Life insurance company executives may sound these days as if they think of policyholders more as burdens to shed than as assets to keep, but executives at LexisNexis see evidence that life insurers still want to attract and retain good customers.
LexisNexis Risk Solutions — a sister company of LexisNexis Legal & Professional, a news, legal and financial record storage giant — offers a collection of tools that can help an insurer identify and assess prospects, both inside and outside the insurer’s current blocks of business. The company, which is a unit of the RELX Group, has been serving property-casualty insurers and their lawyers with information services for decades. In recent years, the company has been focusing more on finding ways to make its streams useful to life insurers.
Sandeep Kharidhi, the vice president who manages the LexisNexis Risk Solutions unit’s insurance customer relationship products line, markets one tool that can help life insurance marketers filter potential prospects based on estimates of mortality risk. He also sells a tool that can help a life insurer filter a prospect list based on how likely the people on the list are to keep up their premium payments.
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Still another LexisNexis tool uses techniques, such as mailing address validation, that can determine whether a life insurance lead submitted through a web form is worthy of the attention of a live-human agent.
Today, life insurers spend about $3 billion to $4 billion per year on advertising and other forms of customer outreach, Kharidhi said Wednesday in an interview at ThinkAdvisor Life/Health’s offices in New York.
That compares with annual outreach spending of about $6 billion to $7 billion at property-casualty insurers, Kharidhi said.
But Kharidhi said life insurers continue to make aggressive efforts to increase sales.
“We’re seeing a lot of carriers focused on retention,” Kharidhi said.
Life insurers are especially hungry for tools they can use to identify which current customers need and want more coverage, such as life customers who might be open to increasing their coverage levels, or term life policyholders who might be open to converting to permanent life policies, Kharidhi said.
LexisNexis expects to see life insurers increase spending on consumer outreach over time, as they invest more heavily in accelerated underwriting programs and direct sales programs, Kharidhi said.
LexisNexis began creating pools of Big Data before anyone had coined the term “Big Data.” The company has used, or experimented with, every imaginable technique for analyzing the data. But Kharidhi noted that it has focused much of that analytical wizardry on what to the users may look like a relatively simple task: determining which of the billions of records in the databases relate to a specific business, household or individual.
Here are three other highlights from Kharidhi’s remarks.
1. Marketing data v. underwriting data
Life insurers already get torrents of detailed personal consumer data from organizations such as MIB Group, and from applicants’ own applications and medical records.