Life Insurance Has an Inclusivity Problem



Modern underwriting approaches and distribution methods, often spearheaded by insurtech companies, unlock unique, data-driven insights that enable the industry to understand who they’re serving well — and where they fall short.

The industry can use these insights to adopt a more personalized, progressive approach to product design, underwriting, and distribution to reach specific populations with coverage options and pricing that suits their unique needs.

For the LGBTQ+ community, historical rules and underwriting approaches around mental health could make coverage unattainable or unaffordable.

For example, while our survey didn’t ask respondents about treatment for mental health, the cost of health care in general was a primary concern for nearly 70% of respondents.

A study published in the National Library of Medicine found that LGBTQ+ people used mental health services at 2.5 times higher rates than heterosexual or cisgender individuals.

Additionally, studies have found that they are two and a half times more likely to experience depression, anxiety, and substance abuse — items that are all considered in the underwriting process for life insurance.

Since many in the LGBTQ+ community struggle with mental health concerns, we must find better ways to understand the situation and evaluate the risk holistically.

Author(s): Jeremy Bill

Publication Date: 10 Jun 2022

Publication Site: Think Advisor

Ethics and use of Data Sources for Underwriting ft. Neil Raden and Kevin Pledge -NSNA(Ep.4)



The video features Neil Raden who is the author of ethical use of AI for Actuaries. Alongside him , it features Kevin Pledge who is CEO of Acceptiv , FSA,FIA and chair of Innovation and Research Committee of SOA. We discuss about the issue of ethics and about the use of new data sources in the recent Emerging issues in Underwriting Survey Report by IfOA.

Authors: Harsh Jaitak, Kevin Pledge, Neil Raden

Publication Date: 17 March 2021

Publication Site: TBD Actuarial at YouTube

Group Wants Life Underwriters to Post COVID-19 Standards



The Consumer Federation of America says life insurers should voluntarily disclose the changes they are making in life insurance underwriting procedures and standards as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Washington-based federation says life insurers ought to at least answer basic questions, such as whether they will require applicants to use COVID-19 vaccines, what kinds of tests and test results they’ll require and whether and how standards might vary by applicant age.

Author(s): Allison Bell

Publication Date: 1 March 2021

Publication Site: Think Advisor

A New Disease – Underwriting Without Evidence



As mentioned above, the selection of appropriate evidence is one of the most important steps in the derivation of evidence-based risk assessment guidelines. With little evidence available, this choice becomes easy, but the output may not always be satisfactory.

In the case of COVID‑19, it is not the lack of evidence as such, but the lack of long-term evidence that is a challenge. In contrast to this, the quantity of available short-term evidence is and has been record‑breaking.

This included numerous clinical studies. Since the beginning of the pandemic, new ones have been published seemingly almost every minute. While the quality of the studies may be good, they often look at small case counts only. In many instances, they were published in a preliminary stage to speed up the process of understanding the new disease. While this is reasonable to drive the scientific process, the level of certainty needed for decisions requires long-term evidence.

Author(s): Annika Tiedemann, Life/Health Underwriting Manager, Cologne

Publication Date: March 2021

Publication Site: Gen Re

Underwriting in China – A Digital Transformation



The Life insurance market in China has grown tremendously with premiums increasing nearly three-fold from RMB1.06 trillion in 2010 to RMB2.96 trillion in 2019. With a population now close to 1.4 billion, the insurance penetration – which has grown to 4.6% – is still far from that of developed countries. Together this represents a business development opportunity because we expect the trend of growth in the insurance market to continue.

In anticipation, insurers in China began to move their underwriting from a paper process to an online one approximately three years ago. Today the bulk of transactions are paperless, except for a small volume of bank channel applications. However, given the huge daily volume of new business, insurers still have an urgent need to improve their processes further. While we are not suggesting a major overhaul of underwriting is needed, there is room to incorporate innovative ideas that address various pain points, provide a smoother customer experience while still balancing risk management needs.

Author(s): Orchis Li, Life/Health General Manager, Hong Kong; Dr. Celia Zhang Ying, Life/Health Regional Chief Underwriter & Senior Medical Officer, Shanghai

Publication Date: February 2021

Publication Site: Gen Re