July 6, 2017
MLC Life Insurance will offer instant pricing on life insurance cover after it announced a partnership with Pacific Life Re to use its underwriting rules engine, UnderwriteMe.
The engine had been launched in Australia in October 2016 (see: ‘Game Changer’ Underwriting Service Launched) but MLC Life Insurance is the first Australian insurer to adopt the engine, which is in use by nine insurers in the UK and Ireland.
The engine has been developed by risk specialists in the UK and Australia and draws on a database of industry standard questions, and more than 6500 medical conditions, that assess a person’s health and lifestyle status.
Premium quotes are then instantly generated, including any applicable loadings and exclusions, based on responses to the questions, allowing advisers to use the engine as a pre-assessment tool for clients looking for an indicative price for life insurance cover.
MLC Life Insurance stated it will use the engine across all retail advised products as well as underwritten Bancassurance and direct life insurance products and select group insurance clients from late 2017. Any adviser using MLC Life products will be provided with access to the engine which will have a different interface than that provided to customers of MLC Life.
…MLC Life Insurance is the first Australian insurer to adopt the engine…
The insurer also stated the engine would make the underwriting process more efficient and based on testing to date is expected to double straight-through acceptance rates, where customers are insured without the need for manual underwriting.
MLC Life Insurance Chief Customer Officer, Retail Advised Insurance, Melissa Heyhoe said the partnership with Pacific Life Re and UnderwriteMe would significantly change the way underwriting takes place in the Australian life insurance sector with a range of features available from the first day of operation.
“Underwriting has traditionally been a complex and time consuming process. In some instances, because of the complexity of some health conditions and other factors, it can take a month to make a decision,” Heyhoe said.
“By automating the underwriting process, we’ll be able to ask customers fewer and more relevant questions, get a more accurate assessment of their risk, and approve cover in just a few days. It is a major innovation for our industry.”
Heyhoe added that further enhancements were likely to take place as MLC Life sought to integrate it into its current operating platforms, as well as expanding the range of questions available and medical conditions covered, and providing access to third party data, including medical records and reports.
UnderwriteMe Director Business Development, Rakesh Kaul said the engine had already proven its capability in the UK and Ireland where a recent NMG survey found it had the largest number of automated underwriting system implementations and attracted the highest satisfaction ratings from clients.
“We are excited to be launching our first partnership in Australia. MLC Life Insurance is a respected and long established brand that is fast becoming an innovator in this market. We are thrilled they have chosen our software technology to help with their digital transformation,” Kaul said.