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'Impaired Lives' May Be Hot: RGA

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The world’s biggest life and health insurers may be putting more energy into developing new underwriting strategies for older, sicker people than for younger, healthier people.

Analysts at Reinsurance Group of America Inc., a large reinsurer, have included data supporting that conclusion in a summary of results from a new survey of major life and health insurers.

RGA posted the summary here.

One questions was about any new underwriter efforts to focus on specific market segments.

Only 14 of the insurers answered the question.

Almost all — 13 — said they are focusing on high-net-worth prospects, and nine said they’re looking for new ways to serve mass-market and mass-affluent prospects.

Older people and people with health problems were the next-most-popular targets: six insurers said they have efforts to focus on seniors or retirees, and six said they are looking for new ways to improve support for “impaired lives,’ or for people with chronic conditions or other characteristics that hurt their insurability.

Just four of the insurers said they are coming up with new underwriting strategies for millennials.

RGA also asked underwriters about sources of information they are using, or might use in the future.

Electronic medical records appear to be a growth area. Only four of the 25 insurers that answered that question are using applicants’ electronic medical records today, but 10 hope to use that data source in the future.

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