How Does The Insurance Automation Platform Save Time?

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How does the MRS insurance automation platform save time?

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There are three primary ways the Management Research Services (MRS) products can save our clients’ time: the technology that allows for rapid decision-making, the functionality of the no-code platform, and our customer-service driven approach to integration.

Many underwriting decisions are easy ones. The issue is that it requires analysis of massive data sets to arrive at the decision. Technology improvements offered in the MRS no-code platform will never eliminate the need for underwriters; they just eliminate the need for underwriters to spend hours upon hours of reading and scanning the intel provided for each client.

Consider the recent history and changes in recordkeeping across the medical industry. Generations of paper records yielded to the first-generation Electronic Medical Record (EMR). EMRs are not standardized across providers; they are really an in-house chart; something of a relic from the days before cloud computing. The lack of standardization means there is a lot to manually unpack and interpret.

Before EMRs achieved industry-wide adoption in 2014, the use of Electronic Health Records (EHR) was rapidly expanding. The EHR is more expansive, standardized, and designed to be shared; it is everyone’s file combined and cloud-hosted. Different providers, specialists, labs, and pharmacies share information to allow for informed decisions and coordinated care. If these were old fashioned file-folders, they would be fat files! Complete health histories. Of course insurance carriers want to review all information available, but it’s grown into a momentous task.

An EHR is likely hundreds, perhaps thousands of pages. It can include fifteen different sets of medical codes with over one million unique code possibilities. We have created something beyond the scope of human memory or mental capacity. Luckily, the challenges EHRs present are the exact sort of problems modern AI is designed to handle: rapid, accurate data crunching into short bits of standardized, meaningful output. The MRS system uses the EHR along with other sources to arrive at a score or rating.

The process has been turned upside down: most underwriting decisions are already made. The applications become about seeing how and where each applicant qualifies, according to each client’s pre-programmed rules and decisions. The result is rapid underwriting decisions made at the point of sale; over 95% of applicants are processed within just minutes.

The example of the rise of EHRs provides a behind-the-scenes way technology saves time in application processing. It is notable, but where MRS is truly going to save time for insurance carriers or third-party vendors is with the sleek functionality of the no-code platform. Our system bypasses an expensive and time-consuming step in the process by removing the need to work with developers or IT. We’ve already taken care of that step for you; no programming or coding experience is required in the process. Our clients become empowered.

Our customer service driven approach means rapid integration times for systems customized from the ground-up and with minimal maintenance costs. We want to work with you to build the platform or E-App that best serves your organizational and client needs. We are eager to talk with prospective clients about trying out a customized demo of our time-saving products. To request a demo, contact us at https://managementresearchservices.com/contact

The World Of Electronic Health Records (EHR) For Life Insurance Underwriting

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Electronic Health Records (EHR) are the hottest trend in life insurance underwriting today. The growing accessibility and innovation by solution providers is transforming the life underwriting process. Understanding Electronic Health Records and the benefits are important. We will also explore how you get access to EHR and who is offering EHR services.

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What is EHR and How to “Triage” the Data?

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I first reached out to Drake Livada, life sales, and Nicholas Irwin, director of underwriting, at Verisk to educate on EHR and how it has impacted the industry today. As the COVID-19 pandemic adds risk to countless business and personal interactions, ways of life are shifting toward the virtual world. Suddenly caught up in this transformation, life insurers are urgently seeking electronic sources of information to enable a digital customer journey, and electronic health data is coming to the fore.

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Electronic health data can be compiled from many sources and shared digitally through mechanisms such as health information exchanges (HIEs). Health data can be either structured data such as coded diagnosis (ICD), lab testing results with standardized values, and vital signs; or unstructured data, which often includes narrative style notes to document vital information such as visit summary, radiology results, or pathology results. Some types of electronic health data such as pharmacy, lab, and health claims are much more widely available and easier to use than electronic health records, but the latter can provide greater granularity to support a more refined view of mortality risk.

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The health data information available within the EHR can create opportunities for the digitization of life insurance underwriting. Unfortunately, the structure—or lack of it—in the EHR presents challenges. For starters there are 15 different medical coding systems representing over one million different codes that need to be handled and processed. Even if one built a system to handle these over one million unique codes there is still the challenge of numerous medical coding errors, duplicate values, and transcription errors which requires a robust data validation system to handle. Moreover, many key rating elements, such as cancer stage and EKG interpretations, are only available in unstructured format requiring natural language processing in order to ingest.

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Due to the incredible challenge of processing this data nearly all carriers are still treating EHRs like attending physician statements and reviewing the entire file manually. This can take one to two hours per case as the files are often over 1000 pages long with most of the information being completely useless from an underwriting perspective. To solve this challenge Verisk has made the upfront investment on behalf of the industry and assembled a massive team of seasoned life underwriters, medical professionals, biostatisticians, and IT professionals to develop a comprehensive system to ingest, interpret, and evaluate EHR data in real time. Nicholas Irwin, director of underwriting, explained, “Verisk’s EHR Triage engine is an API that ingests a batch of EHR files (CCDs) via API and generates a one to two page summary of the key underwriting elements in the file(s) as well as providing an overall underwriting score in the form of number of debits. Verisk’s tool is called “triage” as it rates the simple cases that underwriters would rate in their sleep, while referring the more complex cases to underwriters. Verisk’s tool presents substantial time savings even for the cases Verisk refers to underwriters by supplying a summary of the key data elements an underwriter needs to rate the case. The intent of the tool is not to replace underwriters, but rather to enable underwriters to spend more of their time on assessing mortality risk and less of their time on scanning 1000 pages to find the 10 nuggets of useful data.”

