As a result of the growing amount of information that is posted to social networking sites, claim professionals, and/or the experts they engage, have discovered that social media can be a useful investigative tool for conducting research and uncovering relevant information on claimants.

Underwriting Automation: Shifting Focus, Expanding Value

Underwriting is receiving more investments from IT budgets, but what is it all going toward?

LOMA Resource: The Empowered Customer

Thanks to new technologies, today’s consumers are more connected than ever and want to interact with companies in new ways. It’s changing the delivery of service.

Social Media and Insurance – The Rise of Anecdotal Underwriting?

Insurers are becoming excited about the underwriting insights that could be found in the social media accounts of their policyholders. Are they right to be excited? Such insights are intertwined with a host of ethical issues and for me personally, more than a few problems.

LOMA Resource: Change, Transformation & Technology

The insurance industry is undergoing drastic changes. Companies need to adapt to keep themselves viable with the help of technology. Here’s a report from the ACORD LOMA Insurance Systems Forum.

Insurance Tech Trends 2012

For the third year running, Deloitte has published its annual Technology Trends report — a detailed look at the most important technology developments that will influence the world of business technology over the coming year. Year after year, this report is widely anticipated among technology leaders working in a range of industries.

Text Mining for Deeper Understanding

The rise of social media and big data means that text mining presents an enormous opportunity for companies with the vision and resources. Insurance Networking News asked Karthik Balakrishnan, SVP of fraud solutions and analytics at Verisk Health, a division of Verisk Analytics, and Phil Hatfield, VP of operations at the ISO Innovative Analytics unit of Verisk Analytics, to explain the technology and how insurers are using it to better understand their customers, competitors and carriers.

The Black Box Changing Life Underwriting

“Predictive modeling” is coming to life underwriting, and while it may help reduce underwriting costs, the approach may be confusing to clients or even a touch scary, says a long time underwriter. Advisors will therefore need to be ready to educate on this.

Marketing Information Offers Insurers Another Way To Analyze Risk (The Economist)

Article recently published in The Economist on the use of consumer purchase data in life insurance underwriting

Electronic Document Delivery – Look Before You Leap (2012 ACORD LOMA)

Everyone immediately sees the obvious savings in reduce print and mail costs? But have we really look at the impact of no paper? How will it impact your sales and referrals or your case management flow? How will it impact your service delivery? Will your compliance procedures be changed? A panel of eDoc Delivery pioneers will discussed what they are finding.

How Can Insurers Leverage Social Networking Data While Respecting Privacy?

Social networking is creating vast amounts of data that are potentially useful for insurance purposes but insurers risk harming their reputation with cyber snooping tactics.

Life and Annuity Process Re-engineering through Technology Innovation (2012 ACORD LOMA)

The conversation will touch on what is currently happening in the market today; focusing on the importance of and benefits provided by straight-through-processing (STP), rules engines, workflow and case management, and automated underwriting solutions. Including a case study, this session will outline the critical success factors of a leading carrier’s incremental implementation of these technologies; resulting in empowered agents and underwriters and accelerated growth.

The Future of Life Insurance Distribution (2012 ACORD LOMA)

There are several trends which are affecting the distribution of life insurance products. Increasing number of agents are retiring, the remaining agents are reaching a smaller segment of the population, direct to consumer agencies and insurers continue to see growth, and cost containment continues to put pressure on insurers to cut costs. These and other factors are pushing the US life insurance industry to pursue new distribution channels. To date it is unclear what channels will emerge. Could social media, retail, or banking emerge? Come to this session to discover the likely outcome of these distribution challenges.

WAHLU Underwriter Blog - Trends in Data: An IT Perspective

As underwriters, you work with data on a daily basis, and have a great appreciation for the role plays in effective risk assessment. Let’s take a second look at data from an IT perspective and see how your technology partners can and should add value to the underwriting process.

Paramedical Technology Can Be Your Time Saver In Placing Policies

Placing a life insurance policy is a great opportunity to confirm your new client’s confidence in doing business with you and to gain referral sources to build up your book of business. But it is increasingly important to narrow the time between getting an application filled and actually placing the policy with the client.

