What goes into a modern customer experience? It’s all about engaging customers in new and innovative ways. In the life insurance industry, customer experience impacts policy completion rates. Recognizing this drives our efforts and ensures that we are meeting the needs of the modern customer. Solutions that provide real-time context, convenience and visual information are key in this digital era.

Below are three key projects that ExamOne is working on to help modernize the customer experience with digital customer engagement.

  1. Proactively engage customers in key moments during the life insurance application journey with an enhanced scheduling tool. This upcoming initiative includes an interactive text messaging solution where applicants can schedule their own exams using ScheduleNow™, receive appointment reminders and real-time notifications.
  2. Provide consumers more options to provide their health history. Future updates will allow applicants to complete their medical questionnaire online and at a time and place that is convenient for them.
  3. Assist today’s consumer with research on their life insurance applicant experience with online educational resources. MyExamOne.com focuses on educating applicants on what to expect during and how to prepare for the paramedical exam process, as well as detailing location options for screenings.

To keep up in the digital world, modernizing the customer experience is the most important thing we can do. We are here to help create an engaging and convenient experience for your applicants by continually expanding upon and improving our online platforms.

Watch our video to see some of the ways we are modernizing the applicant experience.

As of April 2019, recreational marijuana is legal in 10 U.S. states and medical marijuana in an additional 23. Despite the substantial departure from long-standing drug policy which this represents, until quite recently there have been relatively few direct studies on the mortality implications of marijuana use in the general population. While the scientific consensus remains incipient relative to other well-established underwriting criteria such as tobacco, a review of the available literature, in concert with ExamOne’s own original research, does reveal a number of emerging consistencies on the magnitude and origin of marijuana risk from a life insurance underwriting perspective.

ExamOne study reveals higher mortality risk among male marijuana users

Last year, ExamOne completed the most comprehensive review of marijuana mortality risk in an insurance applicant population that we have undertaken to date. With over 1.7 million not-for-cause urine screens for THC, and 8,100 deaths, the study was designed to probe the interaction of marijuana use with applicant age, gender and tobacco status.

Interestingly, the ExamOne study found no statistically significant relationship between THC status and mortality risk in females, but a fairly strong (HR: 1.97, CI: 1.63 – 2.39) effect in males. This finding (marijuana risk in males, but not females) has been replicated in the published literature.1

In broad strokes, the most commonly suggested etiologies for marijuana-linked mortality fall into three categories:

  1. Direct medical effects of marijuana use – particularly respiratory cancers
  2. Direct behavioral effects – principally impaired-driving motor vehicle accidents and, in some studies, suicide
  3. Indirect lifestyle correlates – including other recreational drug use and some observed increase in high-risk infectious disease (HCV and HIV) prevalence.

Interestingly, both categories (2) and (3) would probably be expected to generate disproportionate risk in males. Additionally, ExamOne data does seem to offer some support to the lifestyle correlates thesis; in our data, THC positivity was positively correlated with all tested drugs of abuse except barbiturates.

While some of this correlation is attributable to demographic factors (e.g., the heightened tendency of young males to use both THC and cocaine), the relationships persist even when controlling for this effect.  Odds ratios were notably higher for illegal drugs (PCP, cocaine and methamphetamine), reinforcing the notion of a meaningful sociocultural barrier between legal and illegal drug users. It should be noted, however, that the PCP correlation likely reflects the fact that smoking marijuana/PCP combinations is among the more common consumption modalities for PCP – it is more a fact about (very rare) PCP users than (much more common) marijuana consumers.

While ExamOne generally lacks the data to directly test the behavioral effects hypothesis, a growing number of studies have established a statistical link between marijuana legalization and state level motor vehicle accident rates.2 The Highway Loss Data Institute estimates that legalization is associated with a 6% increase in collision rates; if these excess collisions are concentrated among male users, then impaired driving alone could plausibly account for the bulk of the two-fold increase in risk noted in the ExamOne findings.

What to consider when underwriting marijuana users

While marijuana use might still prove to be a long-term mortality risk in its own right, the most immediate and well-established risk factors for the drug appear to be its correlation with impaired driving, and the abuse of more inherently dangerous illegal drugs. Particularly when underwriting male users, insurers are probably well advised to pay careful attention to driving histories, and any indications of broader recreational drug use.

For more information on drug positivity rates in the U.S., read about Quest Diagnostics’ latest publication of the Drug Testing Index™ (DTI). The DTI, which is the country’s foremost analysis of workforce drug use, found the rate of workforce drug positivity hit a 14-year high in 2018.

1Sidney S, et al. Marijuana use and mortality. Am J Pub Health. 1997;87(4):585-590.
2HLDI Bulletin. Recreational marijuana and collision claim frequencies. 2018;35(8):1-14.

On track for success in 2019

March 21, 2019 Uncategorized

4 paths to help us and our clients win this year Our operations and sales teams recently came together for annual strategy and training meetings in Kansas City. While together, I shared ExamOne’s direction for 2019 and a favorite sports moment that I believe illustrates how we and our life insurance clients can achieve success […]

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Recent scheduling enhancements place an emphasis on the applicant experience

March 18, 2019 Brokers

ScheduleNow™ is a modern scheduling platform that helps speed up the application process. All ExamOne clients can take advantage of ScheduleNow’s capabilities, national coverage, and flexibility. Recent improvements to the scheduling platform allow users to quickly identify the best days and times to schedule appointments. If an examiner or exam center is not available, the […]

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Customer survey update: How customer feedback empowers innovation

March 12, 2019 Brokers

Using feedback from our customer survey, we’ve put together six action plan teams to address key opportunities our customers highlighted. Find out what they’re working on now.

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Providing insurers robust data to evaluate mortality risk

March 6, 2019 Carriers

Recent studies have demonstrated that an applicant’s clinical laboratory history is roughly twice as effective as a prescription history in identifying the highest levels of mortality risk. Clinical laboratory data also provides the ability to evaluate an applicant’s risk profile longitudinally. It can detect long-term trends in critical medical indicators such as A1c, PSA, and […]

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Employee awards

February 25, 2019 Uncategorized

Celebrating our successes Each year at our annual meetings we recognize our accomplishments from the previous year. Below are pictures of all employees that were winners and our highest honors “of the year” award winners are also listed. It’s the dedication of these employees that helps us provide superior service to our clients and life […]

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Ask the expert: Customizing your laboratory results to facilitate faster results

February 19, 2019 Carriers

Now that marijuana is legal in many states, as well as in Washington D.C., some underwriting departments have asked us to update their sensitive test results to allow for positive THC. Several clients indicated that waiting for sensitive test results can cause a delay in their underwriting process. By reducing your number of sensitive tests, […]

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3 ways to help “insure your love” in February

January 31, 2019 Producers

The 2018 Life Insurance Barometer study revealed 78% agree that preparing financially for life’s unknowns is a way to show your loved ones you care. This makes February and Valentine’s Day a perfect time to remind clients to protect loved ones through proper life insurance planning. See a few ways below on how to share this […]

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Innovating with a customer focus

January 29, 2019 Carriers

Consumer habits are a key driver in today’s business strategies. If a business is slow to adapt to changing trends, they must be prepared for someone else to do so. A popular graphic illustrates this reality, ultimately concluding that technology by itself is not the disruptor. Not being focused on your customer is the biggest […]

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