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An Easy Connection for Life Carriers and Distributors to EHR Data

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As I continued my research, I discovered all roads lead to Human API. I recently synced up with Nick Zambruno, solutions lead, and Anthony Chan in Product Marketing to learn more about their platform and services. Human API is a leading insurtech vendor in the electronic health records (EHR) category. The Human API platform helps life insurance carriers create better client and agent experiences by delivering health records from a variety of different health data sources, both online and offline. The company started by accessing medical records through patient portal integrations but has expanded their connectivity to health information exchanges (HIEs) and national EHR networks such as Epic ChartGateway and Veradigm, as well as strategic partnerships for the delivery of traditional APS. Over the last few years Human API has helped carriers such as Prudential, Allstate, John Hancock, AAA and Principal offer a streamlined digital underwriting process that relies less on traditional underwriting requirements such as exams, fluids and attending physician statements. Carrier customers have cited hit rates of over 40 percent with the EHR platform and are optimistic that the health data can be used to automate manual elements of the underwriting process. The new EHR data sources added to the Human API platform enable hit rates to exceed 50 percent, while the addition of offline medical record retrieval partnerships will drive hit rates to nearly 100 percent.

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Due to the final interoperability and information blocking rules from the Department of Health and Human Services going into effect in April 2021, Human API is increasingly surfacing more clinical notes in EHR data, positioning the platform to deliver comprehensive medical data access. “Access to comprehensive EHR data is foundational to innovation and transformation of the underwriting process. We’re encouraged by the progress made to date by Human API and look forward to working together to drastically improve the consumer purchase process and experience,” said Susan Ghalili, VP of Underwriting Transformation and chief underwriter at John Hancock Insurance.

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Over the past year, distribution firms have also found value in partnering with Human API directly in an effort to access health data more quickly to expedite the sales process. LIBRA and AIMCOR were two new organizations that announced partnerships in the last year with Human API. Through the Human API platform, a firm can access EHR records and digitally share the data directly with a carrier in a secure setting so automation can still be realized at the carrier level. “The insurance industry is ripe for innovation. We’re incredibly excited to be the ‘one platform for all health data’ that helps carriers create and deliver better customer and agent experiences,” said Andrei Pop, CEO of Human API.

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More EHR Services by Solution Providers You Work with Everyday

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I continue to see more solution providers who actively or plan to add EHR to their services for distributors and carriers this year. Those solution providers who play key roles in the life insurance new business process like Management Research Services (MRS), MediPro Direct, and Employee Pooling (EP) explained the value EHR brings to their clients.

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MRS is introducing Electronic Health Records to their suite of products with guidance from clients’ requirements. Their No Code platform will allow carriers to configure their relevant products workflows based on the data source. As carriers become more confident with their actuarial models with the onset of the data source, they will be able to regulate the data used in the process. They anticipate being able to deliver a searchable interface of CCDA (standardize the content and structure for medical documents)—information that will prioritize APS requirements to improve processing time and decrease non-placement issues.

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As healthcare needs become increasingly mobile or virtual, today’s EHR systems need to do more than track medical records in fixed clinical settings. MediPro Direct’s MedLink software works across all service models, from clinical to mobile to virtual, and ties into MediPro Direct’s network of several thousand mobile medical examiners nationwide. This means their systems not only track patient data but also connect service providers with ways to expand their service model and better meet patient needs.

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Employee Pooling’s (EP) value proposition is to remove obstacles that get in the way of sales and enhance the customer experience. When it comes to formal and informal underwriting, obtaining medical records can hinder the fluidity of the process. “The ability to obtain electronic health records (EHR) within hours versus the days and weeks it could take to retrieve traditional medical records is a game changer and surprisingly cost effective,” says Steven Lacher, VP of Business Development. “With formal underwriting still playing a vital role in our industry, it makes sense to try and whittle down the underwriting process time by getting health records to the underwriter and the carrier in an efficient and timely manner.”

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EP recently partnered with Human API (HAPI) to improve turnaround times related to obtaining medical records for both formal and informal underwriting. EHR has been fully incorporated into EP’s Accelerated Informal platform, which reduces the standard informal underwriting process from weeks to days. Lacher states, “The goal is to help agencies quickly and affordably put their important cases up to bid with conviction. Accelerated Informals stands true to its name with EP’s in-house underwriters, on-demand access to prescription drug and clinical laboratory data, and now rapidly obtained EHR data.”

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In 12-24 months from now, you probably can’t even imagine a world without electronic health records playing a key role in the life insurance underwriting process. The goal is always to arrive at an underwriting decision quickly and accurately. EHR data with innovative platforms are connecting solution providers with more carriers and distributors every month to accelerate the life underwriting process.

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Leveraging Legacy

To meet new challenges in the marketplace, it’s time for traditional insurers to implement non-traditional options.

By Bryan Padgette | January 28, 2021


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A recent article by The Wall Street Journal  highlighted the move of two companies – Bestow, Inc. and Dayforward, Inc. – into the life insurance business, not just as sales platforms, but as carriers.  They are endeavoring to start from scratch, completely rethinking what life insurance is and how it is sold and administered. This presents a conundrum — how are these new companies able to launch with such ingenuity, agility and speed, while established insurers who deeply understand every aspect and nuance of the business are either stuck in “contemplation” mode or handcuffed by their legacy systems and don’t know where to start. 

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In truth, the news is good for legacy insurers.  McKinsey & Company points out that, “Customer demand is at an all-time high. Indeed, the COVID-19 pandemic has only reemphasized the need for mortality protection. Public pension replacement rates are declining, and healthcare expenditures are rising—trends also accelerated by the COVID-19 crisis. Economic and demographic trends will also offer tailwinds. The global middle class is rapidly expanding, bringing higher incomes, growing financial wealth, and heightened risks to manage.” 

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So why does it seem that the industry, as a whole, is lagging behind on using these opportunities that McKinsey identifies? As an established digital enabler for the life insurance industry, Sureify has worked with carriers large and small to develop digital capabilities that are needed to thrive in the world today, and we’ve got some specific answers, as well as some ideas that will help traditional model insurers rise to meet this new challenge.    

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“Existing infrastructures supporting our longest-standing life insurance carriers don’t need to be completely leveled and rebuilt from scratch to meet the expectations of the modern consumer. In fact, eliminating the advantages of history would be a serious tactical error. Instead, legacy insurers need to adapt a start-up mindset to bring something new, fresh and groundbreaking to rival the convenience offered with the upstarts mentioned in the WSJ article.”

