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Unqork Shows That Money Is Still Out There: Life Tech

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Unqork overcame investment market brain fog this week and closed on efforts to secure $207 million in financing.

The New York-based company sells a system that helps life insurers and other companies put together straightforward software systems using drag-and-drop menus, without knowing how to code.

(Related: Organize the Data: Idea File)

The company’s client list includes Pacific Life, Nippon Life and Aon, and KPMG has been helping some of its own accounting and consulting clients start using the Unqork system.

Three earlier rounds of founding raised about $106 million.

Unqork says the new round of funding means the company’s stock has a total value of about $2 billion.

A group of funds and accounts managed by BlackRock was the biggest investor in the new funding round, Unqork says.

A fund controlled by a Google sister company was the biggest investor in the previous round of funding, which was disclosed in October 2019.

Unqork says it will use some of the cash from the new funding round to expand its sales team.

Here’s a look at some other recent life insurance insurtech news.

Underwriting

MIB Group, Braintree, Massachusetts, has persuaded more than 50 U.S. life insurers to use its electronic health reform (EHR) system.

MIB is a nonprofit insurer consortium that helps insurers share some of the information used in the life insurance underwriting process.

The MIB EHR system helps life insurers tap life insurance applicants’ electronic health records quickly, without calling up providers, listening to phone music, and re-learning how to use fax machines.

The system can also reduce the need for life insurers to require that applicants go through physical exams.

LexisNexis Risk Solutions, Atlanta, and ExamOne, Lenexa, Kansas, are teaming up to offer life insurers a mortality prediction data service.

The companies are using public records data, credit history data, driving record data, and other data from LexisNexis, along with medical lab test data and prescription use data from ExamOne, to calculate a death risk score for life insurance applicants.

Debra Gangelhoff, general manager for life insurance at LexisNexis Risk Solutions, said the service can reduce the need for traditional exams and lab tests.

LexisNexis Risk Solutions and ExamOne note that consumers will have to give life insurers permission to see the mortality risk scores before life insurers can see the risk scores.

John Hancock, Boston, and Amazon, Seattle, are joining to make the exchange of data between consumers and life insurers more fun.

John Hancock has agreed to add Amazon’s new Amazon Halo Band fitness tracker to its Vitality wellness rewards program.

John Hancock — an arm of Manulife Financial Corp. — offers the Vitality program in conjunction with Discovery Ltd., Sandton, South Africa.

The program provides personalized wellness and condition management advice and activities for participants, tracks the participants’ exercise level and vital signs, and provides rewards, including discounts on insurance and, in some cases, discounts on other goods and services.

The John Hancock Vitality program managers have been using Apple’s Apple Watch as a participant tracker.

Adding the Halo device as a participant tracker could make the program cheaper and easier to offer. A typical new Apple Watch device sells for more than $500. Amazon has indicated that its Halo device will cost about $100.

The Halo device can measure a user’s tone of voice, as well as the user’s activity level, heart rate, and sleep length and quality.

John Hancock says the Amazon Halo device “will be the featured complimentary wearable for eligible John Hancock Vitality members.”

John Hancock Vitality program participants who use the device will get three years of Halo membership, John Hancock says.

Sales and Administration

Majesco, Morristown, New Jersey, has announced a number of updates to its insurance sales and administration products.

One change has been the addition of a “keep the kids” tweak to its Majesco Life AdminPlus system.

The tweak affects insurers that let consumers put child trust funds on their systems.

In the past, when the children with the assets in the trusts turned 18, the children had to go through cumbersome, paper-based processes to have the account assets stay with the insurer.

Majesco has now added a digital tool that young adults can use to move their assets to individual savings accounts offered by the same insurer that provided the child trust fund services, without the young adults having to do something soul-crushing, such as meeting a live human face-to-face, or talking to a live human on the telephone.

The tool can help financial services organizations retain those young adults’ assets and grow them as customers, Majesco says.

Majesco has also:

  • Updated its Majesco Distribution Management Management system, to expand mobile and digital self-service capabilities.
  • Updated its Salesforce Sales Cloud system.Used the cloud-based Oracle NetSuite system to improve the efficiency of its own operations.

Sapiens International Corp., Holon, Israel, has started offering its Sapiens CoreSuite for Life Insurance system through the cloud-based Microsoft AppSource market.

The Sapiens CoreSuite for Life & Annuities system offers users policy administration, billing and claims management tools.

The tools are designed to meet the needs of a company that controls two or more life insurers, uses two or more brands, and uses two or more languages and currencies.

IPipeline, Exton, Pennsylvania, says Woodmen of the World Life Insurance Society (WoodmenLife), Omaha, Nebraska, has started using iPipeline’s AlphaTrust e-signature product in connection with the sale and delivery of life insurance.

WoodmenLife picked the iPipeline product mainly because iPipeline could deploy it quickly, to help WoodmenLife cope with the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to iPipeline.

Cybersecurity

LexisNexis Risk Solutions has introduced the LexisNexis ID Compass Platform for Insurance.

The system can help insurers use data from about 1,500 phone identity sources, and transaction information, to tell whether people who say that they’re customers really are who they say they are, LexisNexis says.

System components include a threat tracker, which identifies potential security threats by looking at the recent transactions; an identification certainty tracker a password authentication code generator; and a tool that can create questions that can test whether people are who they say they are.

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