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Quantifying Cyber: How Insurance Carriers are Meeting the Challenge of Covering an Ever-Changing Risk Landscape

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With insurance companies facing an average of 113 targeted breaches a year, it can be argued that cybersecurity is one risk the insurance industry is not prepared for. Prominent breaches, such as the Premera Blue Cross and Anthem attacks, saw a combined 90 million customer records fall into the hands of nefarious actors and the subsequent damage to both customers and carriers cannot be underestimated.

 

And yet, from this growing trend, opportunities are increasing; the sector is largely untapped, with experts projecting cyber insurance premiums to rise to more than $8bn by 2020, a substantial increase from $1.87bn in 2017. Premium growth will continue to rise over the next decade as the concept of cyber insurance becomes more entrenched across the sector. For comparison, Deloitte found that US P&C premium revenues rose only 4.6% in 2017 and this was the most such premiums had risen year on year in a decade. It is clear that for the right player with the right product, huge portions of the cyber insurance market are there to be won.

 

Adapting to customers’ cyber security needs is a clear opportunity for carriers to achieve rapid growth in a sector that is otherwise at capacity. However, carriers face many challenges before they can begin to maximize the potential in covering cyber risk. Insurance Nexus spoke to a panel of senior insurance executives and cyber risk experts to discover what the landscape looks like for carriers moving into cyber coverage.

 

Access the exclusive whitepaper, Quantifying Cyber: How Insurance Carriers are Meeting the Challenges of Covering an Ever-Changing Risk Landscape, for detailed insights into:

  • Why underwriting for cyber risk poses challenges
  • The contribution made by catastrophe modeling
  • How to anticipate exposure to risk
  • The threat from quantum computing
  • The importance of customer education

 

This whitepaper was written in association with Insurance Nexus’ upcoming Cyber Insurance USA Summit 2019. The conference, which will welcome over 150 senior executives from across cyber, product, claims and business teams, will take place on November 4th and 5th, 2019, in Chicago, Illinois. For more information about this and other Insurance Nexus events, please visit the website: https://events.insurancenexus.com/cyberusa/ or contact Kamilla Rakhmat directly.

 

Contact:

Kamilla Rakhmat | Project Director

Project Director

Insurance Nexus

T: +44(0)20 7375 7523

E: kamilla.rakhmat@insurancenexus.com

The Big 3 (ACORD, DTCC, & IRI) Meet to Collaborate on Addressing the Challenges of the Industry

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On the last week of July, 2019, insurance industry technology leaders and experts from the Depository Trust Corporation (DTCC), Insured Retirement Institute (IRI) and ACORD had a meeting in New York. For many years the three organizations (ACORD, DTCC and IRI) have worked on countless initiatives that either compliment or overlap their products and services. Representatives from all three organizations do participate in each other’s working groups and committees to sync up and contribute where possible, however this is the first time in recent years that that the three organizations exclusively have met to update each other on key activities and see where they can work together moving forward.

 

Some of the attendees included Jim Quinn- Chief Technology Officer of IRI;  and from DTCC’s Insurance & Retirement Services Division: Barbara Smith – Executive Director and Jeanann Smith, Senior Product Management. ACORD who hosted the meeting had several key people participate such as Malou August – Senior Vice President of Standards & Membership, Karen Mottley – Business Architect of the Life & Annuity Program, and Yolanda Austin who is ACORD’s leading Life & Annuity Consultant.

 

ACORD provided InsurTech Express a quote signed off from leaders of all three organizations, “ACORD, DTCC and IRI met to discuss key initiatives, and identify opportunities to collaborate. Some of the initiatives we discussed were Digital Standards, Distributed Ledger Technology, New Business, Replacement Automation, and Regulation 187 efforts. The initial focus is on annuities, and we also plan to engage industry leaders throughout the broader Life community. We are excited to come together to help guide industry priorities, promote increased standards adoption, and contribute to greater successes within our industry.”  The meeting didn’t only include updating on each organization’s vision and key initiatives, but they also wanted to address the challenges the industry is experiencing today. ACORD, DTCC and IRI realize there are several opportunities where they can better collaborate.