Life Underwriting Trends Panel Discussion (SOA 2012 Life & Annuity Symposium)

The Society of Actuaries has made several slide presentations from the 2012 Life & Annuity Symposium (May 21-22, 2012) available at their website.

Section 44 at the link below involves a discussion of life underwriting trends including simplified issue, older age underwriting, new medical markers, new MIB codes, and predictive analytics. Once at the site, click on "View Presentation" to view the slides.

Predictive Analytics for Life Insurance: How Data and Advanced Analytics are Changing The Business of Life Insurance

Some of the slide presentations from this years seminar (May 23, 2012 at JW Marriott in Los Angeles, CA) have been posted at the Society of Actuaries event page.

STP and Product Development: Lessons Learned

Celent facilitated another Insurer Peer Networking Event at the headquarters of New York Life Insurance Company. The discussion was the liveliest yet, with every company contributing significant learnings about their experience in straight-through processing (STP) and product development in life and annuity insurance.

Predictive Modeling

Predictive models and predictive analytics have recently begun to permeate the U.S. individual life insurance market. All direct writing companies and reinsurers need to develop an understanding of these models and their implications for risk selection, risk classification and mortality pricing.

LOMA Resource: Unlock the Power of Technology

Some of today’s top insurance industry CIOs discuss their challenges, top priorities and the technology innovations they are watching.

Automated Processing Pays Off

Health insurers are counting on technology to reduce the claims-processing errors that cost billions of dollars and frustrate patients and physicians.

Easing Analytics Adoption

The last few years have seen the use of predictive analytics move from a niche technology employed sparingly by mathematically adept power users in certain operational sectors to a common tool employed by business users throughout the enterprise.

Life Insurers Gearing Up Mobile Efforts

The number of life producers using mobile devices doubled from 2008 to 2010, making mobile tech an imperative if the carrier seeks a competitive advantage, says LIMRA.

6 Key Priorities for Life Insurance CIOs

Life insurers need to focus on technologies that better enable product development, distribution or deployment of newer technologies, such as social media and mobility applications.

Will Insurers Begin to Use Social Media Postings to Calculate Premiums?

This article considers the legal and regulatory issues surrounding the use of social media postings in underwriting.

Accenture's Insurance Technology Trends for 2012

Each year, Accenture's insurance team looks at major technology trends and their impact on P&C and Life insurers. In 2011, we see eight trends shaping insurance industry thinking, and pointing the direction for industry IT spending in 2012 and beyond.

2012: The Year We Finally Take Hold of Our Data

Here are some projections on what will be shaping enterprise data management over the coming year.

Analytics: Turning Data Into Dollars

As with insurance, in baseball small changes can mean big differences. Getting a hit 3.5 times in each 10 at-bats over the course of a season makes a hitter in Major League Baseball almost unbelievably good. Getting a hit four times in each 10 at-bats makes a hitter immortal, a feat last accomplished by the "Splendid Splinter," Ted Williams, in 1941.

INN's Top 5 Trends for 2012

INN editors present the business and technology trends that have the potential to impact insurers' operational environments in 2012 and beyond.

Internalizing External Data for Analytics

To fully exploit business analytics, carriers must supplement their internal policy-level data with a variety of data points derived from external sources.

Mobile Technology for the Life Insurance Producer: Is It a Fad or the Future?

Consumer behavior and expectations, along with pressures to conduct business more efficiently, are making the shift toward mobile platforms more than just a fad.

Five New Business Dashboards Every Life Insurer Needs (Munich RE)

This whitepaper examines how insurance executives understand the importance of reviewing their underwriting data and rule sets regularly to improve the profitability, speed and efficiency of their underwriting decisions. Making good decisions is critical in underwriting, but making those decisions quickly is taking on added importance given the complexity and competitiveness of today’s insurance marketplace.

Concerns Persist on Insurance Company Social Media "Spying"

Some people out there understand insurers' actions, but carriers need to do a better job of communicating the impact of fraud to the general public and honest policyholders in particular.

The State of Social Media Within the Industry

According to a new study from Strategy Meets Action, social media has become a nearly universal practice among insurers (nine percent reported not having a social media strategy or initiative planned), however, very few are beyond the basics of posting and monitoring.

Predictive Modeling with Consumer Data

Here's how using consumer data will affect the way health insurers make decisions on what products to sell.

