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22 May 2013
Electronic life insurance applications have exceeded paper submissions for the first time, according to a survey by Munich Re Australasia.
“Automated underwriting has enabled increased knowledge of the insurers’ portfolio performance through analysis of digital data not previously available from traditional paper applications,” Head of Life Nico Conradie said.
“Investment in automated underwriting systems continues to increase as advisers and consumers receive benefits such as faster processing and fewer medicals. Insurers also have the ability to manage increased business volumes using existing resources.”
Electronic applications outstrip paper submissions by 63% among respondents with an annual premium market of $209 million, the study shows.
But the market average for straight-through processing without medical referrals has fallen to 17% from 24% last year.
The average policy issue time for electronic applications is 19 days, 10% faster than paper and 10% better than last year.
Life insurers now issue 75% of all underwriting decisions at standard rates, up 10% from last year, Mr Conradie says.
The study looked for the first time at how much medicals cost new business applications, finding they account for just 4% of new business written.
Insurers using tele-underwriting continue to report reductions in personal medical attendant report rates, with falls ranging from 2% to 20%, the report says.
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