What lifestyle changes will impact underwriting most?

Steve Baldry

December 10, 2018

What lifestyle changes will impact underwriting most?

A survey taken at the recent UnderwriteMe Underwriters Forum, which brought together representatives from 13 insurance and reinsurance companies, found that vaping, genetic testing and wearable tech will influence protection underwriting more so than any other evolving lifestyle change.

London & Country (L&C) were also at the event to share views on how underwriters can help smooth the sales process.

“We hold the forum annually and this year we had the biggest attendance to date,” said Steve Baldry, director of underwriting, UnderwriteMe. “Lifestyle issues such as the rise in obesity continue to be a major concern in terms of pricing to factor in increased risks of type 2 diabetes, heart attacks and strokes. Another major area where more work needs to be done is around mental health and how questions relating to what is a highly sensitive area should be framed and asked at the application stage.”

Customer journey

Exploring how the protection industry can improve the customer journey and ensure products are priced fairly, the event focused on the simplification of underwriting questionnaires and there was a call for insurance companies to shorten declarations, especially for intermediaries who are required to read all declarations out loud over the phone.

“UnderwriteMe has worked with our insurance provider partners to get a short version of pre-application declarations that works for all and we’re working with them on doing the same for the end-of-application declarations too,” said Baldry. “Currently the time it takes to read these out varies from 25 seconds to three and a half minutes per insurer, so clearly there is work to be done.”