How integrating health databases and technologies can transform life and health underwriting?

by Luca Schnettler
 on 07 Aug 2019
2 min read

Modern technology is transforming underwriting in the life and health industry as we know it, with impressive results.

In recent years Insurers have engaged more and more with tech innovations, such as Qumata, to streamline the underwriting process. How? Underwriters have the potential to process applications faster and more reliably than ever before, due to data analytics. This process enables users to receive specific quotes quickly and often with a better premium, using the Qumata model.

The life and health industry is transforming to where tech is delivering significant benefits to its customers’ lives and their financial returns. Health monitoring technologies, having once been the preserve of hospital settings, are now on our wrists and in our pockets. And the potential for further breakthroughs is extensive and includes improved monitoring of health behaviours, better elderly care and a safer working environment.

The benefits of these changes lead to a higher quality of underwriting.

The Need to provide an accurate and efficient service is one of the most substantial issues that life and health insurers face. Data analytic tools, such as Qumata, offer an alternative to costly medical exams and basic questionnaires by calculating health risks via personal data accessed from smartphones and wearables.

Three years ago, Royal London insurance developed a diabetes life cover that changed and became more or less expensive as the patient’s health changed. The product made changes based on an annual blood sugar measurement.

But what if underwriting decisions could be based on a monthly, weekly or daily blood sugar reading?

Qumata combines individualised data from digital data sources with its proprietary database, to provide accurate information that can quickly be processed by underwriters. Modern technology is enabling underwriters to become more efficient than ever before.

Data sources and coverage

Where that data comes from, therefore matters a lot. Evidence suggests that fitness wearables are only worn by a cohort of self-selecting healthy individuals; thus, relying on their data alone could distort some underwriting assumptions. However, other data sources are available and being used by Qumata, should an applicant consent to it. They can include activity, sleep, social/emotional, nutrition, etc. collected by apps, EMR’s, etc. Clearly, data assessment is changing, and insurers need to adapt before they are behind.

Better data analytics technology will deliver a more responsive product and is currently disrupting a 300-year-old process for the better. Ultimately, life and health insurers need to provide accurate products cheaply and efficiently, and Qumata delivers a product that currently has the potential to identify the risks of over 800 medical conditions within minutes.

For success in this rapidly evolving area, life and health insurers need to invest now to learn the lessons and develop their business models. Those that see the benefits of convergence between the needs of customers, the demands of their business and fast-paced technological change will reap the underwriting benefits. Insurers that don’t adapt will likely be challenged by their existing competitors but by new market entrants amongst tech and information businesses that fully understand the benefits of knowing their customers well.