 

The good news is that the meeting was a success! There was progress on getting alignment on issues in today’s initiatives and addressing those for the future. ACORD, DTCC and IRI do have common goals like increasing adoption and promoting standard usage. Not only did they decide to collaborate on the key initiatives mentioned above (Digital Standards, Distributed Ledger Technology, New Business, Replacement Automation and Regulation 187), but it  was agreed upon to continue the conversation and meet again, which includes taking some substantive action like proposing to write a White Paper together for providing guidance in the industry.

 

On the sales and business side of insurance and retirement services, many people don’t realize that the engine behind the seamless automation for submitting new business, paying commissions, money settlement, Inforce services, producer licensing, advocacy and education are all driven or a result of the initiatives by ACORD, DTCC, and IRI. The Big 3 working together will help with speed to market, reducing costs, growing adoption, and driving more implementations making the industry a better place.

 

About ACORD:

ACORD (Association for Cooperative Operations Research and Development) is the global standards-setting body for the insurance and related financial services industries. ACORD’s Mission: For nearly 50 years, ACORD has been a non-profit, industry-owned organization that enables the success of the global insurance industry by leveraging the flow of data and information across all insurance stakeholders through relevant and timely data standards.

 

About DTCC Insurance & Retirement Services:

DTCC’s Insurance & Retirement Services (I&RS) offers a suite of streamlined processing and compliance-driven solutions for carriers and their distribution partners — broker/dealers, banks, brokerage general agencies, independent broker/dealers and other firms — through a secure, centralized and automated infrastructure. This infrastructure enables insurance carriers and distributors to exchange information at various points throughout the annuity and life insurance processing cycle.

 

About the Insured Retirement Institute:

The Insured Retirement Institute (IRI) is the leading financial services trade association for the retirement income industry. Members represent the entire supply chain of insured retirement strategies, including Insurers, Banks, Asset Managers, Broker-Dealers, Distributors, Financial Advisors and Solution Providers. IRI provides a wealth of educational, research, advocacy, and ops & tech benefits to its members


 

Connected Insurance Report: Industry Weighs in on Future of Technology in Insurance

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To some, it is magic. To insurance, it is reality. The ability to accurately discern the past and predict the future based on nothing but data points and the long-lived experience of actuaries and adjusters has served the industry well up to now, allowing insurance to become the multi-billion-dollar industry it is today. The past few years, however, have witnessed in a dramatic shift to this picture, prompted by the advent of the Internet of Things: technologies that collect, record and transmit live, granular data about their environment.

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This increase in the quality and quantity of available data is already having some profound effects; the process of writing policies can now be far better informed by what is known about the risk level of an individual or entity, as opposed to simply what is known about the claims generated by an entire class of risk. Consequently, it is now possible to assess claims more accurately and efficiently, and even prevent them arising, based on high-quality, objective data.

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This, in turn, has created the need for changes in how insurers and customers interact both before and after a claim, as well as the internal structure, operations and hiring processes of the carriers themselves. Already operating in an environment of squeezed profits, high regulation and low consumer trust, the industry is witnessing something of a perfect storm at present. The tools for insurance carriers to stay relevant and appeal to today’s consumer do now exist, but uncertainty over how best to implement such profound strategic transformation is holding many back.

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To provide a comprehensive overview of the progress and prospects of Connected Insurance, Insurance Nexus have produced the Connected Insurance Report, an in-depth study of the progress of insurance technology globally, today, and in the future. The Connected Insurance Report is based partly on a survey of over 500 people working in insurance and related industries, as well as the exclusive insights of 20 renowned thought-leaders, including Matteo Carbone (Founder and Director of the IoT Insurance Observatory), Cecilia Sevillano (Head Smart Homes Solutions, Swiss Re), Boris Collignon (Vice President Strategy, Innovation and Strategic Partnerships, Desjardins General Insurance Group) and more. 

