CII and SAMI to launch medical data underwriting project


Industry working group to explore how data can be used to benefit customers

The Chartered Insurance Institute (CII) and SAMI Consulting are launching a research project to explore how the digitalisation of medical records can improve access to protection.

Digital records and health data collected on apps, wearable tech and voluntarily offered to health service providers offer a wealth of underwriting data to insurers. Headed up by SAMI's Richard Walsh, the new research project will explore how underwriting data can be used to benefit customers, in particular helping those with pre-existing conditions with faster application and claims processes.

Currently the claims process, which largely relies on establishing medical information, can take from days to weeks to complete.

'Greater trust’

"In an ideal world, digitalisation of medical records should create far greater engagement between patients and their medical conditions to improve their prognosis and increase their wellbeing," said research lead Walsh. "We are already seeing this through the growth in health apps and to some extent though the availability of data through summary care records available on line. For consumers, it could lead to greater trust and claims certainty because underwriting would be based on medical records and not applicant memory. As for GPs, it could create cost savings and save time responding to life insurance medical report requests."

The CII and SAMI Consulting are consulting with a wide range of stakeholders across the medical profession, insurance sector and consumer groups to collect evidence for a report, which will be published later in the year. "Consumers are more aware than ever of the value and importance of their personal data, and this initiative is an excellent example of professionals taking the initiative in setting strong standards that both protect consumers and realise the opportunities involved in digitalisation," said Dr Matthew Connell, director of policy and public affairs at the CII.

"New technology is moving fast and we will explore how the future might look like in this field. While our focus will be on protection insurance there may also be implications for other sectors regarding sharing digitalised medical information."

Working group

The project is also being supported by a working group of experts form AIG Life, iPipeline, Legal and General, Munich Re, Norton Rose Fulbright LLP, Royal London, The Exeter and Zurich Life UK.

Mari-Lizette Malherbe, Munich Re, CEO UK life branch said: "The insurance market is primed for innovation and digital health records will play an important role, improving access to insurance for more people and futureproofing our industry for the benefit of all. We have an opportunity here to advance the use of digital medical records including automation of the full underwriting journey."

Digital medical records are not new and are already being used within insurance applications. Whilst the majority of GP surgeries are enabled, only a number of requests are returned electronically. All the components already exist to unlock the full benefits of digital medical records. This important initiative will help bring it together and make it reality..

"Digital medical records are not new and are already being used within insurance applications," continued Malherbe. "Whilst the majority of GP surgeries are enabled, only a number of requests are returned electronically. All the components already exist to unlock the full benefits of digital medical records. This important initiative will help bring it together and make it reality."

Contact us
Clare Wainwright
Clare Wainwright
Head of Proposition and Marketing