A new National Association of Insurance Commissioners' working group is set to tackle accelerated underwriting with an Oct. 2 kickoff conference call.
The group -- aptly named the Accelerated Underwriting Working Group -- is chaired by Robert H. Muriel, director of the Illinois Department of Insurance. Grace Arnold, deputy commissioner of insurance for Minnesota, serves as vice chair.
The group was formed during the NAIC summer meeting in August. Its charge reads: "Consider the use of external data and data analytics in accelerated life underwriting, including consideration of the ongoing work of the Life Actuarial (A) Task Force on the issue and, if appropriate, drafting guidance for the states."
Accelerated underwriting is a topic of great interest in the life insurance industry. Consumers say that trimming the application time and the hurdles they need to clear would make them more receptive to life insurance.
Insurers are responding accordingly. Annual Milliman surveys show a steadily increasing shift to accelerated underwriting. For example, Milliman found that 24.6% of indexed universal life sales were made with accelerated underwriting for the fiscal year ending Sept. 30, 2018. That figure is up from 16.8% during the fiscal year 2017.
The working group will start by hearing from academics, stakeholders and states "to gain a better understanding of accelerated underwriting in life insurance and the different perspectives on the pros, cons and concerns," according to its work plan.
Patrick L. Brockett, professor of mathematics and finance at the University of Texas, will make a presentation to the working group during the NAIC fall meeting in December.
The working group will hold monthly conference calls and identify issues and a "potential work product" throughout 2020. Tentative plans call for that work product to be delivered to the Annuities Committee "at or before the 2020 fall national meeting," the work plan stated.
InsuranceNewsNet Senior Editor John Hilton has covered business and other beats in more than 20 years of daily journalism. John may be reached at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter @INNJohnH.
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