How many of you have gone to your class reunions over the past 10-15 years? Do you dread it or are you one of those people who can’t wait to get together with your high school buddies?
My class was super tight, and we have always had a great turn out. Since I lived in my hometown for many years after high school, I also typically got drawn into planning the reunion.
As great as those high school reunions are, I don’t think I’ve ever had as great of an experience as I did this week at the AHOU Reunion of 2022. It’s been two long years since we’ve been together with our underwriting family and you could literally feel the energy generated by being together with your peers.
And just like your high school reunion, a lot of things have changed since we last met. Some people have done some job hopping, are a little more gray, or experienced the “Quarantine 15”. The biggest change I observed is the drive to change and improve the underwriting experience has
Before the pandemic, there was definitely a focus on driving innovation through accelerated underwriting and electronic medical records, but now it’s reached a fever pitch.
Much of the acceleration can be credited to COVID-driven innovation. Carriers had to quickly find alternatives to paramed exams to ensure sales didn’t completely shut down in the early days of the pandemic. And now, they’re in a position to evaluate which of those changes should continue or perhaps be adapted to a permanent role in our underwriting toolbox.
We also must recognize the growth of insurtech firms that are pushing us to challenge the way we’ve always done things and finding ways to help us be better. The marketplace was full of new vendors and data providers, many of whom didn’t even exist two years ago. Let’s face it, insurance innovation is hot these days!
The one overriding theme I took away from the meeting is that we all recognize the need to drive greater automation and challenge the way we’ve always underwritten. To most chief underwriters, nirvana is a low friction application and underwriting process that can produce quality mortality results with lower acquisition costs, and ultimately a competitively priced product. The secret sauce to accomplish this state of enlightenment is data. Improved data sources to drive smarter decisions, improved tools to help us process the data, and finding solutions that help us unlock the value hidden in our historical underwriting files so we can refine our underwriting and drive increased value for our carriers.
It was great meeting and I so much enjoyed reconnecting with our underwriting family. And now I’m headed back to work energized and inspired to keep pushing this industry forward.
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