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First, though – a quick look at what we see holding the life insurance industry back from realizing digital potential:

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  • Legacy environments and underwriting processes, and outdated policy admin systems.

Even digital solutions imported through forward thinking platforms don’t always integrate smoothly, and the patched-together processes still require people to manage and troubleshoot. As Novarica discovered, “From a technology standpoint, trying to leverage existing legacy environments to support new products, services, and markets is deemed to be ineffective.”

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  • Perceived distribution issues related to agents’ willingness to embrace technology. 

These concerns are largely unnecessary – LIMRA finds that “Two thirds of young advisors aged 40 and under are quick to adopt new technology when available.” Novarica echoes the value of technology to the agent distribution model: “If servicing can be made easy using technology, it allows more time for sales—so both the carrier and agent win.” 

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  • Belief that becoming, or building, a digital company is an “all or nothing” proposition.

Many life insurance leaders believe they must go full-throttle into the new world of digitally-enabled D2C offerings, instead of seeing the building process as a series of small steps like research, internal brainstorming and enlisting guidance from 3rd party problem solvers.

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  • An interest rate environment that has made it difficult for insurers to invest in “re-imagining” business practices

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  • A legacy mindset, especially at the senior level.

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As we watch digital capability transform industry after industry (retail, banking, real estate and communications to name a few), it should not be difficult to convince the C-suite at the most historically significant insurers that life insurance should be next in line. But to many senior level managers, digital advancement and a shift toward convenience to remove friction from the customer experience may feel like a denial of the value of legacy.

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Clearly, the old ways of thinking and doing things will have to be addressed, especially as all insurers compete for the new generation of buyers, who are used to the convenience of digital capability in all things. However, convenience is just one of the four main drivers of a life insurance purchase. The other three – price, rating and brand confidence – cannot be matched by these start-ups. 

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It is time to re-evaluate the “weight” that holds back too many life insurers. Carriers in 2021 must realize the power of the cards they bring to the table, including: 

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  • A 360-degree knowledge of the industry and best practices
  • Relationships with state regulators
  • An often decades-long proven history
  • Broad advertising and public relations exposure
  • Existing expertise in areas necessary to grow and transform
  • An established reputation that often reaches beyond the marketplace for insurance coverage
  • The financial wherewithal to be innovative

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Sure, the newer life insurance carriers are brash, bold, creative thinkers who are turning a rather conservative industry on its head. But they cannot yet lay claim to these incredible advantages many of the old guard possess, including a solid A.M. Best history, ledgers full of loyal customers, or a brand name known globally for service and product excellence. 

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What this means is that the existing infrastructures supporting our longest-standing life insurance carriers don’t need to be completely leveled and rebuilt from scratch to meet the expectations of the modern consumer. In fact, eliminating the advantages of history would be a serious tactical error. Instead, legacy insurers need to adapt a start-up mindset to bring something new, fresh and groundbreaking to rival the convenience offered with the upstarts mentioned in the WSJ article. But there’s the rub – it will be necessary to bring in a new way of thinking to build a new product, underwriting, administration, and distribution systems. This new way of thinking may not merge well with existing company technology, human resources and ingrained hierarchies.

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In truth, no good argument can be made for not forging ahead with thinking differently to capitalize on the immense value of history, legacy and reputation. After all, a customer will likely be more comfortable buying protection from a company with a strong 150-year history than from one that has existed for only five years with a significantly lower financial health rating!

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Bestow and Dayforward have been able to address some issues by separating themselves from the historic precedents of the industry. However, these carriers, with their new frameworks, impressive digital capabilities and slick customer experiences, do not have the size, reputation and financial firepower they need to “move the needle” to provide the broader market with life insurance protection. 

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For traditional life insurers who want to stay ahead of the new digital-only players, here are six steps that must be taken:

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1. Don’t “think outside the box” – create an entirely new box within the box.   

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Too many insurers see the way forward as modernizing legacy systems with technology that makes it possible to do business in an omnichannel manner. While the repair/reinvention of processes, systems and the customer experience is a positive step into the digital landscape, it may not leverage advantages like name recognition, brand familiarity, a legacy of good will, and a strong, knowledgeable distribution force. This version of re-imagining what already exists will likely not be enough to take on the new entrants to the life insurance space, who are unbound by traditional methods 

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Rather, it could be time to consider building a new box inside the legacy box.  

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As an example: selling current products in new ways isn’t enough to contend. Instead, it’s time to consider new products – ones that are less reliant on the interest rate environment and on the customer profile data from a time gone by. Thanks to tech and its greatly-enhanced ability to analyze data, new products will be able to meet much more specific demand. And the public relations gained as a “first in” leader in novel product development can go a long way toward building awareness.  

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This new way of thinking must receive support from the highest levels of the organization. The strategy cannot be driven by middle management. Creative, forward-thinking leaders within the organization and leveraging the positive aspects of the larger entity, this “box within the box” can truly drive innovation.

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1a.  …but keep what works. 

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A separate company with a familial lineage has built-in trust. It’s difficult to put a value on such an important asset. Leveraging the parent’s brand in new ways (“Insureco Direct,” for example) can infer newness while assuring target audiences that this new endeavor has big brand support.

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2. Assess the true investment necessary to enter the new space.

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The prospect of cost, time and effort required to rethink any long-established business model seems overwhelming. As technology gains ground exponentially, the cost of digital enablement decreases (thanks to low code/no code options and scale of interest), and a new generation of digital creators and thinkers becomes available to simplify the customer experience, the necessary investments may not be as prohibitive as one would think, and should not be a significant roadblock to moving ahead.

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3. Build a culture of fearlessness.  

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The companies who will lead the industry through the next decade are those who embrace change. In an article entitled, “A Growing Urgency for Change in the Life Insurance Industry,” Boston Consulting Group notes the importance of this new way of thinking, saying, “A corporate culture that embraces change is a prerequisite if life insurers are to make their businesses meaningfully more customer-centric. That begins with having the right people across the organization—be they specialists in data, analytics, or digital technologies—who can thrive in a company built around responsiveness and flexibility.”