Making Social Data Operational

New report examines how insurers can employ data from social media sites in claims and underwriting.

Readying For The Data Deluge

The act of aggregating data for the sake of making better decisions is as old as the insurance industry itself. Another constant is that the tools used to gather and analyze this data have continually evolved. Now, insurance and other industries that rely heavily on data to augment and in some cases supplant human decision making are entering an era in which many feel evolutionary changes are about to give way to revolutionary ones.

Predictive Modeling

Predictive models and predictive analytics have recently begun to permeate the U.S. individual life insurance market.

Automated Underwriting Tools - The Time is Now

What are Automated Underwriting Systems (AUSs) and why should carriers be investigating them? Learn the general requirements for AUS including rules engines, workflow, and case management along with interfaces to e-applications and requirements ordering. Hear from a carrier with an AUS system to learn how they calculated their CBA and ROI results and what they've discovered since implementation.

Technically Speaking, Life Insurance Is Behind The Times

Just as a musician must keep in time with the music for the rhythm and melody of a song to come to life, so too must the insurance industry keep in time with the future, if it is to have one.

Can Predictive Analytics Revolutionize Risk Management for Health Insurers?

When we think of predictive analytics in insurance, perhaps it calls to mind weather risks, earthquake exposures or other types of disasters, but newly-reported research indicates that a form of predictive analytics will be of great use to health insurers, who should be able to geographically localize the spread of diseases, and in turn, better assess health risks.

Insurance Industry Thought Leaders Speculate on Innovation through 2020

Technologies that debuted in the 2000s will mature during the next decade, driving ubiquitous computing, the analysis of an increasing number of data sources, and new levels of collaboration, among other areas of innovation, say industry thought leaders.

New and Emerging Underwriting Tools and Techniques (Slides from 2011 WAHLU Spring Seminar)

These are the slides presented by Brad Gabel of American General Life at the 2011 Wisconsin Association of Health and Life Underwriters Spring Seminar.

A Comprehensive Multivariate Approach to the Stratification of Applicant-Level All-Cause Mortality Risk

This article links to the ExamOne "Insights & Innovations" blog page, where a reprint of the RiskIQ article recently published in On The Risk is made available for download.

Automated Underwriting: How Far Can it Go?

How deeply should underwriting tasks be automated? As new technologies and standards emerge that make it possible to process underwriting decisions in a more automated fashion—with fewer touches by live human underwriters—debate is heating up across the industry as to whether increased automation may result in missed opportunities for insurance companies. Ultimately, it appears the answer may depend on the degree of complexity and the type of insurance being offered.

Conquering Claims Challenges

Personal health, life, and P&C insurers face myriad claims challenges, and many are using technology to overcome them.

The Impetus for Better Underwriting

Few would argue that the last three years have been easy on life insurance companies as the financial crisis devastated their balance sheet and the soft economy dampened demand for their products.

A new report from Boston-based Celent, "Trends in Life Insurance New Business and Underwriting Systems Usage," examines how insurers are reinvesting in technology to counter these economic headwinds and ready themselves for a more competitive marketplace.

An Uncertain Future for Insurers?

Ongoing low-growth environment presents a multitude of challenges, and technology will be a competitive differentiator, says new report from Deloitte.

McKinsey: An IT growth strategy for insurers

Emerging technologies could spark product innovations that change the way the industry serves customers. But insurers must match technologies with strategic goals.

Policy Admin Projects Top Insurers' 2011 Priority Lists

Many insurers have core systems projects as their top priority, but what exactly will happen?

Social Media

This article appeared in the first 2011 issue of Underwriter e-ALERT. This superb bimonthly e-newsletter is written by the three gifted consultants who are Select X in the United Kingdom, and then published by John Krinik. In this article, the authors explore social media trends within the insurance industry.

Predicting How Long You'll Live

To price insurance policies and calculate retirement benefits more accurately, a new breed of life-span modelers is turning to personal data about who you are and how you live your life.

Claims Investigations Using Social Media

The author had a very interesting discussion with a claims investigatorat Celent’s industry networking event in London (How Digital and Social Innovation Challenge the Insurer Business Model—read a summary of the event here). He went into some detail about how they were using social media in their claims work.

