Underwriting practices today are a world away from those commonplace 20 years ago, but the biggest evolution is yet to come.
Risk Management (General)
Jennifer Thoreson, R.N., AALU, Executive Director, Underwriting Services, U.S. Mortality Markets, RGA, provides a comprehensive overview of the current state of EHRs, how EHRs now compare with attending physician statements, and the benefits and challenges both bring to risk assessment in ReFlections.
An analysis of cause-specific mortality can shed light on variations in mortality patterns across sub-populations of an individual life insurance portfolio. These insights inform future mortality projections such as mortality improvement assumptions. The complex nature of mortality risk, especially for insured lives that are subject to the rigorous process of life underwriting, poses a challenge in understanding the likelihood of one cause of death over another.
Trick or Treat: How Smarter Segmentation and Data Use Can Help Insurers Win Policyholders and Avoid Ghoulish Risks
For some, there’s no spookier scenario than blood work and cumbersome forms to obtain insurance coverage. But as Neil Parkin of RGA South Africa explains, emerging risk segmentation techniques, combined with smarter use of data, could help ease these fears.
Is the recent slowdown of mortality improvement observed amongst the U.S. population also happening in the individual life insurance population, and what are the implications for the future?
The wider implications of recent advances in genetics and genomics, including polygenic risk scores, need to be considered in the context of the protection industry. RGA's Heather Lund and Richard Russell explore the topic in depth in the Journal of the Association of Insurance Medicine of Japan.
There is plenty of evidence that, generally, mortality is elevated in mental illness. That it should be so in the more severe forms such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder should be no surprise, but it is interesting to note that even milder conditions may present an extra risk.
This final article explores the future of accelerated underwriting in the context of a broader consideration of the future of risk selection in general. It follows some of today’s prominent trends – personalized products, underwriting engagement, and heightened risks and regulations – to their potential long-term outcomes, and concludes with basic steps insurers can take today to help lead the industry of tomorrow.
Technological advances in biosensors and increasing amounts of heart rate data from wearable devices and electronic health records are leading to the development of more sophisticated underwriting algorithms. This data, when coupled with robust epidemiological evidence about the prognostic value of heart rate, may improve insurer understanding of cardiovascular risk and ultimately allow underwriters to better predict morbidity and mortality risk.
Richard Russell, Ph.D., Lead Health Data Scientist, U.K., Division of Global Research and Data Analytics (GRDA), addresses polygenic risk scores (PRSs) and provides an update on the quickly advancing knowledge in this area of genetics research and risk assessment.