An insurance company that has sensors on a customer’s water pipes to detect leaks? Or how about one that guarantees the aging population a spot in a retirement-type home? These are just a couple of customer loyalty benefits insurance companies in other countries are offering to their customers.
I started my career in the life insurance space 11 years ago. However, I spent the last five years immersed with our life and health sciences team developing solutions for health insurers to help them improve their member outcomes. When the opportunity arose to come back to the life insurance industry last year, I didn’t hesitate. As I have traveled from industry events to customer meetings, continuously seeing new faces, I have realized many parallels between life insurers and health insurers.
Health plans aim to manage their aging population’s health and quality of life in order to prevent more healthcare claims. Similarly, life insurers want to improve their applicant’s mortality risk so they can protect their bottom line. The healthier applicants are, the longer they will live, and the fewer claims the insurer is likely to pay out. As part of a bigger healthcare company, Quest Diagnostics, it’s important for us to place an emphasis on individual health. We believe there is an opportunity for insurers to connect with their policy holders to help them adopt a healthier lifestyle.
Encouraging applicants to make their health a priority
Several years ago, we launched Inside Look®, which allows applicants to view their personal laboratory results online. To date, more than 2,700,000 applicants have viewed their results. This year, we introduced a new, comprehensive wellness report through InsideWellness®. Some have suggested that InsideWellness could be used as an annual health review for applicants. By offering an annual health review to your applicants, they continuously stay engaged with their health. Further, it continues to provide health insights to the insurer as well.
If labs were not drawn at the time of the initial application, underwriters would not be able to identify any health or activity changes that may be of concern. The annual health report could potentially identify new tobacco users, marijuana/drug use, obesity, diabetes, or other medical conditions. Using this as an annual review also helps ensure your policyholders are aware of any changing health risks.
As we look to the future, it’s important we continue to evolve and that we never lose sight of the applicant. While life insurance may be a one-time purchase, it shouldn’t mean just a one-time meeting with your customer. It should be a policy for life that encourages applicants to manage all their risks – both financial and health-related.