Saliva Samples a Key to Simplifying Underwriting?

Discussion in 'Life Insurance Forum' started by Brian Anderson, Mar 16, 2017.

  1. Brian Anderson
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    Brian Anderson Moderator Moderator

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    Minneapolis-based life settlements specialist GWG Life claims it is the first insuretech company to apply “epigenetic technology” in a way that it says could transform life insurance underwriting (link below).

    Saliva samples are being used to analyze the overall health and life expectancy of policy owners. The samples contain cells that can be analyzed for specific levels of methylation that occur in epigenetic biomarkers which are said to be predictive of an individual’s risk of all-cause mortality.

    This would contribute to a more accurate estimate of the life expectancy of policyholders, a key factor for CWG’s secondary market business.

    “The technology could significantly improve the life insurance underwriting process in terms of its accuracy, speed and cost. I can clearly envision the day when life insurance purchasers will no longer be subjected to traditional invasive underwriting practices.”

    Will this – or perhaps marrying this and what they’re doing with big data analytics – make a big impact on the life insurance underwriting environment?

    Insurance Forums | Advances in underwriting: Saliva samples now being used to analyze biomarkers of settlement prospects
     
  2. LostDollar
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    LostDollar Well-Known Member

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    It seems like this would have the potential to render some folks both uninsurable and unemployable.

    I would follow George Washington Plunkitt's maxim of "Vote Early and Vote Often" (against!) on this one.

    I think that also ignores the fact that some people would prefer not to have their futures that clearly defined.
     
  3. GreenSky
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    GreenSky Well-Known Member

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    Clearly you seem to forget that all life insurance is based up actuarial averages. If you smoke you're being "singled out", as will your other health issues.

    Why is this a problem for you? Are you losing clients over this?

    Or do you think that everyone should pay the same rate? (This works great for Obamacrap).

    Rick
     
  4. LostDollar
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    LostDollar Well-Known Member

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    1) Privacy. If an insurance company has information, employers can potentially get it. This would allow employment discrimination based on genetic tests.

    2) Genotypes do not always predict the behavior of phenotypes. I think that could be extended to question whether laboratory tests actually reflect the real life behavior of the phenotype.

    Just an attempt by the life insurance companies to restrict the utility of; affordability of; and accessibility to; life insurance which the American consumer has enjoyed over the past decades.

    Basically an attempt to use connotations of the word "science" as support for financial gain in the life insurance and medical testing industries.
     
  5. Tahoe Ray
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    Tahoe Ray Well-Known Member

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    Life insurance companies want to sell policies.......they aren't going to actively restrict doing so.

    They will, however, try and mitigate their risk as much as possible.

    You're going to see more and more of this with "black box" underwriting.
     
  6. suranceman
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    suranceman Well-Known Member

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    Why are you using the word always? Of course no model can always predict the behavior of every single person.

    The insurance company is only interested in statistical averages. There are exceptions to EVERY rule. But they base their entire business model on statistical trends. If they find a new way to compile data that renders better and more useful statistics, so be it. Just because some people fall outside of those trends means nothing.

    It's like the wage gap myth. The left always says "are you saying that women don't want to be successful, or that they don't work as long or as hard as men?" The answer is yes, on average, they don't which is why men will always on average earn more. Sure you can find women that earn more than some men, but those women represent a statistical minority.

    When speaking about statistics, it's useless and irrelevant to mention individuals who don't fall in line with the statistics. You can't run a business on exceptions to a rule. No business does.
     
  7. LostDollar
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    LostDollar Well-Known Member

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    Using genetics to determine accessibility to life insurance is bad science and will lead to improper ratings for many people. In addition it has the potential to seriously violate medical privacy of people.
     
  8. Tahoe Ray
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    Tahoe Ray Well-Known Member

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    You waive that privacy when you apply to purchase a policy.

    This is already happening.
     

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