Company is betting that data analytics will prove transformative to the market

Compliance isn’t the only pet peeve of agents and advisors. Another is underwriting.

The rating of a life insurance policy, which can make a purchase untenable for the client, is one source of annoyance. Potentially more aggravating is the wait time — the worst cases extend to weeks or months — in procuring physician statements or other health data needed to bind a policy application.

Such delays may soon be a thing of the past. A myriad of “insurtech” and “fintech” players are joining a burgeoning market for solutions that automate underwriting. These include software and services that not only assess the policy risk but also provide workflow, audit and data analytics capabilities.
A long-established company in this area, Alpharetta, Georgia-based LexisNexis Risk Solutions, is betting that software which speed policy transactions times by dispensing with medical underwriting will prove transformative to the market. The company’s claim to fame, Risk Classifier, aggregates a mountain of information — billions of public records and more than 20,000 data sources — to assess mortality risk for a policy applicant.

The kicker: The tool can use this data to approve preferred policies — no blood work of doctor’s record needed. For advisors and their clients, the benefit can be measured not only in fewer hassles and speedier policy binding, but also greater convenience. When paired with a self-service web portal offering other digital capabilities — product education, a needs analysis, online application processing — the tool can secure coverage in minutes.

To learn more about the offering, LifeHealthPro interviewed Elliot Wallace, a vice president and general manager for life insurance at LexisNexis. The wide-ranging conversation — conducted in advance of the National Association of Independent Life Brokerage Agencies‘s annual meeting, taking place Nov. 17-19 in Dallas, where the executive will be representing the company — explored topics likely to be of keen interest to life insurance brokerages and affiliated agents.

Among them: data analytics capabilities underpinning the tool; the ability to assess mortality risk using motor vehicle record records; and how “accelerating underwriting” may evolve amid other trends buffeting the industry. The following are excerpts:

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