August 18, 2014
The Future of Medical Underwriting
“It took three months for one of my colleagues to get a recent life insurance application approved, two of which were caused by the delay in getting an Attending Physician Statement (APS) from her family doctor.
Physicians, in general, are not overly cooperative with insurance companies as they don’t consider sending reports a priority. This is partially due to the necessity of having to complete the forms ‘on their own time’ even though they are financially compensated for their effort, plus, the view of some as one such doctor advised, “he did not go to medical school for 10 years to fill out silly insurance forms!”
Simplified underwriting using rule engines and data mining is certainly coming but it appears to be at a slower pace in Canada than in the USA. A recent article in ‘insurancenewsnet.com’ indicates the underwriting process can be streamlined and reduced to a mere 24 hours, but, we ask the question “to what adverse consequence?”. The potential for misrepresentation is an issue – are agents prepared to invest the extra time to educate the applicants on the dangers of non-disclosure? Or will the necessity to continue the underwriting process be done at claim time?”