Insurer Global Outsourcing Trends Upward

Thanks largely to increased regulation, insurers will demand innovation, transparency and stability from sourcing providers.

Privacy vs. Exhibitionism: Why Social Media are Dangerous

For insurers who seek business opportunities in the social media sphere, we may easily have the spectacle of a customer who wants his personal information kept private by the insurer on one hand, while the same individual is spewing forth such data indiscriminately elsewhere. If the customer is “exposing” his own information, does that take the insurer off the hook if something bad happens related to that information? These are the kinds of questions that judges and juries will increasingly have to decide as exhibitionism battles privacy in the world of commerce and in the daily lives of many.

Can Social Networking Aid Underwriting?

How could social networking be used in underwriting, and where might we see it emerge first?

Insurance Industry Scores Woefully Low in Social Media Rankings

NetProspex, an online business contact service, just released its Fall 2010 Social Business Report, which analyzed its database of 2 million participants to assess company affiliations, industry affiliations, professions and regions.

The good news is that the insurance industry made the top 50 list in terms of social networking-savvy industries. The bad news is that it was ranked number 42 on the list, behind restaurants and sports teams, and just ahead of debt collection and hair salons. For what should be a highly social industry, the insurance industry has some work to do in raising its profile among social networks.

INN's Top 5 Trends For 2011

As we look forward to a new year, the broad technology shifts bound to impact the insurance industry are already taking shape.

The IT Component in Insurance Industry Performance

Top companies in our survey grind down costs by consolidating IT and rationalizing processes. They’re growing faster as well.

How Will U.S. Life Insurers Win the Game?

Data collection underway to uncover the role technology plays in U.S. life insurers’ response to increased competition here and abroad.

Taxes, Technology Vex Life Insurers

New report says estate tax confusion and legacy systems are major challenges for the industry in the year ahead.

Life Insurers Plan to Boost IT Budgets in 2011

More IT spending will shift its strategic use to better understand customers and markets, boost sales opportunities, survey says.

Social Networking, Meet Underwriting

According to (a recent) blog posting, the company makes the point that with the emergence of social networks, shareholders will expect companies to use such services to evaluate new and existing hires and reduce the liability of the company from lawsuits, damage to reputation, etc.

SOA Releases Report–Automated Life Underwriting: Phase 2

Is your company considering implementing an automated system for underwriting life insurance? Don't miss the recently completed study sponsored by the Marketing and Distribution, Product Development and Reinsurance Sections, along with the Committee on Life Insurance Research, examining the role of automated underwriting systems in a number of companies.

The report, authored by Deloitte Consulting, addresses: How and why companies are using automation to make underwriting decisions; the impact of utilizing these systems on operational efficiency, sales and retention; the quality of risk selection produced by automated systems; cultural acceptance of increased automation in systems; and challenges insurers overcome to implement and maintain these systems.

If you do not have time to read the report, you can sign-up for the Nov. 3 webcast,in which research results will be presented.

New Healthcare Law Requires “Massive” New IT Investments

With the advent of the Affordable Care Act (ACA)—the massive health care reform act passed earlier this year—health insurers also face major technology investments to keep up with new rules. As a new report in The New York Times puts it: “insurers are cutting administrative staff to lower overhead costs, investing in big technology upgrades and training employees to field the expected influx of customer inquiries.”

Is Predictive Analytics on the Horizon?

Advancements in health care analytics could mean big changes for insurers.

Skinning the Life Legacy Cat

The financial crisis gave pause to many technology investment plans, but 2010 has seen vigorous interest in core system replacement in the general insurance industry. But a perennial problem of poor back office systems remains. As the saying goes, there are many ways to skin the legacy modernization program. These include: outsourcing, upgrading to a current version, replatforming, wrapping /extending, or the ever popular approach of rip-and-replace.

4 Keys to Expanding Insurers' BI Strategies

Linking key performance indicators to business objectives is just the first step, according to a new Aberdeen Group study.

McKinsey Quarterly: The new IT landscape for health insurers

A volatile new health care environment is emerging in the United States. These are times of trouble—and opportunity—for the payers’ CIOs.

The Use of Electronic Health Information in Actuarial Practice

Presentation from the SOA '10 Health Meeting, held on June 28–30, in Orlando, FL.

