Underwriting technology is shaping the future of life insurance

How robots are making the underwriting process a lot smoother.

A techie term like A.I. (artificial intelligence) might have you reliving a scary episode of Black Mirror. However, if you really think about it, you’ll find this type of tech is already a big part of most people’s lives. For instance, most of us have smartphones and other devices with voice recognition installed; Amazon’s Alexa and Apple’s Siri, for example. In addition to helping people with things like turning on lights or shuffling music, A.I. has become a game-changer in other industries. One of those industries is life insurance, where everything from sign-up to filling out claims has become a lot smoother thanks to A.I underwriting. So, let’s explore how this underwriting technology has innovated the way the process works for companies and customers alike.

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How have insurance companies used A.I. in the past?

While insurance providers might not be the first thing you think about when researching cool technology, the truth is these companies have been riding the tech wave from the beginning, by innovating new products as technology evolves. Even as far back as 50 years ago, insurance companies were one of the first industries to introduce life insurance machine learning through the use of mainframe computers.

As computers got more and more common in the workplace, underwriters were able to talk to a potential customer on the phone and fill out the underwriting form, versus the person having to come in and fill out the paperwork themselves. Companies were also able to digitally work with medical labs to get customer records—anything from the results of physicals to family history. And as medicine and science advanced, life insurance companies were able to get a clearer picture of what was more dangerous and deadly to humans (substance abuse, diseases, risky activities) and use that data for underwriting purposes.

It’s safe to say with the advancement of technology in the insurance world, came a much smoother and easier underwriting process for the customer.

How is A.I. making underwriting easier now?

We now know insurtech can reduce the amount of time spent answering questions. A.I. underwriting is able to use data to determine coverage amounts depending on your life, genetics, age, and health in a faster, more precise way. 

With A.I. underwriting, new customers can begin the process by answering just a few questions, and then quickly get premium estimates and price comparisons based on those answers. For existing customers, A.I. can also track habits, reward healthy behavior, and maybe even reduce premium amounts based on that data. It can also provide flexibility by showing customers different policies that fit their needs.

As we move from working on desktop computers to relying on our smartphones, insurance companies have made it possible to get quotes on our mobile devices. You now have the ability to be able to quickly answer underwriting questions on your phone and even chat with an A.I. bot if you need more help. You can also digitally submit any documents needed to get you signed up for a policy. Technology for the win!

How will A.I. underwriting look in the future?

While we may not see flying cars and 100% robot-run restaurants anytime soon, there will be an increase in how much technology shapes the underwriting process. The collection of data, as well as how companies are able to gather information from customers, is predicted to become completely automated.

For example, smart devices can easily track health habits and lifestyle, and can be a resource for insurance companies to determine what kind of coverage a policyholder needs.

Life insurance tech is developing the ability to be able to gain more customer data through more sophisticated methods. As companies become more precise in how they form underwriting questions, it will help customers fly through the questions and get covered quickly.

A.I. terminology through time from 1950’s-2020’s

How will A.I. benefit you?

Though none of us can predict the future, it’s good to know that the process of underwriting, filing claims and documentation submission, can and will be made much easier through the use of artificial intelligence. With A.I. underwriting, new customers will be able to begin the process by answering just a few questions and then quickly get a coverage estimate and price comparisons based on their answers.

Being intimidated by new technology is natural, but doing research and trusting your life insurance company will ease the stress of the underwriting process. And also, it’s cool to think that sometimes in the future you can ask Siri or Alexa to open a life insurance policy for you.

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