1Life developed Vantage, our financial adviser application, to provide financial services that are appropriate and affordable by using the best technology available. 1Life Vantage is one the first comprehensive digital solutions for financial advisers in South Africa. It works in real time, ensures a completely paperless environment and all compliance documents are incorporated into one user-friendly life plan. This is the creation of generational wealth, powered by technology.
With Vantage, advisers can service clients digitally from FNA to acceptance and policies can be applied for and accepted in under an hour. Two of the major advantages advisers have when using Vantage are automated underwriting and straight-through processing. Here’s how these processes work and what they mean for you and your clients.
What is straight-through processing?
Straight-through processing is when a policy is applied for, underwritten and accepted in a matter of minutes, without any human intervention. This means applying for a policy is quick and easy, underwriting is unintrusive, and policy terms and conditions are automatically set. Straight-through processing makes acceptance in 35 minutes possible.
Straight-through processing in practice
Clients complete an application and sign it digitally, and the financial adviser submits the application at a touch of a button. The application is reviewed by the system and the policy is accepted, with or without conditions, or declined – in a matter of minutes. Conditions might include a loading or exclusion, or an offer of different cover and benefits such as lower sum assured or accidental death benefit instead of life cover.
Straight-through processing ensures that up to 97% of policies are accepted within 35 minutes
While it varies on a day-to-day basis, our stats show that up to 97% of policies applied for are accepted on the same day without the need for referral or medical tests – apart from an HIV test, which can be done using a saliva swab or finger-prick blood test.
Your client can have their policy accepted within 35 minutes of applying for it. For most of us, this is quicker than the time taken to do the monthly grocery shop, to upgrade a phone or commute to work. And it doesn’t involve follow-ups or multiple interactions and meetings, which can frustrate clients.
Automated underwriting makes straight-through processing possible
We have been developing and using automated underwriting and straight-through processing since launching 1Life in 2006. Automated underwriting is based on years of data and experience and is one of the innovations that has changed the long-term insurance industry. It makes for a better client experience as turnaround times are fast. Claim statistics show that decisions made by automated underwriting are not significantly different to decisions made by human underwriters – just faster!
Automated underwriting isn’t only for standard lives
Most of our policies are accepted at standard rates, but straight-through processing and automated underwriting are also used for non-standard rate policies. For example, if a client applies for cover and benefits and has a dangerous pastime, such as cliff diving, we can automatically exclude claims due to the pastime, without any human underwriting or human processing.
There are a small number of cases (less than 5%) where human underwriters assess the application, such as due to underwriting risk or due to a number of medical conditions.
Clients have a choice of limited or comprehensive underwriting on Vantage
Vantage offers your clients a choice of limited or comprehensive underwriting. Both are fully automated.
Limited underwriting makes the process even quicker, because there are fewer questions, however there is a limit on how much cover can be applied for and the process is only suitable for generally healthy individuals.
Limited versus comprehensive underwriting
Disclosure is critical
Clients need to fully disclose any and all medical conditions and financial status as required. We cannot stress this enough. Although most claims are paid, across the long-term insurance industry non-disclosure remains the main reason for declined claims. According to 2019 ASISA statistics, 346 irregular death claims (life cover policies) were detected in 2019. In context, this is a really small number. But, in 276 of these cases – 80% – there was misrepresentation or non-disclosure. Encourage your clients to be honest, fully disclose medical conditions and all the details. It pays in the long run.
You can use this disclosure checklist as a guide on what to disclose. It may also be a good idea to go through your client’s medical history with them to check they have disclosed everything they need to.
Underwriting conducted at application stage
We underwrite cover when a client applies for a policy. This is important for clients’ peace of mind as they know that the claims process is likely to be much quicker and at 1Life we strive to deliver simple, convenient claims processing.
Vantage helps you offer excellent service
Automated underwriting and straight-through processing will help you do business better! Contact us here or at [email protected] to find out how you can start your journey with 1Life, today. If you book a Vantage demonstration with us before 30 November 2021 you stand a chance to win a Miele coffee maker worth R28 000.