Access the Connected Insurance Report today for in-depth insights, analyses and case-studies on the technology-led transformation of insurance, including:

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·     How the Benefits of Technology Confer to Insurance: more data, fewer claims and less costs. Discover how the application of technology to insurance is changing the relationship between insurers and insureds and where extra value can be created

·     The State of Play of Technology in Insurance Today: what progress has been made so far across the different lines of insurance? Which lines are most developed and where is ripe for transformation?

·     The Practicalities of Embedding Technology in Insurance: from proving the business case to organizational restructuring and digital transformation, explore how carriers have demonstrably succeeded in leveraging the benefits of insurance technology

·     Making Sense of The Insurance Tech Stack: Provide value to customers by maximizing the worth of all data throughout the value chain. While challenges to each entity and line of business are unique, discover and overcome the principal challenges to embedding technology as reported by the industry

·     The Long-Term Opportunities: From claims prevention to customer engagement, what will the technology-led future of insurance like? Discover what is on the management “to-do list” to ensure readiness for the era of “insurance 2.0”

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Access the Connected Insurance Report today

The Connected Insurance Report was researched and produced by Insurance Nexus and is collaboration with the IoT Insurance Observatory. It is the first of its kind to conceive of insurance IoT holistically, as a paradigm shift necessitating changes in insurer business models, organisational structures and technology stacks. Insurance Nexus surveyed the experiences of more than 500 insurers and reinsurers to assess where they sit in the connected insurance market and to extract the challenges they face and their stories of success.

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Along with a panel of 20 industry leaders who have been operating at the sharp end of the IoT revolution, Insurance Nexus looked at these hurdles and opportunities and pulled them apart to provide readers with the case studies with actionable insights to help guide decision-making as the industry tackles its own strategic milestones.

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Contact

Mariana Dumont

Head of USA Operations

Insurance Nexus

Phone: +44 (0) 207 422 4369

Toll Free: 1 800 814 3459 Ext: 4369

Email: mariana.dumont@insurancenexus.com

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Insurance Nexus is part of FC Business Intelligence Ltd. FC Business Intelligence Ltd is a registered company in England and Wales. Registered number 04388971, 7-9 Fashion Street, London, E1 6PX, UK

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Insurance Nexus is the central hub for insurance executives. Through in-depth industry analysis, targeted research, niche events and quality content, we provide the industry with a platform to network, discuss, learn and shape the future of the insurance industry.

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HOW OUR ROBOTS RAN 30 MILLION ILLUSTRATIONS IN 24 HOURS

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BY BILL ATLEE, JUNE 4TH, 2019

Last year, our industry ran 400 million illustrations for permanent life insurance, 95% of which ended up in the trash can. Agents and their back-office staff wasted thousands of man-hours a week generating 10-20-page PDFs that are seen by a client. Why the insanity? It’s not because the insurance commissioner tells us that we have to do it this way. It’s because of the way insurance agents sell.

When agents meet a prospect for the first time, they typically don’t know the details of the prospect’s insurance needs, medical background, or price tolerance. Consequently, they pre-run multiple illustration scenarios to provide prospects with various options.

They do this in advance to avoid the clumsy nature of running carrier illustration software in front of a prospect. This madness will seemingly never go away as long as clients want options, illustrations software remains complex, and agents desire a smoother selling experience.

What if an agent could go out in the field with no paper illustrations, avoid dozens of confusing PDFs, and clunky illustration software, yet still react quickly to client curve balls…

How? iSolve.

iSolve teaches robots how to pre-run millions of illustration scenarios each month and stores these calculations in a massive online database. iSolve then wraps an intuitive user-friendly interface around these pre-run calculations, allowing an agent to use their smartphone, tablet, or laptop to instantly display various product options.

When the agent has met the client’s product and pricing expectations, the agent simply clicks a button and an NAIC-compliant illustration is rendered for all parties to e-Sign. iSolve also integrates directly into iGO e-App, making it simple for the agent to digitally apply for coverage.

As a life insurance agent that founded iPipeline over 20 years ago, I know what it’s like to be in the field with clients, and how much of an obstacle illustrations scenarios are to rapidly moving sales. Alongside my colleagues, we have developed this new illustrations innovation, iSolve, to provide digital access to infinite illustrations for a possible sales scenario. No more “wouldn’t it be nice if…” Just 30 million pre-run illustrations right at your fingertips.

