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Busted: Top Five Myths About Accelerated Underwriting - I Can Get to a 100% Acceleration Rate

Have You Missed the Boat on Acceleration? Small Steps Can Make a Big Difference.
100 Percent Acceleration Long

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 4: Over time I can get to a 100% acceleration rate.

Accelerated underwriting programs can certainly enable underwriters to more efficiently determine applicant risk class for a subset of their business; however, setting appropriate expectations is key. Your measure of success ultimately depends on how you define success with respect to both acceleration rates and mortality slippage. *The development of an accelerated underwriting program is essentially a balancing act between how many applicants a carrier wants to accelerate and a tolerable level of mortality slippage.

Additionally, not all acceleration rates are the same. It is important to realize when comparing acceleration rates among companies that pre-filtering can lead to inaccurate comparisons and artificially high acceleration rates.

When developing an accelerated underwriting program, it is important to establish realistic goals, set appropriate expectations and maintain enough flexibility to allow for refinements over time. Reinsurers can help carriers understand the trade-offs between acceleration rate and mortality slippage to enable the development of a sustainable program that meets their needs.

- Tricia Peters, Vice President and Managing Actuary, 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

  • Tricia Peters
    Vice President 
    Managing Actuary
    US Mortality Markets



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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