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The team assembled to develop and create the new model should be comprised of people with fresh perspectives, and those who are open to possibilities. The ability to think differently, to question the way things are done and to look at what’s being created across other industries will be important characteristics in the leaders and builders of any new digital endeavor.

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4. Turn traditional models and methods upside down.

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One of biggest hesitations holding back the traditional life insurance industry is a reluctance to re-imagine how business can be conducted. As mentioned earlier, distribution is one important example. Digital as a direct channel for lead generation, and the new digital enhancements that are available to any sales force today should be embraced in the new model. These enhance the agent experience and make the process of offering life insurance easier and more productive.  According to McKinsey, “Growth has been a long-standing challenge for U.S. life insurers, and changing customer behaviors is yet another obstacle to growth. However, these changing behaviors represent an opportunity to rethink distribution in ways that meet the needs of customers and address the economic challenges associated with traditional agent-based distribution. Carriers that succeed will be well positioned to capture tremendous growth, improve profitability and provide comprehensive solutions to consumers, many of whom are underserved today.”

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Of course, distribution is just one area of opportunity. Data-driven underwriting, self-service capabilities, non-traditional claims payments … all of these are areas ripe for re-imagination.   

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5. Ask the important questions.

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Introspection and exploration are the keys to seeing the potential value in a D2C offshoot. Some thoughts to investigate:

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  • What is life insurance? What role does it play in people’s lives? (Talk to people in different age groups about what they believe life insurance is, or more importantly, what they wish it was.)
  • Understanding the low margins of traditional bond investing, what risk environment can be created so profitable business can be written?
  • Can lower reserves be held by re-thinking what a death benefit is and how and when it is paid?
  • Can technology allow for resources to be better invested in people and processes?  For example, are money and resources being used in places that don’t ultimately lead to a customized experience?  
  • What new, and more affordable, tools are available for profiling applicants? How can they be used to minimize marketing and acquisition costs? 
  • How can products be priced creatively based on how and when the death benefit is paid?
  • Where is our target customer? Can we meet them where they are?
  • How can we best create breakthrough marketing messaging while leveraging the reputation of the larger entity?

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6. Embrace new technology across the board — but don’t rely on it exclusively.

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A big advantage that Bestow and Dayforward are bringing to battle is the technological advances that are inherent in these business models. In relying on technology, however, they may be missing the most important part of the life insurance experience – the actual human connection. It is the piece of the puzzle that can be approximated digitally, but will never be truly replaced.

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LIMRA, in a report titled, The COVID-19 Effect: High Tech with Human Touch to Optimize Life Insurance Customer Experience, noted that, “…a big part of the value that insurers are gaining from technology has come from the “assist” it’s giving to financial professionals. If technology can help make life insurance easier to understand, less trouble to apply for, and quicker to get, it will be a dramatically better experience for customers.” In other words, technology cannot replace a real human interaction. The quest for answers, the emotion involved in considering why a policy is necessary, the relief of knowing coverage is provided – these are benefits that only a mature, established, trusted community of insurers can offer.

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It seems clear that this new guard of life insurers about whom the WSJ writes isn’t going away anytime soon. If anything, even minimal success in the digital carrier channel will encourage others to venture into the market. That means that, to survive and to thrive, traditional insurers will have to face this competition head-on. It’s going to take a complete re-imagining of life insurance to stay agile and competitive – but the incumbents of our industry, with their built-in advantages of experience, financial firepower, branding and reputation, are up to the task. 

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Existing infrastructures supporting our longest-standing life insurance carriers don’t need to be completely leveled and rebuilt from scratch to meet the expectations of the modern consumer. In fact, eliminating the advantages of history would be a serious tactical error. Instead, legacy insurers need to adapt a start-up mindset to bring something new, fresh and groundbreaking to rival the convenience offered with the upstarts mentioned in the WSJ article.

Novarica Report 2020: Management Research Services is an Established Player

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Management Research Services is recognized by Novarica as an established player in their field

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An industry thought leader granted Management Research Services (MRS) accolades and recognition by profiling them among a select group of vendors in an annual niche publication. Novarica is a leading research and consulting firm that analyzes technology and strategy across the insurance industry. They publish numerous research reports that examine trends, best practices, and vendor options for insurers, clients, and anyone willing to buy and leverage their data. In a November report, Novarica recognized MRS as an “established player” in the field of companies providing partial and full-service underwriting solutions to insurers of life, health and annuity.

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Novarica’s 2020 report on Life / Annuity / New Business Underwriting Systems offers an overview of MRS and 15 competitors. The companies included are not rank-ordered or endorsed but presented as the short-list for new businesses evaluating potential vendors in the marketplace. MRS is recognized as being an established player among their peers, which Novarica defines as “having shown staying power in the marketplace as well as substantial customer experience.”

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Their report includes a several-page company profile for each of the 16 firms listed. The profiles summarize each organization, their client base, and the technologies they incorporate. Each description speaks to their product’s key functionality, deployment options, and approach to implementation. Though the company profiles and associated analysis are not available to the general public, they are shared with Novarica’s consultation clients. Non-clients can also purchase and download the full report from their website.

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Inclusion in Novarica’s annual published research represents a win for MRS on multiple levels. It provides affirmation that our team continues to provide industry-leading technology and customer service in a competitive and rapidly changing field. This is confirmation that our no-code platform is among the most sophisticated and dependable options available.

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Furthermore, inclusion represents another growth opportunity for us; our brand and logo are placed alongside those of the dominant providers in the marketplace. Along with their library of research, Novarica is known for providing consultation. They specialize in taking a needs-analysis approach towards helping their customers with vendor selection. Being on their short-list and getting their stamp-of-approval for our no-code platform can only help us continue to connect with clients that will benefit from our product. For those familiar with general consumer products, it’s like MRS just got the Good Housekeeping Seal of approval!

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We’ve already been growing. Since March of 2020, the staff at MRS has grown by 50%! We are heavily invested in our people and platform; we look to continue working alongside other industry leaders during this time of revolutionary transformation. The old adage, “the only constant thing is change,” remains just as true today as it was when we started in 1988. We are poised to embrace and adapt with continued change and growth in the times to come.

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The MRS no-code platform provides companies with everything they need to build a complex, secure, and powerful application – capable of supporting even the most complicated underwriting decisions. Our hands-on, personalized approach to customer services means our platform can be customized from the ground up and fully integrated in surprisingly short spans of time. We offer a flexible, single solution with low start-up costs, rapid integration times, and little-to-no ongoing maintenance costs. The end result is substantially less expensive for insurers and third-party providers than status quo options.

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Find out more about how our technologies and innovation are leading the industry.

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For more information about the MRS no-code insurance services platform, please visit www.managementresearchservices.com or email us at sales@msrreps.com.

Ameritas Selects iPipeline’s SSG Digital Platform to Enhance Life Insurance Processing for Financial Professionals

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e-Application, Self-Service Capabilities, and Network to Optimize Financial Professional and Carrier Performance

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Exton, PA (January 12th, 2021) – iPipeline® – a leading provider of low code cloud-based software solutions for the life insurance and financial services industry, today announced Ameritas has chosen the SSG Digital® Platform to streamline the application processing experience. Ameritas is a mutual-based provider of life insurance, financial services, and employee benefits. iGO® e-App and Maestro® Self-Service will be integrated with Swiss Re’s Magnum Pure® full-service underwriting automation to accelerate business processing, lower costs, and improve the customer experience for the Ameritas independent distribution channel. iPipeline has the life insurance industry’s largest independent distribution and carrier network within North America.

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“In a recent Deloitte survey, 48% percent of 200 insurance executives agreed the pandemic showed how unprepared our industry was to weather this economic storm. Digital technologies are essential to succeeding in today’s contactless selling environment, and iPipeline’s low code SSG Digital platform has what it takes to power the industry forward in 2021,” said Larry Berran, CEO, iPipeline. “Using iGO e-App and Maestro Self-Service with Magnum Pure will help Ameritas to improve their financial professional and consumer experiences.”

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“Ameritas evaluated several technology providers to find a platform that best fit our needs,” said Robert Sharp, Head of Independent Distribution at Ameritas. “iPipeline is a strong organization in the independent marketplace with integration experience and an innovative end-to-end platform. We look forward to working with iPipeline on automating our new business processes.”

To learn how you can implement iPipeline’s innovations to automate how your products are sold and processed, contact sales@ipipeline.com or call 1-800-758-0824, option 2.

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About Ameritas
Ameritas is a marketing name for Ameritas Mutual Holding Company and its affiliated subsidiary companies, including Ameritas Life Insurance Corp. and Ameritas Life Insurance Corp. of New York. Founded in 1887, Ameritas offers a wide range of insurance and financial products and services to individuals, families, and businesses. These products and services include life insurance; annuities; individual disability income insurance; group dental, vision, and hearing care insurance; retirement plans; investments; asset management; and public finance. Securities offered through affiliate Ameritas Investment Company LLC. (AIC), member FINRA/SIPC and investment advisory services offered through the business name of Ameritas Advisory Services. AIC is not affiliated with any third-party entity mentioned herein. For more information, visit ameritas.com.

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About iPipeline
iPipeline is a leading provider of low code, cloud-based software solutions for the life insurance and financial services industry. Through our SSG Digital, end-to-end platform, we accelerate and simplify sales, compliance, operations, and support. We provide process automation and seamless integration between every participant in our ecosystem including carriers, agents, general agencies, advisors, broker-dealers, RIAs, banks, securities/mutual fund firms, and their consumers on a global basis. Our innovative solutions include pre-sales support, new business and underwriting, policy administration, point-of-sale execution of applications, post-sale support, data analysis, reporting, user-driven configuration, consumer delivery and self-service, and agency and firm management.

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iPipeline’s platform is used by approximately 450 carriers and fund companies, 1,400 distributors and financial institutions, and their agents and licensed advisors in a cloud-based environment. With headquarters in Exton, Pennsylvania, iPipeline has locations in Boston, Bromley (UK), Burlington (Canada), Cheltenham (UK), Dallas, Davidson, Fort Lauderdale, Huntersville, Ontario (CA), Philadelphia, Pleasanton, and Salt Lake City. Visit www.ipipeline.com.

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For iPipeline:
Lisa Shea
Marketing
lshea@ipipeline.com
484-870-6234

Management Research Services and Liberty Bankers Insurance Group Unite (Case Study)!

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Management Research Services (MRS) is an industry leader in developing and delivering customized digital and automation solutions for clients and partners. Recently, MRS led efforts to streamline new business and underwriting processes for Liberty Bankers Insurance Group (LBIG) based in Dallas, Texas.

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When the COVID-19 pandemic began, LBIG experienced an unexpected service disruption with an existing underwriting service vendor for one of their highest volume product lines. In a matter of less than a week, MRS was able to mirror the existing process, as well as refine it to improve the customer experience. This resulted in minimal disruption to the new business process.

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Building on the success of that initial partnership, a second phase followed in June, wherein MRS developed and installed a reconfigured platform that integrated new data sources and greatly improved the customer experience. As a result of this phase, the new and improved MRS solution provided the following for LBIG:

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• A mortality analysis of a prospective client.

• Reduction in time to see which prescription drugs are currently in market.

• A better user experience.

• Access to a reflexive list of questions on health history.

• An increase in production due to a streamlined process for agents.

• Point-of-sale features for a client.

• Real-time reporting capabilities.

• Cost savings.

• Greater efficiency in issuing a policy to a client.

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Finally, MRS developed an e-Application (e-App) solution for LBIG in August 2020. The e-App was customized to LBIG underwriting specifications and completed an omnichannel experience for the selling agents. LBIG clients could now complete the life insurance purchasing process by utilizing one of two innovative e-signature options. This digitally enabled experience allowed a LBIG agent to sell remotely, a key feature that has proven extremely valuable in today’s market.

Ultimately, MRS served as a conduit for LBIG to modernize their processes from a manual process to a data-driven workflow.