Did I peak your interest?  Explore the power of iSolve in my on-demand webinar.

Exam completion rate case study

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By KATIE PALKA, July 9, 2019

One of the challenges facing the direct-to-consumer segment of the life insurance industry is improving completion percentage. Over the last year, we analyzed our client’s data to compare how and where applicants schedule exams, and measure the impact on completion rates. Three common factors emerged to demonstrate the effectiveness of utilizing some of ExamOne’s tools and solutions.

The challenge

One of the challenges facing the direct-to-consumer segment of the life insurance industry is improving completion percentage. This means more applicants into underwriting, increased premium payments and more families protected.

How can ExamOne help directmarketers with these common issues?

  • Lost premiums due to fall-out fromunresponsive applicants
  • Applicants find the examprocess inconvenient

The solution

When looking to improve applicant completion rates, direct marketers have turned to ExamOne’s suite of solutions. Our goal is to simplify the scheduling process and offer applicants more exam location choices.

The results

ExamOne analyzed our client’s data* to compare how and where applicants scheduled exams impacted completion rates of policies. Three common factors emerged to demonstrate the effectiveness of utilizing some of ExamOne’s tools and solutions—convenient exam centers, scheduling tools, and the combination of these two.

Get the complete Case Study by clicking the button below:

Why I would never build my own ePolicy Delivery solution again

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By Eric Lester

Most of you know me as the former technology change and innovation leader for one of the world’s largest life insurance carriers.  Over the past twenty plus years I’ve had the great opportunity and privilege of helping bring some awesome new technology to our industry, one being ePolicy Delivery.

In early 2010 we made the choice to build an ePolicy delivery platform with the underlying chaise being that of a popular eSignature vendor.  We, as the carrier, decided to build our own offering because at the time solution providers were in their infancy with their own products and their costs for implementations, annual licenses, and transactions were, let’s just say high at the least.

Over the years our offering became one other carriers would point to as a successful model and used to self-justify building a similar solutions of their own. Because of this I still regularly get asked “should I build and/or keep maintaining my own ePolicy delivery solution or license one from a service provider?” 

Well, this may come as a shocker for those of you who know me well, but I’m here to say on the record that I would be hard pressed and need a very compelling reason to build another one given the current landscape.  I’ll share with you a few quick points of why.

·       SOLUTION PROVIDERS NOW HAVE GREAT SOLTUIONS: In the early days when we were pioneering ePolicy Delivery, solution providers had products that weren’t really much better than what we could build.  Fast forward nine years and these providers have invested millions into their products offering better functionality, scalability, and means of garnering adoption.  There’s little carriers can do to improve on what’s already being offered.

·       MAINTENANCE IS A NIGHTMARE: Any carrier who has built their own software solutions knows that the build part is only half the battle.  The war is won by keeping it current with new functionality and continually innovating while you have limited IT resources and 10 other large projects that need to get done each hear.  For me, there were multiple year spans with 50+ enhancement sitting on the roadmap and we couldn’t even address one of them.  Solution providers on the other hand have to keep up the innovation in order to stay competitive.

·       EXPENSE IS OVERBEARING: Don’t fool yourself, building and maintaining software is expensive.  Don’t forget, that unless you build everything, you’ll have to account for expenses like eSignature which adds up quickly.  It’s important to also think about your internal resource abilities; to keep your new offering up-to-date and do it well you should expect to spend around 1,000 hours for BA and Development work annually. Let’s be honest, most carrier home grown software is not built with configurability and rules that can be defined and updated by the business areas.  Whereas leading edge technology companies are in production now with platforms that can be configured for workflow, forms and ability for customers to dynamically change the policy on the fly – Think Up Sell!!  Now that there are multiple providers offering ePolicy delivery today, prices have dramatically dropped making very little sense not to implement one of them regardless the size of your company.

