Numerous health professionals have called vaccinations one of the greatest advances in medicine in the last two centuries. Bits of inactivated virus or synthesized viral DNA are put into the bloodstream, and the body’s immune system gets in some target practice. Indeed, it is something of a scientific and immunologic marvel. Given this achievement in science, why is a growing subset of the population turning their backs on vaccines, and how will that impact the life underwriting industry?
If you grew up in North America in the 1980s, there’s a good chance you’re familiar with, or even watched, the wrestling television program called the World Wrestling Federation (WWF). This sports show included popular wrestlers Hulk Hogan and “Macho Man” Randy Savage. Many of these athletes were larger than life, but one redefined the term “giant.” André Rene Roussinoff, better known by his ring name André the Giant, stood 7’4” (224 cm) with a billed weight of 520lbs (236 kg). He appeared ginormous in the ring, and as a kid, I figured he was just a huge person. In fact, Andre the Giant suffered from a rare endocrine condition called Gigantism that causes abnormal growth during childhood and adolescence.
The medications we take control our ailments and make us feel better, but what many patients don’t know is that the pills they take may not be approved for their condition. After all, in the US, Canada, and the UK once a medication is approved to treat a condition, a physician can legally prescribe it for any other purpose. This medical practice of writing prescriptions for non-approved medication is called off-label prescribing or off-label drug use. Off-label prescribing is widespread in medicine: some estimates place the rate of all off-label prescriptions as high as 20%, with psychiatric drugs alone at 31%.
The new year offers a fresh start for everyone to set new goals and achieve new heights in their personal and professional lives. Life underwriters looking to get a jump on their career goals and refresh their knowledge can turn to our Underwriting Expert Series. With tips straight from industry experts, we unpack underwriting trends and challenges and offer a deep dive on the unique challenges that underwriters face.
Get ready for the year ahead by reading 16 articles that helped underwriters excel and underwrite with confidence last year:
The huge variety of products, special cases, and unique considerations that underwriters face every day make it an exciting but challenging industry to keep up with. Our expert series aims to make it a little easier by providing resources straight from industry experts on the topics that underwriters are facing now.
Critical illness (CI) insurance is an area that life underwriters face that can be complex and involve detailed review to get right. Karen McLeod, Senior Underwriter & Learning Specialist, shares her advice and top tips how to approach critical illness as a life underwriter.
Diabetes has been a longstanding area of interest for life underwriters. The Centre for Disease Control estimates that more than 30 million Americans have diabetes. The numbers appear to be rising, and it’s estimated that as many as 80 million Americans are living with prediabetes – the condition that typically leads to type II diabetes within five years. The numbers are impactful, especially since nearly 1 in 4 people with prediabetes are undiagnosed.
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.
Welcome to our thirteenth installment of our Underwriting Expert Series. Check out the full series for more risk assessment tips. This week, our Senior Underwriter, Karen McLeod provides the essential knowledge you need to know as a life underwriter with regards to Concussions for Critical Illness (CI) and Life Insurance. Let's get right into it!