Far Out Friday: How a selfie could impact premiums

Far Out Friday: How a selfie could impact premiums | Insurance Business

Far Out Friday: How a selfie could impact premiums
The days of filling out lengthy policy forms for clients may soon be behind brokers if one US tech firm catches on.

You may love them or loathe them but a selfie could soon be a key part of insurance as start-up Lapetus Solutions uses facial recognition technology, called Chronos, to determine existing health issues based on a simple snap.

The technology, which is being trialled by several life insurance companies in the US, sees users upload a selfie and answer several questions on their health.

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The facial analytics software then scans hundreds of points on a face to extract certain information including body mass index, physiological age and whether you are aging faster or slower than your actual age, US Today reports.

Currently, the program can detect make-up but struggles with plastic surgery and matches the selfie with the photo on a driver’s license to help curb fraud.

By combining the selfie and answers to several questions, insurers would be able approve coverage for immediate online purchase without the need for a medical exam.

“Your face is something you wear all your life, and it tells a very unique story about you,” Karl Ricanek Jr., co-founder and chief data scientist at Lapetus Solutions Inc. said.

The firm is exploring how facial analysis could be used to identify early signs of diseases such as diabetes, dementia or heart disease and is developing a feature to identify whether or not an applicant is a smoker by looking at facial wrinkles around the eyes.

“Smoking is going to be written on your face,” Ricanek said. “Even if you stopped smoking, once it’s written, it’s there.”

Whether or not the technology catches on remains to be seen but it might be time to start advising clients on their good side.

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