Technology is on the cusp of delivering fundamental change to the underwriting of protection products industry experts have said.
Speaking on the future of underwriting at the Protection Review, Warren Copp, head of underriting and claims at Pacific Life Re, set the scene.
He said: "Things are starting to improve as we begin to engage with the selling opportunities. We have the growth of a new mass market that is unlikely to engage traditionally and which will need a new method of underwriting.
"Price comparison businesses will see a good scope to move into that business, but I am taking a bullish tone on underwriting. We are beginning to understand and engage with people much better."
Guy Williams, sales and marketing director at insurance software developers Liss Systems, said: "There is a focus on automation and streamlining of systems, but we don't feel that this is the future of underwriting in the long term.
"The future is the use of data to complement existing systems, we already have a significant amount of data available on every individual. We can combine this and come upwith accurate mortality scores for example.
"Underwriting in the future will be able to interact with ‘black box' data. The result will be relevant products with a quick and simple buying process. Technology is an enabler, not a barrier."
Ian Teague, managing director of IPipeline, agreed, adding: "Underwriting is still a paper world. Advisers find data capture and expectations are difficult to set and sales are prone to break down, it is not surprising there is no growth in the market.
"We need to acknowledge that mobile is here and we need technology that works well for the adviser currently using paper in clients homes.
"we don't need to throw away existing processes, technology can be evolutionary."
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