How digital is driving innovation in underwriting

MLC Life Insurance has gained efficiencies with their new digital underwriting platform. The platform is also providing analytics that allows them to quickly review underwriting parameters for better customer experience.

Debbie Kennedy – MLC Life Insurance – Chief Underwriter


In April 2018, MLC Life Insurance launched our digital underwriting platform as part of our modernisation and transformation program. With integrated pre-assessment and quote tools, our key objective of ensuring life insurance can be put in place more efficiently than ever before is being achieved. The results to date have exceeded our expectations.  We have seen:


  • a 20% reduction in the time taken to underwrite complex cases
  • Trebled our straight through acceptance rates, and
  • a 20% reduction in the number of calls to customers requesting further information.


Improving the customer experience is just one benefit of using customer-centric digital technology. The insights and understanding that we now have of our underwriting process is just as important.

The next phase of optimising the digital underwriting platform is to use the reporting and analytics gathered to enhance the underwriting process and modify our underwriting parameters.


We have been able to assess the value of requesting additional medical evidence in certain circumstances and challenge the traditional thinking, while still maintaining the integrity of the underwriting process.


Using data to improve underwriting outcomes - BMI levels

Leveraging analytics and the latest research, the first large scale change we will make is to our underwriting for Body Mass Index (BMI).  Body Mass Index is calculated using weight in kilograms (kg) divided by height in metres squared, eg weight- 100kgs, height - 1.80m. 100/3.24 = BMI 31.5


Using this research in combination with the new insights from our digital underwriting platform we have been able to increase the tolerance for BMI acceptance at standard rates.  We estimate that up to 25% of customers who would previously had loadings applied to their premiums will now be accepted at standard rates. Additionally, we have removed the need for customers to undergo a medical examination for BMI levels where we know this will not add any value – meaning less inconvenience for customers and insurance is in place sooner.  


Making insurance more accessible

More relevant and accurate underwriting with greater insights into our business means we can create better underwriting propositions and make insurance more accessible to our customers. The digital underwriting platform allows us to learn, adapt and roll-out enhancements more quickly than ever before. The integrated pre-assessment tool means that advisers will be able to see the impact of changes on their client’s application and underwriting requirements in real time as changes are rolled-out.


MLC Life Insurance is keen to be transparent and rebuild trust in the life insurance industry with advisers and customers. We believe that by using the digital platform and the available analytics we can make life insurance available to more customers.


MLC Limited ABN 90 000 000 402 AFSL 230694 used the MLC brand under licence.  MLC Limited is part of the Nippon Life Insurance Group and not a part of the NAB Group of Companies.



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