·       MORE DISTRIBUTION REQUIREMENTS: This one folks is the big deal and you shouldn’t take it lightly.  Unless you’re solely a career carrier you need to think about your distribution and how they sell – direct to the consumer, via the independent channel, through banks or broker dealers, etc.  These dynamics weren’t much of a concern in 2010 as they are today.  Distributors are now demanding different workflows, communications, and ways to support their partner’s compliance when it comes to technology.  In addition, if you’re listening to the market, and I hope you are, they want a couple of multi-carrier solutions to pick from.  If you’re not on that multi-carrier eDelivery bandwagon now I guarantee that in the very near future you’ll be pushed in that direction.

I’m sure a few of you are sitting on the floor right now saying to yourself “this isn’t the Eric I know” because he had a tendency to build everything in-house.  

We’ll times are a changing folks, and our industry is finally kicking itself into high speed on the InsureTech express.  If you can’t keep up and stay innovative you’ll be pushed out of the way by the carriers you compete with.  Eventually you’ll end up like so many other carriers over the past decade that either get shut down or bought out. 

That’s the harsh reality of today, and frankly you’ve got a lot of other fish to fry than worrying about building or maintaining an ePolicy delivery solution yourself. Especially when you can easily license one that can be implemented in half the time and provide 10 times the functionality than you could ever build. 

 

About Eric Lester.
Eric has recently formed his own technology consulting company, Nexus Insurance Services, located in Charlotte, North Carolina.  He is actively engaged in working with technology companies, carriers and brokerage agencies to identify best-in-class solutions and create partnerships with the companies that are best aligned. Eric may be reached by phone at 204.328.9617 or via email 
eric.lester@outlook.com

What Every InsurTech Should Know About Privacy and Cybersecurity

by Theodore Augustinos | May 14, 2019 | InsurTech, Privacy/Data Security/Cyber Risk | Bermuda, European Union, Hong Kong, United Kingdom, United States

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As an early stage or startup InsurTech, you’re highly focused on all the right things: identifying a challenge for the insurance industry, developing an innovative technical solution, making it practical and scalable, getting it funded, and implementing it. The industry for which InsurTech seeks to develop and deliver solutions is awash, however, in requirements and restrictions related to the collection, use, sharing, and protection of data. What do you need to know about the insurance industry’s privacy and cybersecurity issues that affect your InsurTech solutions?                                                                                                                                                        

Make Privacy and Cybersecurity your Competitive Edge

Insurers, producers and others that are potential sources of funding and potential customers for InsurTech solutions are increasingly focused on privacy and cybersecurity issues. This focus is driven by their developing legal and regulatory environment, and by their interest in mitigating privacy and cybersecurity risk. Your ability to attract interest will only improve if you display awareness of and sensitivity to these issues. Your InsurTech will stand out and enjoy a competitive edge if you have basic answers to the questions any investor or customer will ask about privacy and cybersecurity compliance and risk mitigation. Conversely, your great ideas will be undermined if you give the impression that your solution hasn’t been built with these issues in mind.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     

To exploit this potential competitive advantage (and avoid the risk of the uninformed), you may not need to become a privacy and cybersecurity expert, but you do need to have some understanding of the issues that will be of concern to your potential investors and customers.

         

The following are suggestions for turning potential privacy and cybersecurity pitfalls into a competitive advantage.

1. Know what data you collect and process. Privacy and cybersecurity issues are determined by the types of data collected and processed. Make sure you know what your designers and programmers are setting up in terms of types and methods of data collection. Privacy and cybersecurity issues turn on types of data, and you need to have, and to be able to provide, full visibility into your data collection and processing. Companies sometimes collect more data than they intended or knew about, simply because designers and programmers thought additional data sets might be useful someday, or in some future application. Know what data you’re collecting and processing.                                                                                                                                             

2. Appreciate the rules of the road. There is a complex, changing, and increasingly onerous regime of privacy and cybersecurity requirements that affect the customers of InsurTech. Insurers, producers and other users of InsurTech solutions will need to make certain that your solution satisfies these requirements. Assume that any data collected and processed by your solution can be subject to these requirements. You don’t need to be expert in these requirements, but you do need to be aware of them.

 

Basically, depending on what laws and regulations apply, know that information that is identifiable to an individual may be subject to notice, disclosure and other requirements; limits on use and transfer; restrictions on retention; and rights of access, correction, portability and erasure. In some jurisdictions, other types of data including certain commercial data may also be restricted, and data related to military and dual use technologies can also be subject to data export and other restrictions. In addition, InsurTech customers may have contractual obligations or published policies and notices that restrict the collection, use, storage and transfer of certain data. Build your solutions with the understanding that your potential customers may not be able to use them unless they are consistent with these requirements.

Place More Business And Get Paid Commissions Faster Using Life Standard Data Messages

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By Ken Leibow, InsurTech Express

 

It’s easy to think that this is over simplified, but if you want to place more life insurance business and get paid commissions faster, then you need to eliminate paper! Use eApp instead of submitting a paper application; don’t send licensing and contracting forms via mail or email—do it electronically on a platform like SureLC by SuranceBay; eDeliver life policies rather than mailing or hand delivering paper policies; and process commissions from a carrier’s commission data feed instead of manually using paper commission statements. Trading partners in the life insurance industry have their administration systems and distribution platforms interconnected by using insurance data exchanges that move data seamlessly via standard messages. What you get is speed, accuracy and reduced labor costs.

 

Accelerate Cycle Time with eApp and eDelivery
There are several ways to submit life business electronically such as using an eApp or eTicket platform plugged into one or more fulfillment models like a tele-interview, accelerated underwriting or predictive underwriting with auto-issue. Whether the agent is submitting the business on a single carrier platform like CBLife QuickApp or a multi-carrier platform like iPipeline iGO, the data is being transmitted to the fulfillment center or directly to the carrier using a standard data message. This data automatically populates the recipient’s admin system in good order, auto-creating the case and triggering requirement ordering or ultimately policy issue. Cycle time compared to processing paper is at least 60 times faster resulting in up to 85 percent placement of paid business.

Delivering life policies electronically (eDelivery) benefits carriers, agencies, agents and consumers. The cost savings are huge; there is also a decrease in NTO rates, better customer experience, tighter legal and compliance control, and commissions are paid faster. Here are some impressive eDelivery statistics:

  • 70 percent reduction in cycle time.
  • 55 percent of the eDelivered polices are being completed within 48 hours.
  • Consumer opt out rate is below 10 percent.
  • 95 percent of agents repeat use (Stickiness).
  • Reissue time is significantly decreased.
  • Eliminates the cost of postage and transportation.
  • Higher placement rate (ePayment).
  • No need to chase down delivery requirements.

A Revolution In Underwriting

The race to develop accelerated products has driven life insurers to cautiously embrace the next generation of data.

By, Jeff Roberts senior associate editor at AM Best

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The sweeping letter was a warning to the industry.

It spilled over six single-spaced pages and 2,000 words, putting life insurers on notice for the emerging use of unconventional data in their automated underwriting.

Data such as criminal and civil judgments. Credit information. Retail purchase history. Internet and mobile device usage. Geographic location tracking. Even social media and facial analytics, sources rarely used now but expected to be widely adopted in coming years.

After an 18-month investigation into insurers’ underwriting practices, the New York State Department of Financial Services leveled a stern warning: Apply external data only if you can justify its actuarial validity and independently verify it does not discriminate or contain prohibited criteria.

But also tucked into that guidance was approval for using third-party data that has “the potential to result in more accurate underwriting,” the January letter read.

And with that, the influential regulator became the first to establish specific guidelines just as the exploration and application of nontraditional data in algorithms soars.

“The gist of that letter was insurance companies couldn’t outsource whether [the data] was discriminatory to the vendor. It was on them, so they better know what they’re doing,” said Tom Scales, head of life and health insurance at Celent.

The race to perfect fully underwritten, accelerated products using algorithms, predictive modeling and analytics as a substitute for paramedical exams and fluid tests has driven life insurers to increasingly embrace new forms of data.

Leveraging it enables carriers to provide a shorter, cheaper and more customer-friendly approval process amid rising consumer expectations in an Amazon world.