Study Documents No Recovery in IT Spending

A new study of IT spending trends seems to indicate that the departure of these bad times is not yet imminent.

According to the “IT Spending and Staffing Benchmarks 2010/2011” study just released by Computer Economics, there has been no recovery yet in terms of IT operational spending. The study is based on a survey of more than 200 IT executives conducted in the first quarter of 2010, and includes individual chapters for 16 commercial and government sectors, including insurance.

On Siloed Thinking

While a new study questions the value of brainstorming, the history of successes born of collaboration tells another tale.

Social Media: Are We Talking About it Because There’s Nothing Else to Talk About?

Object-oriented programming, CRM, SEMCI, straight-through processing, SOA, cloud computing … the list of hot topics in the insurance computer technology world seems endless. Then again, if we didn’t have some titillating tech topic to talk about, what would we do for education sessions at our conferences?

Where Will We Find the Next Generation of Insurance IT Professionals?

Given the growing exodus of boomers from insurers’ ranks in favor of retirement, many insurers continue to ponder how they will answer this question. Every year, analysts and the media who study the industry invariably issue a new report that laments the aging insurance and insurance IT professional workforce. It’s a very real and serious business problem.

We’ve now reached a point where technology delivery has clearly outpaced insurers’ technology acceptance.

Why Aren’t Insurers Better at Adopting BI?

Business intelligence (BI) is all the rage these days, with vendors touting solutions to gather and analyze information about our companies and our customers to help us make better decisions. In this continually flaccid economy, it seems obvious that this should be a priority for insurers, but a recent survey indicates carriers just aren’t getting the job done when it comes to BI.

Life Insurance Producers Not Seeing Social Media Benefits

Survey results show some producers are using social media, but say it’s not generating new business.

Automated Underwriting: A Survey Of Life Insurer Experience

Life insurers looking to reach the elusive middle market must limit costs and deliver products efficiently. Generations X and Y will demand access to insurance on their own schedule, and won't tolerate the slow, invasive underwriting process of yesterday. Or so the advocates of automated underwriting would tell you. In fact, for these and other reasons, many life insurance companies continuously seek to streamline the underwriting process while preserving its protective value. Automated underwriting systems are often touted as the solution. Although these systems have been around for some time, not much is known about the industry's experience with them. (Article from the SOA's Marketing and Distribution Section January 2010 newsletter.

Uptick Seen in Use of Automated Underwriting

Technologies supporting automated underwriting processes are gathering momentum in the United States. New data-driven methodologies have emerged, and insurers have begun to sell insurance to the middle class, a group that has been underserved by insurers focused on selling to high-net-worth individuals.

Do You Accidentally Have a New Social Media Presence? Do You Want One?

The world of social networks and social media move swiftly, and these last two weeks have been no exception with Twitter’s conference announcing promoted tweets, and Facebook’s F8 conference announcing all manner of changes to their Web site. Here are a few things to watch out for that may already be affecting you.

Social Networking A Life Underwriting Tool? Report Stirs Debate

Insurers will increasingly use public shared data to inform pricing decisions and aid in fraud detection, predict researchers from Celent. What's more, says Mike Fitzgerald, a senior analyst in the Chicago office of Celent, insurers could use information gleaned from social networking websites, including Facebook, when deciding whether and how to underwrite applicants for life insurance.

Healthcare Reform Will Require Massive Insurance IT Spending

Caught off guard by the passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010, insurers must modernize IT while increasing operational efficiency.

Insurance Companies Tweet the Most, Study Finds

A new study on social networking has just been released that shows the insurance industry leads in the use of Twitter.

Can Social Networking Aid Underwriting?

How could social networking be used in underwriting, and where might we see it emerge first?

Life Insurance Industry on Tech Growth Path

The long-term outlook for the life insurance industry is for a faster pace of change, particularly in the use of technology. That was the conclusion of a survey of top industry executives by LOMA, an Atlanta-based insurance industry group.

Health, Life Insurers Trail in Customer Experience

Property/casualty insurers outshine their health and life counterparts when it comes to customer satisfaction, a new study finds.

