How Using Behavioral Economics Can Improve Underwriting Results

It seems one cannot attend a conference or pick up a trade magazine these days without finding some mention of behavioral economics (BE). From policy development and healthcare to retail and now, insurance, many industries are finding interest in this area of study. What is yet to be fully appreciated, though, is just how significantly BE can improve business outcomes for insurers.

State Regulators Eye Life Accelerated Underwriting Programs

An arm of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners is starting to talk about use of accelerated underwriting in the U.S. life insurance sales process.

Three Essentials for True Automated Underwriting Success

Almost a decade ago Life Insurers in the Australian market entered the search for greater efficiencies and faster assessment turnaround times believed to be possible via the mechanism of automated underwriting. Having closely observed the UK market, in particular, leading retail Australian insurers moved quickly to embrace automated underwriting.

Big Data, Big Insight – Is Knowledge Still Power in a Digital World?

This article explores the validity of claims that theory has lost its practical purpose in a world where the abundance, and easy availability, of data is purported to provide sufficient guidance to our actions. In a future Risk Insights article we will consider the possible consequences for the life insurance industry with a particular eye on the future role of human expert knowledge.

Impaired Risk Review: White Coat Hypertension

Blood pressure readings are part of virtually every physician encounter and of course every paramedical exam for insurance. Hypertension, or high blood pressure, has been well studied as a risk factor in health and disease. The term white coat hypertension, or white coat syndrome, is used to describe individuals whose blood pressure in a clinical setting is significantly higher (or out of normal range) than in normal daytime situations, and believed to be due to transient anxiety during a doctor or medical visit.

Productivity Obsession in Underwriting Management: Report of an Unpublished 2016 Survey

Hank has written an extended commentary (including results of a new unpublished survey) on the implications of productivity obsession in underwriting.

Non-Natural Death Trends in the United States

While non-natural deaths have generally been decreasing worldwide, death rates from non-natural causes have been climbing in the United States. RGA offers a deeper look at U.S. non-natural mortality experience in four categories – other accidents, suicides, motor vehicle accidents, and homicides – and compares trends to experience from six developed countries.

Cancer Immunotherapy: A Rapidly Expanding Frontier

This article reviews the recent and unprecedented acceleration in the understanding of cancer pathophysiology which has led to the subsequent development of novel cancer immunotherapies. In part, this new direction in cancer treatment has been advanced by a greater understanding of individual patient genomics and has contributed to the realization of the so-called “precision medicine” era.

Coming in 2017: More Pot-Smoking Life Insurance Policyholders

Marijuana smoking has been on the rise in recent years. In the wake of the November 2016 elections, the number of users — already 25 million-strong — is likely to increase, and perhaps substantially.

Impaired Risk Review: Crediting Systems

Once upon a time, being a standard risk in the underwriting process was the best you could hope for. It meant that your health was at the top of the group of insured lives being considered and eligible for the best rate, and that you would live all the way out to the prediction of the actuarial life tables. Now, life insurers have created a whole tier of preferred and super preferred pricing that makes a standard issue almost seem like a rated policy.

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