Cigna: Underwriting tool will help advisers

Cigna says new underwriting technology it is adopting will help financial advisers once the OnePath business is integrated into its operations.

Wednesday, October 31st 2018, 6:00AM

The insurer signed a deal in May to acquire OnePath for $700 million.

Now Cigna has become the first New Zealand based insurer to adopt UnderwriteMe’s underwriting rules engine (URE) as a move to enhance the customer experience across New Zealand.

“Underwriting is often perceived as an overly complicated and jargon-laden process," said chief executive Gail Costa.

"UnderwriteMe’s URE is easy to use, providing real-time reporting and feedback which allows us to continuously review and refine the questions we ask – meaning a smarter and simpler underwriting experience for customers.

“The majority of customers will be provided with on-the-spot decisions,” Costa said.

She said it should mean customers were asked more human questions. It will also provide real-time reporting so that if a lot of customers struggle with the same questions, that is fed back to the insurer to address it.

Costa said it would help when OnePath merged into the business because it would work well with face-to-face distribution channels, too.

“Advisers can choose to use it or not but I expect a lot will. It makes it a good experience for their customers and ultimately better for them.

“UnderwriteMe will give Cigna a strong foundation to support future diversification of distribution channels, including independent financial advisers and insurance advisers, and development of products to meet more of New Zealand’s insurance needs.”

Costa said the process of bringing OnePath into the Cigna business was advancing well, although it was a detailed and complex process.

“Our relationship with OnePath and ANZ is really good so it makes it much easier.”

She said Cigna saw the deal as a merger rather than an acquisition because the two operations were complementary.

Tags: ANZ Cigna OnePath

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