Creating Customer Value From Life Insurance’s Billion-Dollar Health Records Business

Who runs one of the world’s largest personal health records businesses? Today the life insurance industry spends over $1 billion annually on the routine chore of creating and compiling the exams, lab tests, and attending physician statements (APSs) required to underwrite the 10 million plus life insurance applications submitted in the United States. Unlike most health records, these documents and files tend to be imaged or otherwise organized into digital formats to drive down the cost of the underwriting process.
What if this routine expense could be transformed into a value added service that customers appreciate and look forward to receiving? And what if the value of this service shifted the customer’s perspective to the point that they didn’t really mind the wait for their policy to be underwritten?

Much Work to be Done Before the Boomers Bolt

Though more marathon than sprint, insurers are indeed in a race to glean as much as they can from a graying IT workforce possessing increasingly rare skill sets and a vast amount of institutional and system-specific knowledge.

Considering the stakes, carriers need to make tactical considerations, including shifting internal staff and outsourcing certain functions, in order to maximize the effectiveness of these workers.

Life Web Searches Rise

Internet users searched for life insurance information on the Web about 16.6 million times in 2009, according to a Web traffic measurement firm.

Automated Life Underwriting

The Marketing and Distribution and Product Development Sections along with the Committee on Life Insurance Research, are pleased to make the following report available. Authored by a Mike Batty and Alice Kroll of Deloitte Consulting, the report summarizes the results of a company survey on the utilization of life insurance automated underwriting systems.

Tests May Reveal Hidden Predictors of Heart Disease

A new approach to analyzing electrocardiograms--a ubiquitous test of the heart's electrical function--could predict who is most likely to die after a heart attack. Researchers at MIT found that measuring how much the shape of the electrical waveform varies from beat to beat identifies high-risk patients better than existing risk factors. If the findings hold up in further clinical trials, the technology could be used to figure out which heart attack patients need the most aggressive treatment.

“The New Normal” is Insanity

More and more, it seems, “Welcome to the new normal” is becoming the mantra of the day when it comes to the pace of our business enterprises. We hear it everywhere from the hip technology gurus (ahem) and the purveyors of new technology. But what exactly are we talking about here?

LIDMA: ESignature Is Here

Most large life insurers that sell through direct marketing programs have electronic signature tools in place or plan to introduce them within the next 12 months. The Life Insurance Direct Marketing Association, Atlanta, has published that finding in a summary of results from a survey of 14 large insurers.

Technology Review: Simpler Colon Cancer Screening

A new blood test could improve cancer-screening compliance.

Analyzing Cancer Cells to Choose Treatments

Microfluidics chips allow scientists to study circulating cancer cells and determine their vulnerabilities.

Gen Re Risk Insights: August 2009

The latest issue looks at:

  • Underwriting the Elderly - Findings From a U.S. Survey
  • Beyond Containment but Well Into the Guessing Game - The Novel A/H1N1 Influenza Pandemic
  • Evidence-based Underwriting - Rheumatoid Arthritis

Pardon me, Rush, but what's your expertise in the medical records technology arena again?

Despite what Rush Limbaugh would have us believe, the movement toward electronic medical records is not about some Orwellian plot. Hospitals' Electronic Wasteland looks at stimulus funds aiming to change a system largely devoid of in-depth electronic record keeping.

Virtual Roundtable: Online Risk

Managing the risks, liabilities and solutions associated with electronic processes and interactions related to conducting business over the Internet is a challenge for every insurance company today. The exposure to online risks is pervasive, potentially affecting most aspects of an insurance organization, including assets, operations, finances, legal, regulatory compliance and even reputation. Exactly how serious is the threat of cyber attacks on insurance operations, and what currently are the most dangerous cyber threats to carriers' systems?

Insurers Shift To Customer-focused Predictive Analytics Technologies

As insurers transform into more customer-focused organizations, their predictive analytics initiatives are, in turn, starting to focus more on the overall customer experience.

Predictive Analysis Allows Insurers to Stay Ahead of Constantly Evolving Fraudsters

When used with data mining tools and street investigations, predictive analytics can be among the biggest electronic enemies of the fraud rings that cost insurers tens of billions of dollars annually.

Emerging Technologies Fight Claims Fraud

Industry insiders discuss emerging technologies, including predictive modeling and other tools, that allow special investigations units to be more proactive in addressing fraud.

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