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Busted: Top Five Myths About Accelerated Underwriting - I’ve Already Missed the Boat

Have You Missed the Boat on Acceleration? Small Steps Can Make a Big Difference.
Speadboat Accelerating Away

It is a transformative time for the life insurance industry as accelerated underwriting promises to reshape the way companies do business. The goal: to improve underwriting speed and efficiency while also preserving the reliability of the risk assessment process. Amid this dynamic environment, it’s easy for carriers to feel overwhelmed and at risk of being left behind. Fortunately, there is ample opportunity to catch up – and getting started is not as difficult as they might think.

Experts from RGA recently weighed in on the top questions and concerns they field from carriers regarding accelerated underwriting, and they bust some common myths on the topic.

Myth 5: I’ve already missed the boat on accelerated underwriting.

Hardly. A spectrum of resources is available to companies at all phases of the journey to accelerate their underwriting processes. While accelerated underwriting has certainly seen a boom with companies building out programs, there remains an opportunity to implement solutions that will help businesses run more efficiently and improve the customer journey.

With more information available from both traditional and non-traditional sources – motor vehicle records, prescription histories, credit data, etc. – underwriters can now access lengthy histories and view a more dynamic, complete picture of applicants. *Equipping underwriters with tools to access and analyze this additional information is enabling the development of accelerated solutions in which applicants can be underwritten dynamically, based on their behaviors over time, via a more frictionless, consumer-friendly process.

RGA’s 2017 Global Life and Health Underwriting Survey, which surveyed 25 leading life and health insurers from large global, regional, and single market life and health insurance companies, revealed 96% of survey participants indicate a significant or moderate need to improve performance overall, and 68% expect their organizations to make significant or very significant investment in improving efficiency and effectiveness of current processes over the next 3 to 5 years. In addition, the survey results show that there is a widespread belief that to compete, insurers will have to rely less on fully underwritten approaches and, increasingly, on more customer-friendly and efficient underwriting options to win business in the future. Within the next 5 years, 71% of participating insurers reported that they expect the percentage of new business premium that is fully underwritten to decrease or significantly decrease.

As the industry continues to evolve to meet the needs of today’s customer, accelerated underwriting will be a key part of delivering products and tools to customers through a faster, more simplified process. You haven’t missed the boat, but now is definitely the
right time to climb aboard.

- Kathryn Cox, Senior Vice President, Business Development, U.S. Mortality Markets, RGA

Companies are working to implement accelerated underwriting solutions, but there are definitely speed bumps to keep an eye out for. In the next article in this series on acceleration, we will present a roadmap of steps you can take to push acceleration forward in your organization.

Reprinted with permission of ON THE RISK, Journal of the Academy of Life Underwriting (
Download "Busted: Top Five Myths About Accelerated Underwriting"

The Author

  • Kathryn Cox
    FSA, CPS
    Senior Vice President
    Business Development
    U.S. Mortality Markets
    Send an email > 


As accelerated underwriting programs grow more prevalent in the industry, some carriers may feel they are falling behind. But this may be more perception than reality. The following article from RGA addresses common misconceptions around accelerated underwriting and dispels many of the myths about implementing an accelerated underwriting program, including:

  • Myth 1: Simplified issue and acceleration are the same thing.
  • Myth 2: You have to go big or go home.
  • Myth 3: There will no longer be a need for underwriting staff.  
  • Myth 4: Over time, I can get to a 100% acceleration rate. 
  • Myth 5: I’ve already missed the boat on accelerated underwriting.

With accelerated underwriting solutions now hitting the market, a range of resources is available to companies at all phases of the journey, whether just starting out or expanding their accelerated underwriting processes.

Download "Busted: Top Five Myths About Accelerated Underwriting"
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