Blood age clocks can revolutionise the insurance underwriting process

Premium service – leveraging longevity AI to track aging and effect change on a personal level.

Longevity science is becoming fundamental to life insurance; the worlds of in-depth customer biodata, personalised health regimes and hyper-individualised insurance premiums are colliding, and there is an onslaught of numbers to be crunched and predictions to be calculated. Tracking the rate of aging can be done at the molecular, cellular, tissue, organ, system, physiological and psychological levels, but how can we leverage this impressive amount of data to improve our healthspan and longevity outcomes?

Longevity.Technology: This is why we are glad to carry an opinion piece by Deepankar Nayak, the CEO of Deep Longevity, a company that is integrating multiple aging clocks to provide a universal multifactorial measure of human biological age, tracking the rate of aging to enable healthcare providers to make better decisions on the interventions that may slow down, or reverse the aging processes.

By truly understanding risk and rate of aging on a personal level, personalised underwriting will become more and more mainstream, encouraging early, effective intervention, changes to lifestyle and an overall focus on prevention over cure.

Blood age clocks can revolutionise the insurance underwriting process
by Deepankar Nayak

The Life and Health insurance industry is being rapidly transformed with the deluge of customer data. Customers are willing to share Health, Lifestyle, Medical and Biological data in a confidential manner with their insurance providers in return for better premiums. Many a times it is necessary for high-value policies. Regulations permitting, the insurance industry can adopt a personalised pricing approach from the traditional, collective risk assignment at a population level.

A breakthrough predictor: Quick, Accurate, and Live

Deep Longevity offers a portfolio of aging clocks that offers biological age predictions. The most relevant to the insurance industry is the Blood Age clock [1]. These personalized biological age predictions are an accurate estimate of current health and a good predictor of future wellbeing. The Psychological Clock is an important one as well but it will be covered at length in a follow-up article.

The Blood Age clock works by ingesting over 45 blood markers like total blood count, minerals, proteins, cholesterol, glucose etc. from a clinical blood report and predicting a Blood Age that looks to the total health profile of the user giving the insurers a concrete measure [2]. The Blood Age clock can detect smokers who are fast agers and susceptible to adverse events and early mortality.

The opportunity: Extending life (and support)

As life expectancy increases and mortality risks dips, the Life insurance industry is reaping big profits. This is an opportunity to increase top line and bottom line without incurring significant risks. There’s further opportunity to increase the pie by targeting the youth, grudging buyers and older population with appropriate analysis of risk [3].

The tiered model of underwriting, requiring medical tests like blood profile, urine, EKG in different combinations for higher value policies and for higher age groups limits the target customer base. This matrix can be tweaked with, allowing larger policies at higher age groups without significant jump in premium amounts, to attract customers if the blood age shows that the consumer is younger biologically, thereby having lower risk.

However, the number of older persons (above 65 years) is expected to double in the next 30 years [4], and as a result the number of lifestyle and behaviour linked diseases will increase significantly posing a problem for the health insurance industry. The health insurance industry will have to play a major role in maintaining and improving the health of their customers to stay profitable.

In such a scenario, proactive health management, aided with the use of biological clocks, can be the answer for insurers. Registering acceleration of aging would be the right trigger for insurance companies to communicate with their customers options of interventions that can be naturally followed like exercise, sleep, nutrition as well as ideas on supplements that can be taken after seeing a physician. Driving adherence through proactive health management (physical as well as psychological) would offer a better ROI model.

Continuous underwriting

Continuous underwriting [5] is increasingly becoming a reality as customer data is made available through wearables and other non-intrusive means. Life Insurance companies are under threat from start-ups like Lemonade, Policy Genius, Fabric, Ladder, etc. who are offering custom policies and chipping away at market share [6]. It’s only a matter of time before customers find these new platforms suiting their needs and begin drifting in larger numbers.

The challenge in front of the insurance industry is to make sense of the various health parameters to create a unified model that identifies risk at an individual level and use it in mainstream underwriting to provide highly personalized plans.

Biological clocks, like the Blood Age clock, can again be useful in quantifying overall health into a single number and highlighting risks associated with a higher pace of aging.