Accelerating the future of underwriting

  • Catie Muccigrosso

    The pandemic has hastened the evolution of the entire industry and highlighted that in-depth knowledge, preparation, and flexibility are more essential than ever.

    Catie Muccigrosso

    Vice President, Underwriting Operations, U.S. Mortality Markets

The underwriting profession will never be the same after COVID-19. The pandemic has hastened the evolution of the entire industry and highlighted that in-depth knowledge, preparation, and flexibility are more essential than ever. RGA’s underwriting capabilities have always been cutting-edge, and this year our decades of expertise and insights ideally positioned us to help our clients navigate the many challenges of the pandemic. In 2020, we continued to lead the industry by providing unique solutions to clients’ changing needs.

In an era when consumers expect direct, immediate access to everything, including instant insurance decisions, RGA has been developing accelerated underwriting solutions to not only speed the customer journey, but also help generate increased revenue for clients. This process was catapulted forward by the pandemic.

Virtually overnight, insurers were forced to turn to new evidence sources and find safe, contactless ways to underwrite applicants in order to comply with physical distancing measures. When traditional underwriting evidence such as blood tests and paramedical exams were not available, clients looked to our underwriters’ market-leading expertise for guidance. We worked to accommodate COVID-19-related client guidelines while maintaining prudent risk management. Services such as our Strategic Underwriting Program (SUP) enabled clients to work through case backlogs. Meanwhile, we applied solutions including RGA’s RiskDimensionsSM portfolio of risk assessment tools to extract data from alternative sources and turn it into meaningful risk scores, even in the absence of traditional evidence.

In 2020, RGA also developed a risk assessment methodology called the Protective Value Indicator (PVI), designed to evaluate how closely the protective value of alternative underwriting evidence matches up with the traditional evidence it is replacing. The PVI focuses specifically on the comparative ability of each data source to identify ratable and declinable impairments. We anticipate this approach bringing significant value to insurers in the years to come.

Years of acceleration happened in just months, and there is no going back. Learnings from 2020 will help put new guidelines in place, inform the best use of our tools, and enable us to prepare our clients for the ever-changing world of risk assessment, no matter what the future holds.

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      Ron Herrmann

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      Jesús Spínola Grandio

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