For much of this underwriter’s 30 years of practice, he had to endure being denounced as head of “the sales prevention department” by angry producers who tired of waiting weeks (if not months) for a “thumbs up” on new business.
Those days will soon be gone…forever.
Who is THE ENEMY WITHIN?
“He” has no one name, no essential gender.
What “he” has is the incredibly untimely capacity to rapaciously rob your company of its future…and compelling evidence suggests this is indeed what is coming to pass across the global life and health industry.
Teleunderwriting embraces multitudes. It is, at the same time, both a technical process that reconfigures day-to-day home office underwriting and a dynamic process that affects every aspect of how we select risks.
Let’s explore the technical aspect first. Teleunderwriting makes extensive use of the telephone as an information gathering resource. One day, the Internet should play an equivalent role…but, for now, the telephone is our focus.
As mortality and morbidity underwriting undergoes a much-anticipated metamorphosis to accommodate the demands of the 21st century, the need for fast, reliable and cost-effective screening resources has come into clear focus. The purpose of this paper is to examine the extent to which Rx profiling is one of these resources.
Knowing which pharmaceuticals an insurable applicant is taking has always been a key goal of medical history-taking. It is axiomatic that if we know what Rx an individual is taking, we have keen insight into his medical history. It is an a priori assumption, therefore, that Rx profiling services will serve to enrich our ability to relate pharmaceuticals to medical histories.
This survey was undertaken by sending questionnaires to 55 North American life and health insurers.
Of that group, 45 responded. Not bad.
It is ﬁrmly against my policy to name companies in the context of any survey or to make them identiﬁable in any way based on their responses. Sufﬁce to say that the majority of the TOP TWENTY life carriers are here.
To determine insurability of applicants age 65 and over on the same basis as we do at younger ages all but guarantees a botched job.
This is because factors that we know contribute to premature death in young and middle-aged adults differ dramatically from those linked to excess geriatric mortality. These examples give clear evidence of this too-often-overlooked reality.
In underwriting, we are seeing an increasing number of cases of chronic hepatitis C and nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (especially nonalcoholic steatohepatitis, NASH) wherein the proposed insured has not had a sufﬁcient clinical workup to determine if advanced liver pathology (signiﬁcant ﬁbrosis, cirrhosis) is present.
This is a key determination regarding insurability and the absence of this information has forced us to take uncertain actions…certainly insuring some who are bad risks while postponing others who are insurable.
There was a posting recently at lifeunderwriting.com wherein the underwriter bemoaned the fact that his company would not fund his enrollment, and that of his peers in the department, in the State of the Art™ Continuing Education Program.
This is a classic case of missing the forest for the trees, as they say. And not just because it happens to focus on the education program into which I and my colleagues at SelectX-UK have invested so much of our energy and devotion.