Pinnacle Life launches next generation of electronic underwriting

Pinnacle Life today launched a more advanced version of its electronic underwriting that should see a higher number of first-time applicants issued with immediate life cover.

Pinnacle Life first launched its direct-to-consumer life insurance with electronic underwriting in May 2007. The buying process from application to issuing the policy is fully automated via its website, with consumers receiving their policies online. Visitors to the website are led through a series of typical insurance underwriting questions covering their health, lifestyle, occupation and pastimes. Those with no indicated health issues are covered instantly and receive their policy document electronically. "To date, applications have exceeded expectations" according to Steve de Jong, a partner at Pinnacle Life.

The upgraded website boasts an increased range second-tier questions that get asked if certain primary health conditions are indicated during the application process.

The new software automatically assesses mortality risk and automatically applies loadings or exclusions to a policy without human involvement.

The entire process takes less than ten minutes, by the end of which full and immediate cover up to $500,000 is granted without the need for a medical examination, unless certain specific conditions are highlighted. Pinnacle Life Partner, Ed Saul, said, “We’ve been working closely on this new release with our reinsurer, Hannover Re for several months now and we have high expectations it will meet with consumer approval”. “Our consumers are the internet-savvy ‘Generation C’ and the estimated 1.3 million New Zealanders who now buy online (source: Nielsen NetRatings).”

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