News: “Ever so quietly, insurance industry number crunchers are tossing aside the old statistical models and life tables.” — “If You Plan to Make It to 100, Plan Very Well,” The Wall Street Journal Sunday, Feb. 12.
Views: As the article mentions, life insurance underwriters are indeed transforming company underwriting manuals, determining that heart disease and several forms of cancer are no longer the “death markers” they once were. Many people with preexisting conditions who used to be uninsurable are now insurable.
Take for example MassMutual’s announcement late last September that the company had made significant revisions to its life insurance underwriting guidelines for people who have battled breast cancer, based on a review of recent medical research. “The end result: more breast cancer survivors than ever before are likely to be eligible for life insurance coverage, and often with lower premiums,” MassMutual’s press release noted.