MLC Life Insurance announces partnership with Pacific Life Re to launch UnderwriteMe in Australia | MLC Life Insurance
Media release

06 July 2017

MLC Life Insurance announces partnership with Pacific Life Re to launch UnderwriteMe in Australia

MLC Life Insurance is the first life insurer in Australia to agree terms to offer the UK's leading underwriting rules engine - UnderwriteMe - to customers, after announcing a new partnership with the engine's propriety owner, Pacific Life Re.

Developed by the UK’s and Australia’s leading risk specialists, UnderwriteMe is the most comprehensive new business processing and automated online underwriting solution in any market.

Melissa Heyhoe, Chief Customer Officer, Retail Advised Insurance, MLC Life Insurance, believes UnderwriteMe will revolutionise the way life insurers assess risk, and significantly reduce the time it takes for people to get cover.

“Underwriting has traditionally been a complex and time consuming process. People typically fill out lengthy, paper-based questionnaires about their health and lifestyle history, and we use that information to determine if we approve life cover and on what terms. In some instances, because of the complexity of some health conditions and other factors, it can take a month to make a decision.

“By automating the underwriting process, we’ll be able to ask customers fewer and more relevant questions, get a more accurate assessment of their risk, and approve cover in just a few days. It is a major innovation for our industry.”

The UnderwriteMe rules engine works by using a comprehensive database of industry standard questions that assess a person’s health and lifestyle status. Based on the responses, the engine provides an instant quote on premiums for life insurance, and any indicative loadings or exclusions that might apply.

More than 6,500 medical conditions are stored on the engine, providing a huge range of data to assess a customer’s potential risk.

UnderwriteMe will create significant efficiencies for MLC Life Insurance and its business partners, including superannuation funds and financial advisers. Based on testing to date, it is expected to double straight-through acceptance rates, where customers are insured without the need for manual underwriting.

For financial advisers and planners, the engine also includes a pre-assessment tool for clients that want an instant indicative price for life insurance cover.

With nine implementations in the past 36 months, UnderwriteMe has become the leading solution in the UK. According to a recent NMG survey, it has the largest number of automated underwriting system implementations and attracted the highest satisfaction ratings from clients.

Rakesh Kaul, Director Business Development, UnderwriteMe said “Having proven our capability in the UK and Ireland, we are excited to be launching our first partnership in Australia. MLC Life Insurance is a respected and long established brand that is fast becoming an innovator in this market. We are thrilled they have chosen our software technology to help with their digital transformation.

“We look forward to playing our part in helping change the industry for the better.”

Today’s announcement follows the recent acquisition of 80 per cent of MLC Life Insurance by Nippon Life Insurance Company, the eighth largest life insurer in the world, in October 2016.

“The partnership with Pacific Re is the first in a series of innovations we are bringing to the Australia life insurance market. We are investing nearly $400 million in the latest technology and digital capabilities to better serve our customers,” continued Ms Heyhoe.

UnderwriteMe will be available across all retail advised, underwritten Bancassurance and direct life insurance products and select group insurance clients from late 2017.