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Another initiative MRS spearheaded was collaborating with another one of LBIG strategic partners, TAPP Solutions. TAPP Solutions designed and built a custom mobile app to assist LBIG agents in evaluating the health risk of a prospective client. This new technology enabled a pre-underwriting check that provided an agent a rate class for the prospective client prior to the beginning the application process. Overall, the partnership between MRS and TAPP provided LBIG’s agents with a seamless tool to enhance their user experience.

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Conclusion:

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Over the course of the past six months, MRS was able to maintain LBIG’s current workflow, while also creating and implementing new workflows to make new business and underwriting processes more efficient. The MRS technology platform has transformed what was once a tedious process, to a process where agents and applicants can receive immediate results. The LBIG partnership with MRS has allowed the life insurance provider to work more efficiently and prepare better for the future. MRS looks forward to continuing their relationship with LBIG and together they will continue to be at the forefront of data processing in the financial services industry.

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MRS CEO, Tim Dineen shares, “The whole project from start to finish has been very rewarding for both parties. We pride ourselves on creating solutions for our clients and we were able to do that for LBIG on multiple levels. We look forward to continuing to assist them for years to come.”

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At MRS, we help clients transform change into a competitive advantage.

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MRS provides a high-end technology product to life, health, and annuity insurance industries. In today’s world where “the only thing constant is change,” that original vision has been expanded to include more services and technology capabilities designed to help clients adapt quickly and in a cost-effective way. MRS has invested heavily in our technology platform to create a foundation for the next revolution in life insurance. MRS’s No-Code platform gives you all the tools needed to build a highly secure, complex application that efficiently collects voice and electronic data without writing a single line of code. The result is a vastly reduced time to market with no initial or ongoing maintenance costs making the total cost of ownership substantially lower than status quo solutions. Our platform’s ability to support powerful reflexive logic makes the MRS rules engine extremely efficient in collecting all information needed to make a point-of-sale decision. The capabilities and flexibility of our platform allow customers to use the MRS technology platform as their single solution or as a tool to support and enhance current technology solutions they already have in place. Please visit us at www.managementresearchservices.com or contact us by email at sales@mrsreps.com to learn more!

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MIB Acquires Paperless Solutions Group

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PR Newswire

 

Expands Portfolio of Digital Solutions Expediting the Life Underwriting Process

 

NEWS PROVIDED BY

MIB Group, Inc.

 

MIB, the life insurance industry’s most trusted and secure partner for data-driven services, announced that it has acquired Paperless Solutions Group (PSG), a digital solutions provider. The acquisition expands MIB’s portfolio of solutions aimed at making the application and underwriting processes quicker and more efficient.

 

MIB’s expanded portfolio will include PSG’s products and tools that automate and facilitate the application process, including requirement gathering, signatures, policy delivery, application submission and underwriting risk assessment. These services integrate flexibly and easily with carrier systems and complement MIB’s existing products, which help insurers assess risk during and after the underwriting process.

 

“PSG has a long history of service to the life & health space with a special eye to process improvement,” said Jeff McCauley, President of PSG.  “The team and I are very excited to join the MIB Group as we believe the alignment of our products, services and personnel will bring even more innovation to the industry.”

 

“The life insurance industry is in the early stages of a digital transformation that has only accelerated since the onset of the pandemic,” said Brian Winikoff, President and CEO of MIB. “PSG’s portfolio of products and services are well positioned to support the industry’s quest to simplify and expedite the insurance application process and fit well with the solutions MIB offers our clients today.  Integrating PSG’s platform with our existing services will enable us to provide next-generation capabilities focused on automating the approach to selling and underwriting life insurance.”

 

PSG’s tools can be used individually, or on a bundled basis, and are easily incorporated into a carrier’s existing systems through robust API plug-in capabilities. “We believe PSG’s platform could provide significant value to the life insurance industry by streamlining the underwriting process and providing an efficient and reliable portal to collect key data closer to the point of sale,” said Winikoff.  That value is of critical importance as the life insurance industry looks to new technologies to help them drive efficiencies.

 

About Paperless Solutions Group
PSG is a leading provider of cloud-based software solutions for the life insurance and financial services industry. Our products and services provide unparalleled automation and integration for the insurance services industry. These innovative offerings conduct millions of transactions annually by enabling the presale, new business and underwriting, point of sale, and post-sale support. To learn more about PSG, please visit www.psginc.co.

 

About MIB
MIB Group, Inc. is the life and health insurance industry’s most trusted and secure partner for data-driven risk management and digital solutions that protect the financial integrity of its members and clients while addressing their evolving needs. Owned by its members who span the life insurance industry, MIB is uniquely positioned to provide data-driven solutions that address common industry challenges and enable clients to gain efficiencies, manage their risks, and grow profitably.  For more information about MIB, visit www.mibgroup.com.

 

Media Inquiries:
Betty-Jean Lane
MIB Group, Inc.
781.751.6135
blane@mib.com

 

SOURCE MIB Group, Inc.

Related Links

https://www.mibgroup.com

Covid-19 And Life Insurance

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COVID-19 And Life Insurance

The pandemic is a game-changer. There’s no way around the evidence: closed schools, stock market volatility, shuttered small businesses, and a swamped healthcare system. With civil discourse at an all-time low, we might need to wait for history to decide what happened.

With every sea change comes opportunity; some industries have found a boom amidst the chaos. Courier and logistics services have experienced massive growth with online shopping and doorstep deliveries. Online education is in the midst of an unprecedented heyday. Video streaming services exploded during the initial Spring lockdowns; production teams are now scrambling to keep up with demand in a forever changed television landscape. Another pandemic-time growth industry: life insurance.

The significant rise in policies sold during 2020 is especially notable because it reverses a decade-long downturn. Between 2010 and 2020, the number of Americans holding a life-insurance policy dropped from 63% to 54%. That’s 16 million less people over ten years, even though the country’s population grew by 21 million.

Declines in the number of Americans holding a life insurance policy have been something of a mystery. Life expectancy has steadily increased, but fewer Americans were choosing to buy policies. One would reasonably assume ownership to rise among middle and lower-level earners, but that’s not what happened. Experts point to factors like declines in group policy sales, higher premiums, and more restrictions for an older population, though they don’t really explain the failure to reach younger generations.

