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Risky Business: From mobile apps to Artificial intelligence; we’ve had a busy summer!

September 2018 | Download this article (PDF)

Between vacations, stay-cations, cottages, and backyard BBQs, the Manulife underwriting and new business teams had a busy summer developing tools and improving services to make doing business with us even easier. As we transition to cooler weather and busy season (isn’t it always, though?), we’re excited to highlight updates and improvements that will help build and support advisor business.

Underwriting handbooks for advisors
We’re thrilled to announce that we’ve launched a digital and searchable version of the Underwriting handbooks for life, critical illness and disability insurance on our mobile app, AdvisorCafé. The handbooks help you set expectations for your customers if they have a condition that may affect their insurance rating or eligibility by outlining the requirements, underwriting concerns and potential outcomes. Digitizing the handbooks means this information is quickly accessible and the most up-to-date guidelines are always at your fingertips. AdvisorCafé is easy to download and navigate and is available on your phone or tablet through the Apple App Store or Android Google Play.

Your feedback is critical as we continue to evolve our delivery model for getting these valuable tools into your hands. Once you’ve downloaded the AdvisorCafé app and had an opportunity to explore the digital handbooks, please share your feedback with us through the Your opinion matters button on the handbook page of the app.   

In June, Manulife launched AIDA, an artificial intelligence underwriting tool. Using machine learning, we’ve trained AIDA to make underwriting decisions just as a human underwriter would on term business for lives 18 – 45 with an approval authority of $1 million for standard or better cases. One of AIDA’s many benefits is it frees up our human underwriters to work on more complex and larger face-amount cases. Since launching, AIDA has approved roughly 9 per cent of our business and we’ll continue to see that number grow over time as “she” becomes more experienced. What this means for you is faster approval of your cases; for the month of August, close to 10 per cent of cases that qualified for accelerated underwriting were issued in only 3 calendar-days*!

Concierge Service
To complement the launch of Manulife Par, we’ve enhanced our concierge service for cases with face amounts of $5 million and over or premiums and deposits of $25,000 and over. The enhances concierge service means a dedicated team of underwriters, case managers, pricing actuaries and advanced sales consultants will work closely with you on your complex cases to ensure the best possible outcome for your client. Starting in October, we’ll also have access to additional reinsurance capacity; this, along with our $30 million retention and skilled and professional team, means we can manage your jumbo cases as a one-stop shop.

Pot Pourri
We’ve continued to invest in our underwriting and new business systems, building on our existing capabilities:

  • Internally, we’ve updated our systems to reduce the number of hand-offs on your cases, speeding up the processing time.
  • We’ve improved external client-facing systems, updating the New Business Notifications and Pre-authorized debit form on our E-Delivery platform.
  • The Manulife Underwriting Manual (MUM) and our disability and critical illness guidelines are under constant renovation.
  • The research team is actively working on updating guidelines for cancer, which has resulted in many improvements for applicants who have undergone treatment. We’ve also reduced waiting periods and ratings for many low-grade cancers.

What’s Next
As we forge ahead on this journey to revitalize and modernize our insurance business, we’ll continue to share updates and insights with you. Thank you for your continued partnership. As you continue to work with our teams, we encourage you to share your feedback on these enhancements, ensuring that the tools and services we provide work for you in the best way possible.

Wishing you a very successful fall and year end!

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