Product focus: XRAE from iPipeline
ABR editor Rob Kingsbury talked to Gina Cowen, director of marketing UK & Europe, iPipeline, about XRAE the underwriting tool for life insurance quotes aimed at getting clients on risk faster and more efficiently.
Getting a client on risk with the right life insurance policy can be a drawn out process for both client and adviser, which is why I was interested to learn that iPipeline, the US company that bought Assureweb, the quotation portal, back in May 2012, had launched XRAE into the UK market. The company had indicated last year that it would be bringing the product over from the States, where it has been running for over four years and currently has 20 providers processing around three million quotes a year.
XRAE is an indicative underwriting tool that captures health and lifestyle information from the client that helps determine the correct underwriting class to quoteon. Advisers can enter as little or as much information as they have available into a standardised questionnaire and get back underwriting estimates based on the unique, proprietary underwriting rules of every provider signed to thesystem. Currently there are five providers including, Ageas Protect, LV=, Bright Grey and Scottish Provident, with an announcement regarding further providers expected soon, the company says.
The immediate benefit of this type of system for advisers is that it does away with the need to ring around numerous providers to ascertain just how a client will be rated by them, enabling quotes to be obtained from the appropriate providers up front, which is going to save time for advisers and back-office staff and cost to the business.
The company says the system provides an instant decision from the multiple providers, working in real time and by showing how each provider rates that client can help the adviser set a more accurate expectation of premium and terms of cover from the outset.
The questionnaire asks for details such as height and weight, tobacco use, alcohol consumption and data on blood pressure, cholesterol and various other medical conditions and uses that to provide a single, comparative view of the appropriate underwriting class for that client.
Treating customers fairly
Gina Cowen, director of marketing UK & Europe for iPipeline, says the major benefit of the system is its ability to help advisers manage client expectations and treat customers fairly. “For example, if a client’sBMI is high, they are a heavy smoker and they drink outside the recommended limits, that would require the adviser to contact a lot of providers’ underwriting desks to verify the quotes they had received. And an initial quote obtained without the health and lifestyle questions asked by XRAE, could be very different from the final quote for the client.
“What we hear is that the drop off rate of clients going on risk is high because their initial expectations are not met. If the original quote comes in at £60 a month and once the adviser has been through the providers’ underwriting process the final premium comes in at £90, then the client could baulk at paying 50% more than they had believed they would be paying.
“Using XRAE advisers are able to manage client expectations up front at the start of the sales process and providers can benefit also by better utilise their underwriter resources for more complex enquiries,” says Cowen.
XRAE can be used also with iPipeline’s recently launched Email My Quote service, which lets advisers send a quote to their inbox and apply for a product via email.
The questionnaire needs to be completed by the adviser after sign in, which means that it cannot be pre-populated by the client, but advisers can electronically store results to provide an audit trail for compliance purposes.
XRAE is available free of charge to advisers using the Assureweb portal and it can be integrated into the systems of larger advisory firms, networks and nationals.
For more information on iPipeline go to: http://www.ipipeline.com/uk