Gen Re pilots selfie-based life insurance underwriting

Gen Re has launched a prototype allowing consumers to purchase insurance by using facial analytics.

Using Lapetus Solutions' