Body mass index is an important driver of risk class and stands as the second largest concern for misrepresentation in accelerated underwriting after smoking non-disclosure.
Behavioral economics is an area that is making a substantial splash in many industries and insurance is no exception. Behavioral economist Matt Battersby examines how his discipline can play a role in reducing disclosure gaps.
At the recent Association of Home Office Underwriters (AHOU) meeting, Executive Vice President, Betsy Sears, shared insight that our data analytics team has collected and analyzed comparing self-disclosure to positive confirmations of various laboratory tests. Our insurance clients tell us consistently that fraud is a top concern – whether intentional or unintentional applicant nondisclosure, it can cost companies millions.
Underwriting is not dying. It is just being automated into digital algorithms versus analog human beings.
Applicants’ self-disclosed Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) and hepatitis C virus (HCV) status as well as body mass index (BMI) are important risk factors for morbidity and mortality in both accelerated and traditional (full) underwriting processes. In combination with self-disclosed smoking and medical history (diabetes, hypertension, heart failure, high cholesterol), which was discussed in a previous issue of Contingencies, these conditions constitute a majority of the leading medical inputs to the risk-assessment process.
This article from RGA considers how Behavioral Economics (BE) principles can be applied to the design of questions on insurance applications in order to elicit better responses
Information asymmetry risk for simplified issue, accelerated, and full underwriting?
The phenomenon we call antiselection constitutes a clear and present danger to the life insurance industry. A simple definition of this scourge is “not disclosing information known by the insurance applicant in order to get life insurance per se or acquire coverage at a lower premium rate than if that information had been revealed on the application.”
The purchase of any type of insurance is based on the premise that the applicant/proposed insured will disclose any and all pertinent information related to insurability and that the insurer will act upon that information in good faith. If information is withheld, the balance of the transaction is altered.