Whatever caused the slump, it might be over. The second and third quarters of 2020 have shown sharp increases in policies sold, some months with double-digit percentile increases over 2019. Americans see that good health and a long life is no longer something we can take for granted as COVID-19 has increased our awareness of our own mortality. Daily reminders of tragic losses and spiraling infection rates have set off a round of panic-buying the country has not seen since 9/11.

A new landscape comes along with some new restrictions. Insurers cannot deny claims due to COVID-19, but many firms are restricting underwriting for certain at-risk groups. Individuals over 60 with heart or lung issues, diabetes, or obesity might encounter raised premiums or denials. For individuals over 70 options are even more restrictive.

Finding out your options has never been easier. Online marketplace applications use reflexive questioning to customize each application in a manner that satisfies underwriters. Behind the scenes, medical records are retrieved electronically allowing policy decisions in just moments. Naturally, prospective buyers like the ability to compare rates and options with such immediacy. Growth during the pandemic would have encountered bottlenecks and obstacles with the industry’s old model, which required meeting with an agent and scheduling a doctor’s appointment.

The industry’s new model relies on next-generation application and underwriting processes from firms like Management Research Services (MRS). MRS offers customized insurance underwriting solutions to support a range of insurance services. We can assist with your new business applications and underwriting processes through our proprietary technology and no-code platforms. Together, the MRS no-code technology and services represent a one-stop solution that reduces customer acquisition costs and saves time and overall resources for insurance carriers.

No one can say if or when the pandemic will end. Virus experts contend COVID-19 might never go away, but vaccines and treatments will turn it into something much easier for all of us to live with. As things change, MRS’s flexible system can and will change with it. Our technology is built to allow for progressively more complex underwriting and scripting scenarios. For more information on how MRS is helping insurance companies look toward a better tomorrow, visit their website at www.managementresearchservices.com .

To read more articles related to MRS and Life Insurance click here: https://managementresearchservices.com/mrs-blogs

 

What Is The Latest Technical Jargon For Life Insurtech Point-Of-Sale And Underwriting Solutions?

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Published in BrokerWorld Magazine November 2020

By Ken Leibow

 

Have you started reading a book and then come across a word that you do not know the meaning of like, for example, “patulous?” It can be frustrating to look it up and, in some cases, you still may not grasp the full meaning. Software vendors today are marketing their solutions using words like “API,” “No Code,” “Low Code,” and “AI.” You are not exactly sure what they mean especially for life insurance technology. My objective is to help you not only understand the definition of these terms, but also understand how they are being applied to the life insurance point-of-sale tools and underwriting solutions used today by carriers, agencies and agents.

 

API
An acronym you often hear these days in the technology world is “API.” This stands for Application Programming Interface, which is a software intermediary that allows two applications to talk to each other. Have you ever used PayPal to pay for something you are purchasing online directly within an eCommerce store like BestBuy.com? After you add your item to the virtual shopping cart and go to check-out, you see a payment option button for PayPal. When the user clicks the “Pay with PayPal” button, the application sends an “order” request to the PayPal API, specifying the amount owed and other important details. Then, a pop-up authenticates the user and confirms their purchase. Finally, if the PayPal process is successful, the API sends confirmation of payment back to the application thereby finalizing the payment of the purchased item. In the life insurance world, there are many examples of an API being utilized. If you are a BGA using an agency management system (AMS) to process new business life cases, you may see functionality that allows you to schedule an exam or order other requirements from a paramed vendor like ExamOne. The agency management system is using an API from the paramed vendor to facilitate the requirement order. It is seamless to the user, while the API is doing the work behind the scenes to execute the requirement order.

 

“Low Code” and “No Code”
Two other popular terms you see today are “Low Code” and “No Code.” I am going to give you the most common business definition as it is being marketed for insurtech applications. Let’s start with “No Code”: A good example in life insurance technology is a “No Code” life insurance eApp platform. When a carrier adds its products to an eApp platform, there are three critical items that need to be setup:

  •  Life insurance product rules;
  • Questions asked to complete the life insurance application; and,
  • Mapping the data to all the State-specific forms.

 

When eApp was first developed decades ago, setting up the three items above required a software developer to program code, then extensive quality assurance testing had to be done, and finally you had to wait for a major release before the carrier’s products were in production ready for agents to submit life business on the eApp platform. This typically was a long process to set up. As the years went by, less programming (hard-coded) was required because of the configuration tools that were developed to help make changes to the software application. Now fast forward to 2020. A No-Code eApp platform means that setting up the life insurance product rules, the questions, and the forms, is completely self-service and does not even need to be administered by a technical person. So, when you see software advertised as “No Code” it usually means you can set it up and configure it on your own.

 

Low Code is a visual approach to software development. Low Code abstracts and automates every step of the application lifecycle to enable rapid delivery of a variety of software solutions. It breaks the traditional silos of business and IT to promote continuous collaboration. When a software vendor is enhancing their system with new functionality instead of programming raw code, they use a graphic interface drawing workflow and moving objects around. If you are buying software from a vendor who is advertising Low Code, then it simply means speed and ease in releasing enhancements, fixes, and new functionality. In life Insurtech today you will see Low Code for eApp, eDelivery, and Underwriting Workbenches for carriers just to name a few types of Low-Code platforms that are available.

 

AI
Artificial Intelligence (AI) is sprayed everywhere in vendor solutions and processes. There are an enormous amount of ways that AI is being used in our everyday lives. The obvious example is Alexa from Amazon or Siri from Apple. You can ask Siri to play a specific song, or turn on the lights in your house, or schedule a calendar appointment. But it can do more sophisticated tasks like knowing where you are with your GPS and telling you that you will be late for your appointment because your location is too far away for example. Artificial intelligence is based on the principle that human intelligence can be defined in a way that a machine can easily mimic and execute tasks, from the simplest to those that are even more complex. The goals of artificial intelligence include learning, reasoning, and perception. AI programs require training—meaning the more data you feed it, the more intelligent it becomes. When we see AI being mentioned in the life insurance new business process or in insurtech applications, what do they really mean? A great example is eNoah’s eXtract Plus solution. It uses AI to take a 200 page Attending Physician Statement (APS) and make it a searchable document (extracting vitals, medications and key information) for a life underwriter. eXtract Plus can also render medical records and lab documents with hyperlinks and cover pages. This information can be utilized to create APS summaries or validate that APS summaries are complete and accurate.

