One of the most frequently-used phrases at business events these days is “the future of work.” It’s increasingly clear that artificial intelligence and other new technologies will bring substantial changes in work tasks and business processes. But while these changes are predicted for the future, they’re already present in many organizations for many different jobs.
Slides from this presentation (Actuaries' Club of the Southwest, November 7, 2019) have been posted at the ACSW website.
Life underwriting professionals are experiencing a paradigm shift in modus operandi, driven by the introduction of automation initiatives. Multiple consulting studies and analyses indicate that automation in underwriting is a valid business need. The coevolution of humans and technology must be supported by business strategies that focus on identifying necessary underwriting skill sets. The convergence of the art of underwriting and the science of technology presents many challenges. Insurers and reinsurers must plan accordingly.
Life Insurance Industry Trends Insurtech Survey 2019
Lest anyone think the previous exchange is fanciful or seems a bit paranoid, it is already happening. It is known as using accelerated underwriting using external data and over two dozen U.S. insurers are currently using it.
Perspectives magazine checked in with several BGAs, carriers and technology vendors to see how we sit on the learning curve, as well as discovering what lies ahead in technology to help you make the grade.
There was a time in the very early days of life-insurance underwriting, somewhere actually in the 1700s, when the only useful and predictive piece of data recognized was age. And using it affected a simple equation: as the certainty of death approached year by year, so was risk duly assessed. It would take another two hundred years or so before we began to understand that gender also directly impacts the science of mortality. We now utilize a wealth of information to analyze and quantify risk, and yet, it appears, we may have still only scratched the surface. Today, we could be standing at the precipice of a quantum leap in how we understand, interpret and eventually underwrite an ever-expanding inventory of exposures.
Historically, insurance premiums were differentiated only by age, with gender (now removed in some markets) and smoking incorporated later. The introduction of a numerical rating system 100 years ago meant underwriters could immediately better differentiate medical risk. This allowed them to broaden their offers of cover beyond “only healthy individuals”, thereby realising the significant economic potential and much greater inclusion by extending cover to so-called substandard risks.
Underwriting in the US life insurance industry has had more change in the last five years than it has in the prior 30…and many underwriters are struggling to keep up with the pace. Terms like accelerated underwriting, automated underwriting, simplified issue, predictive models and big data are bounced around at industry meetings like ping pong balls. If you are confused by all the new terminology, you are not alone.
Slides from Hank's presentation at the WAHLU 2019 Spring Seminar have been posted at the WAHLU website.