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UnderwriteMe provides an underwriting rules engine (URE) for life insurers to automate the underwriting and pricing of protection policies, and a comparison portal for intermediaries.

The comparison portal (called ‘Protection Platform’) enables intermediaries to compare and sell protection policies with guaranteed prices. The portal has a single question set, and takes intermediaries around 10 minutes to complete. Nine insurers are currently on board offering 12 brands – Aegon, AIG, Canada Life, HSBC Life, LV, Old Mutual Wealth, Royal London, Scottish Widows and The Exeter. Two more insurers are expected to join before the end of the year. The majority of products sold are life insurance, followed by critical Illness and income protection.

Intermediaries using the protection platform include Life Search, which had previously held a minority shareholding in the business, and London & Country Mortgages, which is 450 advisers strong.

Comparison sites MoneySupermarket and Cavendish have partnered with UnderwriteMe for protection insurance – the business has no plans to go into the direct market.

Insurers using the URE can also access three additional tools:

  • Workbench – a workflow add-on that is helpful when underwriters need more information such as doctors’ reports;
  • User-interface – a user-friendly website;
  • Business analytics – which provides MI and analysis tools to insurers to interrogate customer data such as disclosure patterns, demographics and question response analysis.

Founded in 2012, UnderwriteMe became a 100% owned subsidiary of Pacific Life Re in March this year. The firm’s revenue model is based on an annual licence for the URE technology for insurers and a fee per policy for insurers on the comparison portal. Most revenue is generated in the UK, although it also licences the URE to insurers in Ireland, Australia, New Zealand and Singapore, building on the presence of Pacific Life Re in those areas.

The Oxbow Partners View

Simplifying the customer journey for life products in both intermediated and direct channels is a critical topic for the industry at the moment. UnderwriteMe plays a valuable role here with its URE technology. Their relatively advanced level of maturity means that it is an attractive ‘partner’ option for incumbents who may not have the appetite to build technology themselves.

On the comparison side, UnderwriteMe is one of the few providers we have seen that is able to deliver an instant quote from a simple, single, end-to-end question set for multiple lives, products and insurers. The ability to compare propositions has the potential to be transformational in this market.

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Christopher Hess

Christopher advises insurers on market and competitor intelligence and major transformation efforts. He was formerly Business Development Director at LBG Insurance / Scottish Widows and was responsible for strategy, innovation and major transformation programmes. Prior to joining LBG he enjoyed a successful career in consulting serving insurance companies and asset managers with a focus on strategic and transaction driven transformation. Christopher graduated from Queen’s University, Canada, is a Chartered Accountant (CA, CPA), and CFA Charterholder. You can reach him at chess@oxbowpartners.com.

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