 

Point-of-Sale and Underwriting Solutions
iPipeline offers a transformational Resonant® Point-of-Sale (POS) decision solution that makes the customer experience quick and easy—like buying auto insurance. This enables a carrier and distributor to sell profitable life insurance protection to middle market consumers. Unlike today’s traditional process of quoting teaser rates only to find out the final premium after underwriting, Resonant POS decisioning changes the dynamic so that underwriting is completed at the point of sale. Answers to medical questions are combined with data received from industry leading evidence and predictive model vendors to provide instant decisions with the final premium needed to complete the sale in one sitting. Resonant integrates with iPipeline’s Quote, iGO® e-Application, and DocFast® e-Delivery automated solutions to manage and control the entire underwriting and new business process from simplified issue to fully underwritten complex cases and other lines of business.

 

Management Research Services, Inc. (MRS) has developed new tools on its no-code sales and new business platform that focus on increasing the speed of issuing insurance policies. MRS has enhanced APS retrieval by integrating with electronic health record (EHR) data partners. Working with the insurance carrier, MRS will integrate an EHR to make an automated decision and issue the insurance policy at the point of sale (similar to how a Rx or MIB integration is used). Additionally, MRS is reimaging the case management and underwriter workbench by providing better tools for the insurance carrier to order requirements. This means that instead of reactively ordering requirements that may add days/weeks to the issuance timeline, the insurance carrier can use MRS’s highly configurable rules engine to write rules that will anticipate ordering requirements needed during the point-of-sale process. This will provide busy underwriters with all the information needed to review and issue the policy, resulting in a much faster and more efficient issuance.

 

The two solution providers mentioned above are leveraging these technologies (APIs, No Code, Low Code, and/or AI) in their platforms that carriers, agencies and agents use every day. You can see this is much more than connecting systems, it is an integrated process. The value of the entire new business flow, from applying for life insurance to passing into the carrier fulfillment process, is seamless, intelligent, and fast because of these underlying technologies. Each new innovative deployment helps agents provide a better experience for their customers and, as a result, place more business.

 

 

Management Research Services Continues To Advance And Excel!

MRS+In+2020

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Management Research Services (MRS) has been able to stay on a positive path of growth and prosperity in 2020.  We offer an unmatched customer service experience that keeps us at the forefront with our clients and the insurance industry.  With quick response times and dedicated staff members, we always put our clients and partners first.  As a core value of the company, customer service is embedded in the culture at MRS.  Elco Mutual Life and Annuity had this to say about the customer service experience MRS provided to them. “In short, MRS has been great. We see tasks quickly going from start to finish with plenty of communication in-between. I would say they do an excellent job of identifying potential issues, offering suggestions, and keeping us updated as we progress. Communication in meetings is clear and concise, and emails are bountiful with information, but not overwhelming. Testing has gone smoothly too. When we identify an issue or decide to adjust, they have made the necessary changes promptly to keep the project on schedule. Overall, the project has been a very positive experience, and we are pleased with their performance.”  This type of service cannot be done without the dedication of our employees.  When an employee gets hired by MRS, it is not just an apply and start type of hiring experience.  MRS puts an emphasis and trust in their employees to be the experts in the field and the interview process guides the applicants to be confident, secure, and ready to go the moment they join the team.  Since the pandemic of 2020 started, many businesses and industries have had to adjust.  Plans for growth and expansion have had to be halted as the world reacts to life during this unprecedented time. MRS has not had to stop operations or plans for growth and expansion, in fact, MRS has been able to significantly grow from 80 to 120 employees since March.

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How has MRS been able thrive in 2020 during the pandemic?  

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The first and biggest reason was MRS’s ability to allow employees to work from home.  Prior to the pandemic 50% of the staff was already working from home and processes were already in place to allow for the organization to transfer to a virtual/home office environment quickly.  The next reason was the innovative vision and foresight of the tech team.  They were a key player in transforming from an in person to virtual working environment. They were able to get the rest of the MRS employees transferred over to virtual offices in under a week and without interruption to the daily workflow.  The tech team acted instantly and MRS adapted quickly.  Another key reason that has allowed MRS to thrive is the software technology currently in place within the company. This technology that MRS created allowed to hire rapidly and train new employees quickly.  The last reason MRS has thrived during the pandemic is that the company has been able to be flexible and adapt.  From client transactions to customer service inquiries, MRS developed solutions that were quick, easy, and efficient.   These transformations allowed MRS to keep growing and advancing, and they are now currently over 120 total employees.  With expansion comes growth and MRS has been able to do both in 2020.

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At MRS, we help clients transform change into a competitive advantage.

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MRS provides a high-end technology product to life, health, and annuity insurance industries.  In today’s world where “the only thing constant is change,” that original vision has been expanded to include more services and technology capabilities designed to help clients adapt quickly and in a cost-effective way.  MRS has invested heavily in our technology platform to create a foundation for the next revolution in life insurance.  MRS’s No-Code platform gives you all the tools needed to build a highly secure, complex application that efficiently collects voice and electronic data without writing a single line of code.  The result is a vastly reduced time to market with no initial or ongoing maintenance costs making the total cost of ownership substantially lower than status quo solutions.  Our platform’s ability to support powerful reflexive logic makes the MRS rules engine extremely efficient in collecting all information needed to make a point-of-sale decision.  The capabilities and flexibility of our platform allow customers to use the MRS technology platform as their single solution or as a tool to support and enhance current technology solutions they already have in place.  Please visit us at www.managementresearchservices.com or contact us by email at sales@mrsreps.com to learn more!

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