Studies from Swiss Re and leading life insurers indicate electronic health records (EHRs) can have a transformative impact on the traditional life and health underwriting process, resulting in significantly “quicker, non-invasive decisions for customers, more personalised risk assessment by underwriters, and maintained mortality expectations”.
The results of the studies show using EHRs in place of routine age and amount requirements – such as labs and attending physician statements (APS) – can drive down underwriting times from 15 days to as little as two days – upwards of seven times faster.
The findings also show mortality benefits from using EHRs through protective value studies.
Michael Bacon, head US L&H Global, Swiss Re, said: “These study results underscore the need for adaptability and forward thinking when it comes to underwriting solutions.
“EHRs can benefit the underwriting process by reducing redundant requirement ordering and eliminating the traditional age and amount approach.”
Over the past two years, Swiss Re put together a cross-functional team comprising of actuarial, data science and underwriting experts, to conduct a comprehensive analysis evaluating the effectiveness of using EHRs in lieu of traditional requirements.
The analysis gathered EHR records on cases to compare potential risk class decisioning with EHRs to the issue decision that was based on traditional requirements, such as a paramed exam and labs and/or an attending physician statements (APS).
The results of this analysis demonstrated that EHRs can be utilised in place of traditional age and amount requirements to provide faster, non-invasive underwriting processes for a significant volume of customers.
Neal Halder, vice president and chief underwriter at John Hancock, said: “At John Hancock, we have worked with Swiss Re as part of our commitment to making the underwriting and purchase process as seamless as possible.
“We believe that the use of electronic health records creates opportunities to offer a wider range of customers a less invasive process and faster underwriting decisions. This promising research is an important step in innovating across the underwriting process while maintaining mortality expectations.”
In order to adopt EHRs and manage the transition for underwriters, Swiss Re developed the Underwriting Ease software, which expands the use of EHRs through a visualised user interface to deliver enhanced experience to policyholders.
The Underwriting Ease platform enables underwriters to streamline EHR ingestion and tie them together with disclosures in one intuitive view. This allows users to easily highlight key risks and associated severities, compile related information from various EHR sections into one place, and flexibly navigate through reports.