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Underwriting Coronary Artery Disease Cases Part II: The evidence you need to identify the disease

Jul 27, 2016 3:16:56 PM / by Karen McLeod posted in Underwriting


In part one of this series I brought you back in time to the good ol’ game of Operations to lay out the foundation of what to look for when underwriting coronary artery disease (CAD). We even made it halfway through the game! I walked you through the instructions (the ‘must-know’ list for CAD), set up the board game (looking at the bigger cardiac picture and understanding anatomy) and then we started the operating game, carefully identifying when the buzzer was most likely to go off (knowing the red flags and risk factors to look for). Now you are in full game mode AKA ready to actually identify coronary artery disease, accurately assess it and of course master cases as an underwriter. Let’s dive right in!

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Key Ingredients to a Successful Reinsurance System Upgrade or Migration

Jul 26, 2016 9:48:54 AM / by Jacqueline Barrett posted in Reinsurance


From my last blog you know that planning a reinsurance system migration is similar to hosting a dinner party. I walked you through the key stages of planning to ensure you have the resources, budget and stakeholder objectives in place to execute a migration successfully. Now it is time to go through the key ingredients that will make it all come together.

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Underwriting Coronary Artery Disease Part I: What You Need to Look For

Jul 25, 2016 2:58:38 PM / by Karen McLeod

Do you remember the game Operations? You know the one where you carefully operate on Sam without setting off the buzzer? Remember the excitement of seeing all the ailments to cure, some easier than others. But that dare devil in you always went for the really hard ones! As you get close to saving your patient Sam, one of two things happen 1) SUCCESS you got the ailment, you cured Sam or 2) The failing sounds of the buzzer goes off (along with your dreams of being a surgeon).

Okay maybe that’s a bit dramatic, but as underwriters we have a similar experience when we first open a file. Every case is comparable to Sam on the operating table - it’s our job to identify ailments and some are always going to be harder than others. One of the more challenging diseases is definitely Coronary Artery Disease (CAD). Let’s just say in the world of Operations it would earn you 1000 points!

So how can you successfully identify CAD as an underwriter? Below I walk you through the key steps and to bring back some memories - I approach it like a game of Operations.

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Why Your Reinsurance System Upgrade or Migration is like Hosting a Dinner Party

Jul 19, 2016 11:50:48 AM / by Jacqueline Barrett

Great food, tasty drinks and even better company – sounds like a perfect dinner party to me! But have you ever hosted one yourself? If yes, you know how much work goes into serving an incredible multi-course meal, (that is perfectly timed) within your budget all the while making sure your guests are having a great time! So what exactly does this have to do with reinsurance system upgrades or migrations? Well you might be surprised to learn that the steps that go into planning and creating a multi course meal for guests are similar to the steps that go into migrating from one system to another. I’ll show you exactly how below.

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What do I need to know about Critical Illness Insurance?

Jul 19, 2016 11:11:37 AM / by Fernanda Rodriguez posted in Underwriting, Claims, Critical Illness

As a claims professional, I come across critical illness cases regularly. And while Critical Illness Insurance (CI) has been in the market for over 30 years, did you know that it is still considered by many to be in its infancy stage? This may seem shocking , but in fact, 30 years is considered to be relatively short compared to overall life insurance which has been around since the 18th century.

Given the early stages that CI is in, compared to other life insurance products currently in the market, many people don’t have a comprehensive understanding the protection it offers and its value. Given that advances in medicine are allowing us to live longer, CI was designed to protect consumers against unforeseen critical illnesses. Think you need to ramp up your knowledge on Critical Illness Insurance?  My three-part series will cover current trends, the difference between CI and Life and Disability Insurance and the challenges you may face with CI claims. To kick things off, I’ll start with where it originated from.

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3 Tips for Improving YOUR File Documentation Skills

Jul 18, 2016 10:22:23 AM / by John Bilodeau posted in Underwriting

Overcoming Challenges of Attending Physician Statements: Part II

In the first part of this blog I outlined the importance of file documentation for underwriters and why Attending Physician Statements can sometimes be a challenge to process.  Since APS can range in terms of format and complexity of issue – it’s important to keep in mind the following:

  • Write out your decision and reasoning (versus abbreviated format)
  • Don’t compromise efficiency for clarity

While these are definitely a good starting point for proper file documentation, your process and style should evolve throughout your underwriting career. Here are three tips for continuous file documentation improvement.

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Why You Need to Invest in Reinsurance Quality Control Processes

Jul 13, 2016 11:25:00 AM / by Farzaneh Mashhadian posted in Reinsurance

Have you ever tried booking a flight or vacation that was advertised for a great price, only to find out at check-out that an error occurred with their system and it was showing the wrong price? What about something as simple as going to a restaurant and getting served the wrong meal despite being specific when you ordered? In both instances, at some point in the process, the wrong data was transmitted in the system, creating a disappointing experience for you.

Now imagine this data mishap occurring in a reinsurance setting. What would happen if treaties were set up incorrectly and policies weren’t being administered according to treaty parameters? This could lead to incorrect Net Amount At Risk (NAR), product mapping, reinsurance premium rate and allowance percentages. And if you aren’t already thinking it… THERE COULD BE HUGE FINANCIAL IMPACT that comprises your ability to manage risk effectively. 

That is why data quality and compliance is so critical to all parties involved in reinsurance. So how can you reduce the risk of major financial disasters and ensure data accuracy? By investing in quality control processes. Here is why.

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[How to] Accommodate Overflow During Times of Peak Underwriting Volume

Jun 30, 2016 2:29:07 PM / by Miguel Ceron posted in Underwriting, Industry News

Speaking to our clients on a regular basis provides me with great insight as to what trends are going on in the marketplace and more importantly, some of the challenges the industry is currently facing. One common denominator that is prevalent among many of our underwriting clients is the anticipated increase of life insurance sales, which can place a strain on back office resources and affect the desired time service levels an insurer provides to their clients.

There are a number of factors that can result in production underwriting overflow:

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Underwriting HIV Series Part III:  Building a Qualified Team

Jun 30, 2016 9:25:16 AM / by Bill Berthiaume posted in Underwriting, Life Insurance

With the recent news of a major Canadian Life Insurance Company offering coverage to individuals with HIV, our three-part-blog series has explored various elements of how this major change affects the industry, companies and underwriters alike. While we discussed how to switch the perspective of an underwriter as well as the intricacies & concerns for underwriting HIV+ clients - we haven’t addressed the impact on an underwriting team.

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[Underwriting HIV Series] The Intricacies & Concerns for HIV+ Clients

Jun 28, 2016 12:53:36 PM / by Elliott Dickson posted in Underwriting

My colleague recently explored how to change the traditional mindset of life underwriters when assessing the risk of an HIV positive individual. This is just one of the elements the underwriting industry has been tasked to address with the recent introduction of HIV coverage.  Today, I am taking a different angle of this hot topic to explore the intricacies and concerns for underwriting HIV+ cases.

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