But that emerging data carries a host of privacy and regulatory concerns. It also presents accuracy and reliability issues that need to be addressed.

However, accelerated underwriting and external data remain “the No. 1 topic” in the industry, Scales said. “How can we change the way we underwrite? How can we do instant underwriting?”

Using alternative data from new sources such as social media and other digital footprints is “the next big thing” in life underwriting, said Mike Vogt, executive director of data, analytics and machine learning for technology consulting firm SPR.

“We are at the beginning of the curve with how insurers are applying unconventional data,” he said. “The biggest change and the biggest risk will be the information that we gather from social media and [artificial intelligence] will actually lead to more accurate risk predictions—at the expense of privacy.”

About 25 U.S. insurers offer accelerated underwriting using nontraditional data streams, and several more are testing platforms.

The objective is to skip the invasive medical tests whenever possible without losing precise risk assessment and fraud detection.

“It’s a game-changer. Unless there’s a regulatory challenge, we’re 24 months from everybody doing it at a fully-underwritten price, at least up to a certain age, because your competitor is going to do it,” Scales said. “That’s the heart of all this. It’s not simplified issue.

“This is the same price as a regularly underwritten product. It’s just underwritten differently. It’s part of an ecosystem change.”

Insurers are using data analytics tools such as LexisNexis Risk Solutions, TransUnion TrueRisk Life Score and MassMutual’s LifeScore360 to cull data and supply a mortality score from a wealth of sources.

Think of those scores as the mortality version of credit scores in the mortgage loan process. They have developed over the past five years, and in the case of LexisNexis, include information from more than 20,000 databases.

Meanwhile, a new frontier of alternative data is emerging from social media, facial analytics, retail purchases, public filings and epigenetics—the study of how environment and lifestyle choices such as diet, exercise and substance use influence mortality at the molecular level—to further understand and price risks. One day, genetics could join them.

The products people buy, the services they use and even the magazines they read can be highly predictive of policyholder longevity, analysts say. And so can the things they say and the photos they post on social media.

Only a “small handful of carriers” are using such information, said Samantha Chow, senior life insurance and annuity analyst at research and advisory firm Aite Group. But many insurers are exploring them.

“You’re talking about everything from scoring data to social data to data from selfies and DNA,” she said. “Over the next couple of years, you’ll see people utilizing more advanced scoring methodology using this type of data.

 

“How soon depends. How scary is it? It’s not about changing how they underwrite. It’s about being more accurate in their underwriting, pricing and improving the overall experience.

eDelivery So Sweet!

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A while back I attended the annual event of a large independent broker dealer. It was a spectacle that rivaled any industry event I’ve been to in years. There were easily thousands of people in attendance and venue was filled with the outstanding entertainment, speakers and training.

 

While I was there I had the rare opportunity to have dinner with some senior level executives at the broker dealer and their carrier partners along with a half dozen or so of their top advisors. Amidst some jovial conversation and the occasional joke, one of the advisors blurted out, “I’ve got a real problem with you guys”. The table went silent, for what seemed to be an eternity, until a polite young lady from one of the carriers replied, “well let’s see if we can fix that”. He went on to say that he felt like the carrier and broker dealer have shifted the costs of delivering annuity contracts and life polices to his office. Almost immediately another advisor chimed in with more comments, then asked if the advisor still wanted to be kept in the loop to ensure his client received the documents and completed the process?

 

The debate surrounding this topic continued for about half an hour where issues like cost, time, compliance and lack of follow-up were all discussed. The waiter must have thought the table needed a little “time out” as he made the rounds twice filling up wine glasses. The young lady with the carrier sat quietly through the discussion, just listening. As the dessert arrived, she asked the group “what if you could have your cake and eat it, too”? She went on to talk about sending annuity contracts and life polices electronically to all the parties in the distribution channel and ultimately the client. “Other industries have adopted eSignature and eDelivery and some have equally as many, if not more, regulatory issues as ours”, she said. “The cost savings can be immense and the time savings dramatic, all while keeping everyone in the loop…in real time”. This thought seemed to resonate with everyone at the table as the group pondered how this type of process would help their unique situations.

