While 2019 news – wars, trade wars, natural disasters, man-made disasters, protests, climate change, climate change protests, Brexit and a new coronavirus originating in China – seemed always gloomy, the news about RiskApps* was distinctly positive. Indeed, our independent underwriting manual goes from strength to strength and we have made a number of updates to both the content and functionality:
- Early in the year we released a number of new topics and updates to key medical topics such as asthma, coronary heart disease and muscular dystrophy.
- For our clients who write disability business we have added ratings for additional deferred periods so that, in addition to 4 and 13 weeks deferred periods, guidance is now provided for day one and 26 weeks.
- Mental health underwriting is currently very much in the spotlight and in the last quarter of the year we carried out an extensive research project involving the review of more than 40 journal articles. This led to a complete revision of four key topics – Anxiety disorders, Mood disorders, Schizophrenia and Self-harm and suicide attempt. A number of other related topics have also been adjusted to reflect these changes.
- For our users in North America most of a project to add guidance for the underwriting of preferred life products is already complete. This will help underwriters determine preferred eligibility for those cases that fall in that grey area between clearly rateable and truly a standard risk.
- We have also added a liver function calculator which uses a rules-based approach to process readings for individual enzymes and also take into account the combination of multiple abnormalities. The calculator produces rating guidance for cases where there is no known cause for the abnormal enzymes and also in the presence of fatty liver.
In 2020 we will continue, with our IT partner MML Solutions, the work on a brand-new version of RiskApps – new look, new functionality and based on the latest technology. Importantly, we are aiming to recognise the increasing importance of data in life and disability underwriting and the closer relationship between underwriting manuals and underwriting engines.