The coronavirus pandemic and social distancing measures have changed how we do business across industries — and insurance underwriting is no exception.
Typically, life insurance underwriting requires a thorough medical examination (as anyone who has ever applied for a policy will know well). This involves an in-person visit, allowing the medical examiner to conduct a blood pressure reading, weight check, blood draw and more. But as we shelter in place and limit contact with others, clients don’t need to head into a lab or invite examiners into their homes.
At the same time, the need for financial protection and guidance hasn’t gone away — so as insurers, we need to adapt to this new normal to ensure we are still able to help clients protect their families and take control of what they are able to, even amidst uncertainty.
How Technology Is Easing the Process
The good news: Many tools already exist to help underwriters overcome these new challenges posed by social distancing. And people are looking for life insurance protection now, more than ever. In fact, at Equitable, we received 6,000 applications in March and April alone that we’re currently underwriting.
(Related: Life Application Activity Soars: MIB)
But without open labs, insurers need to adopt solutions to provide clients with the life insurance coverage they need, even when traditional underwriting processes can’t be met.
Enter claims data from medical insurance carriers. Insurers can look through this data to see if clients applying have recently have blood drawn, what kinds of pre-existing conditions they have, and more, and use that as a substitution for a real-time, up-close-and-personal exam and lab draw.
Another option: Partnering with a lab to send out saliva self-testing kits, similar to what applicants might be familiar with if they’ve taken genetic tests. This is quick, easy, painless and private — there’s no third party there in the room.
Underwriting isn’t the only thing getting a boost from technology — it’s also streamlining the entire process of acquiring a new life insurance policy, from the initial conversation to assess a client’s needs to the final, delivered policy.