Talk to any life insurance company and they will tell you that attending physician statements (APS) (also referred to as digital or electronic medical records) are the biggest delay in underwriting new applications. Ordering an APS is expensive ($50-$150 each), takes time to retrieve (10-30+ days) and is necessary for 20-30% of all life insurance applications (and if it is reinsurance, they require an APS for each application).
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A 2014 Oxford University study concluded that jobs in the “service” and “sales and related” categories have high probability (greater than .7) of computerization (computerization is job automation by means of computer-controlled equipment). According to a McKinsey Global Institute report, the underwriting profession is vulnerable to having at least 35% of its tasks automated. Now, before you dust off your resume, let’s think about this a little further.
Recent advances in cognitive technology make life insurance underwriters more effective at assessing policy applications. This technology allows life carriers to extract key data from documents, process it into relevant information, and present it back to Underwriters – all within the context of their normal application review process. Anecdotal evidence indicates that this can increase the productivity of underwriters by 30% when assessing complicated applications.
Mystification is typically not a word that I like to associate with a process – especially if the process involves my money. Unfortunately, “mystification” best-fits my mortgage experience. I started the journey towards my dream home with what looked like a path of gold stones in front of me. I would take a step and stumble backward disappointed because I realized it was fool’s gold. I constantly had to ask my Loan Officer the same four questions over and over…
In Part One of my epic mortgage experience, you got a small glimpse of my tendencies and personality. I clearly was frustrated with the amount of time wasted in the first few days of the process, but that frustration doesn’t compare to how irritating the next steps were.
In order for you to understand this story, there’s something you should know about me: I am a little bit of a control freak. Okay you got me – it’s more than a little bit, I am a control freak. I like to understand processes, timelines and next steps and control them as much as possible. I schedule my day out to maximize efficiency, I hate being late, and I try to always be one step ahead. This is not a story of efficiency and timeliness though.