HSBC Life UK has launched a digital underwriting innovation that enables medical screening requests to be sent to and received back automatically from the medical screening provider Square Health, exclusively available on UnderwriteMe’s protection platform.
Once the screening is completed, the results are returned to HSBC Life’s digital underwriting rules engine – provided by UnderwriteMe – to instantly provide an eligibility decision. This will also be available via the HSBC Life extranet journey for those IFA users who use IRESS, iPipeline and Synaptic Webline.
HSBC Life said the innovation will increase the speed of underwriting decisions, reducing customer waiting times and the amount of time advisers spend chasing results. There is a real-time online dashboard that advisers can access to view the status of their applications.
There will also be a personal touch for customers who return screening results which mean that HSBC Life are unable to provide cover. HSBC Life’s underwriting team will provide clear explanations and ensure there is a duty of care so that the customer can seek medical advice from their doctor. Initially, the circumstances that will trigger the referral process are sum assured limits above the standard thresholds and a BMI range of 39 to 42, which are age dependent.
Customers will be covered during the underwriting referral process with free cover available up to 90 days, for the sum assured amount requested up to a maximum of £1 million for life, and £750,000 for critical illness applications. Customers are covered for both ill health and accidents.
“Our new, enhanced digital underwriting capability will improve both the advisor journey and customer experience, by enabling us to consider applications where terms previously weren’t possible,” Mitch Barker, head of product and chief distribution officer at HSBC Life UK, said. “For example, higher BMI disclosures and sum assureds which were above our current non-medical limits. This exciting development will reduce the chance of advisers needing to vary their original recommendation.
“Our investment in the new process will enable us to continue innovating and supports our growth strategy to keep widening our distribution opportunities and provide a larger customer base access to our protection products.”
Nilesh Patel, head of sales and marketing at UnderwriteMe, said that their underwriting technology is always looking to improve the adviser and customer experience of buying life insurance.
“The development with HSBC Life will speed up the process where further evidence might be required and should significantly shorten average turnaround times for HSBC Life applications,” he said. “We’re determined to continue to improve access to insurance and help insurers provide cover for the very people that need it.”