 

I can assure you; many similar conversations are taking place daily around the water coolers, dinner meetings and conference rooms today. Electronic document delivery is a hot topic as more companies are looking to streamline processes, reduce expenses and improve the overall customer experience. So, lets take a minute to review some of the benefits and metrics around the next evolutionary step in the delivery process for the insurance sector.

 

More Than Just Polices and Contracts. When looking at eDelivery it’s important to note that there are a lot of documents besides the life policy and annuity contract that carrier could be sending electronically to save time, money and resources. Examples would be: both the pre and post sale prospectus, supplemental life questionnaires that were missed during the application process, client statements, annual disclosures and more. Although required, these documents in a paper process can be burdensome and costly.

 

Staying in The Loop. Everyone, no matter where you sit within the distribution channel wants to know where the document(s) stands once its issued for delivery. Has it been sent out, has it been received, has the client completed any necessary outstanding paperwork and has it been sent back to the carrier? Why? Because in most cases no one gets paid, in the distribution channel, until it’s complete. While in other instances, there may be big risks with areas like free look periods when possession cannot be proven. Electronic delivery satisfies this need by providing each stakeholder notifications at key points in the cycle while everything is logged for future review.

 

Cost Savings. There have been many studies conducted over the years on how much it costs to deliver insurance policies and annuity contracts. Estimates vary, but let’s take the averages around a life insurance policy for example. The cost is about $35 for the carrier, $30 for the distributor (if it goes to the distributor first or it has internal compliance added) and anywhere from $25 for the advisor if the policy is mailed and up to $200 if it’s hand delivered. That’s a lot of coin adding up to be tens of millions annually for the industry! Electronic delivery dramatically reduces expenses, in most cases by nearly 75%. How much could that save your company?

 

Time. We’re all pressed for it these days; with so many things that need to be done, there never seems to be enough of it to go around. Time is precious and when it comes to the delivery process, it’s critical. Each day that goes by brings additional risk. In the paper world, it takes about 27 days for a life insurance policy to get returned to the carrier. Electronic delivery is showing a completed cycle time of under 5 days on average with just over 10% being completed within 24 hours. This time saving is equating to a 5-6% placement lift for new business!

 

Compliance. In some circles “compliance” can be a dirty word, but lets face it, they play a very important part in ensuring we stay out of trouble. Additional paperwork means there is more likelihood of missing a step which can linked to big fines. Because an electronic delivery system can be rules driven, it can force specific forms and require eEignatures throughout the process. This type of platform guarantees compliance requirements are met and provides a detailed history of what took place.

 

Better Customer Experience. Companies all over the world are searching for ways to make the customer experience a better one. They’re looking at how to streamline processes and make these easier, quicker and more user friendly. Our world of selling financial products to consumers is often laden with many steps, start and stops, delays and paperwork that takes an attorney to understand. With eDelivery we can simplify the process, make it easy to understand and quick to complete thus raising the satisfaction levels and our placement ratios.

 

Green Thumb. Consumers are more than ever are expecting companies to provide options other than paper. In fact, its been shown that more than 80% of consumers opt for eDelivery when asked.

Consumers not only see the benefit of eliminating big binders to hold important documents but see it as a way to reduce the damage associated with printing these documents on our environment. It’s estimated that the insurance and financial sector uses more than 53 billion (that’s right folks, that’s billions) pieces of paper each year for documents like life insurance policies, annuity contracts, prospectus and more. Electronic delivery can dramatically reduce this number helping reduce carbon footprints and maintain a healthy environment for future generations.

 

It’s time for our industry to finally “have its cake and eat it, too”. Electronic delivery can solve a number of issues we currently experience using paper processes. Each party can reap the benefits of time and cost savings while providing a positive customer experience. It’s up to us to get more organized and implement platforms to make it a reality.

For information on how you can be more involved in steering the direction of electronic delivery, join one of the many working committees in the industry such as the ones offered by ACORD, LIDMA or the LBTC.

 

#imabeliever

By Roy Goodart, roy@insurtechexpress.com