Manulife says it is the first Canadian insurer to eliminate blood, urine and nicotine testing for eligible applicants seeking up to one million dollars in life insurance coverage.
The insurer introduced this program for term life products in May last year. The program has now been extended to all Manulife’s individual life insurance offering, including whole life and universal life products.
Manulife’s predictive analytics program has enabled it to take this step. Now, more than half of its life insurance applicants will be able to skip this “time-consuming and invasive testing,” says the company.
Simpler process for Canadians
Karen Cutler, VP and Chief Underwriter, Manulife says, "While most of the industry requires blood, urine and other information with only $250,000 of life insurance coverage, we've moved far past that and made the application process significantly simpler for Canadians."
She adds that eliminating nicotine testing is an opportunity to reduce insurance fraud. Applicants who falsely identify as non-smokers “can potentially drive up life insurance premiums for non-smokers because of the health impacts from smoking,” explains Cutler. “This is the industry's number one source of life insurance fraud."
Reducing insurance fraud
Predictive analytics and monitoring application data can help eliminate opportunities for fraud, she explains.
Analytic tools improve decision making overall, adds Cindy Forbes, Chief Analytics Officer, Manulife. "The insights from the data we collect through our underwriting process and public sources enables us to determine the cases that we believe require testing, while simplifying the application process for more than half of applicants."