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Elliott Dickson

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Lung Cancer, Non-smokers, and Risk Analysis for Life Underwriters: Expert Series Week 14

Oct 19, 2018 9:07:00 AM / by Elliott Dickson posted in Underwriting Expert Series, Life Underwriting

In this edition of our Underwriters Expert Series, we’re uncovering the risks associated with lung cancer – beyond cigarettes. Learn about other causes of this fatal disease and why life underwriters need to look at more than smoking status for assessment.

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Accounting for Abnormal Kidney Function in Younger Ages – Expert Series Week 6

Apr 6, 2018 9:31:33 AM / by Elliott Dickson posted in Underwriting Expert Series, Life Underwriting

Thanks for joining the sixth week of our Underwriting Expert Series. So far, you’ve learned about several key concepts for life underwriters including underwriting mature ages, the impact of marijuana and the opioid crisis on insurance. This week, Senior Underwriter, Elliott Dickson explores abnormal kidney functions in younger ages.

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Global Trends in Life Insurance [Part 2] How are insurers approaching millennials?

Sep 6, 2017 4:43:17 PM / by Elliott Dickson posted in Underwriting

 In Part 1 of our Global Trends in Life Insurance series, we looked at product innovations in wearable tech, the offering of coverage to HIV-afflicted clients and the switching to non-smoker class rates for marijuana users. In Part 2 of this series, we will focus on millenials and wearable technnology trends, as well as quicker and simple medical testing that can provide instant results.

When it comes to innovation in the life insurance space, developing products that attract the millennial generation seems to be a major trend in the US. And it is something that will likely expand to other areas of the world as the millennial generation gains more buying power. Nonetheless it is definitely on our radar for global trends in life insurance product innovations.

While our friends at Cookhouse Lab are currently tackling this challenge in an innovation sprint, I am going to look at what is currently happening in the market.

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Global Trends in Life Insurance Product Innovations

Aug 25, 2017 1:18:26 PM / by Elliott Dickson posted in Underwriting

The speed of the life insurance industry can be excruciatingly slow. But as new technology emerges, the more agile insurers will move to harness it in the hopes of enhancing existing product lines or constructing new ones altogether. So too is there a need to attract new markets and generations to buy in to life insurance – the baby boomer population is aging, and perhaps that pool of insurance clients has become a bit exhausted.

With the vast majority of the insured population being over the age of 451, the focus must eventually shift to a younger demographic. What are some of the ways that insurers are approaching this? What new products are being employed to appeal to older or substandard risk populations? In this blog I’ll explore what’s making waves in the sea of life insurance ahead.

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What Tests Should Underwriters Reference for Liver Function?

Apr 19, 2017 10:37:18 AM / by Elliott Dickson posted in Underwriting


This is Part III of our Underwriting Liver Function Blog Series

If you tuned into  part II of this liver function series, you had the chance to join the first half of our sing-a-long playlist. And more importantly, learn some of the key tests underwriters should be aware of when working on liver function cases.  Now, let’s wrap up this sing-a-long with a final list of tests all underwriters should reference when underwriting liver function. Get your vocal cords ready!
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Underwriter’s Guide to Measuring Liver Function [A Sing-A-long]

Apr 13, 2017 5:09:27 PM / by Elliott Dickson posted in Underwriting

This is Part II  of our Underwriting Liver Function Blog Series

Remember when the movie Sound of Music taught us ‘when you read you begin with A-B-C and when you sing you begin with Do-Re-Mi’? Even if you haven’t seen the movie I am sure you remember using the ABC song to learn the alphabet. The moral of the story is that songs were and are used to make learning key concepts easier. I figured, why not find out if singing a song (even if it’s in your head) can help underwriters remember key tests to conduct when underwriting liver function. Sounds a little crazy I know, but you’ll be singing along with me in no time!

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Does My Doctor Know How Much I Really Drink?!

Mar 10, 2017 12:14:49 PM / by Elliott Dickson posted in Underwriting

This is Part I of our Underwriting Liver Function Blog Series.

Picture this. You are visiting the doctor for a check-up, answering a slew of questions to help them understand your current state of health. Waiting slowly but surely for that dreaded question (at least for some of us!) to come up... 'How many drinks do you have on average per week?'. At the risk of sounding 'unhealthy' you fudge the numbers slightly - perhaps subtract one or two or four.

Sound like a familiar confession? Perhaps you leave the appointment thinking - does my doctor really know how much I drink? We'll, I can't speak from a doctor's perspective, but as a life underwriter, this information is something I care about getting to the bottom of. This information is critical to our profession in order to be able to determine over-consumption of alcohol  and its effect on the liver.

I'll be sharing a series of blogs on underwriting liver function to provide fellow underwriters with an informative summary of tests to evaluate liver disorders, and what you can infer from them. But before I dive in, let’s answer the question that is on your mind.

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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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Underwriting Foreign Markets Part II - Considering Differences in the Asia Pacific Market

Jun 9, 2016 12:30:00 PM / by Elliott Dickson posted in Underwriting

In Part I of this mini-series I provided some quick tips every underwriter should know when underwriting a new demographic. With the rise of globalization - it’s becoming more and more likely that underwriters will have to adjust to foreign markets. Which is why I felt this was an important topic to cover. To recap, underwriting a new market successfully, involves embracing differences, learning the rules and being open to new experiences. Now that you have the right approach, let’s apply it to a specific region that’s been of growing interest to the insurance world: The Asia Pacific Market.

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Underwriting Foreign Markets Part I - Four Tips for Conducting Business in a New Culture

May 31, 2016 7:45:12 PM / by Elliott Dickson posted in Underwriting

The globalization trend has yielded new prospects for insurers and reinsurers alike. Many companies have set their eyes on exploring new markets such as South and Central Americas, the Middle East, and both South and East Asia. Advancements in technology make these markets more and more accessible and these new demographics provide underwriters with exciting new opportunities.

BUT underwriting a new demographic also means you are venturing into a new culture. This means different expectations, ways of doing business and ways of life in general. Having had experience in underwriting a new market, I’ve come to think of it as a similar experience to travelling to a new country. There’s a whole lot of learning, adjusting and embracing to do. To get you prepared for your next foreign market experience I’ve put together Four Tips for Conducting Business in a New Culture. Whether you are an underwriter or not – consider my advice below to ensure success in conducting business in a new culture.

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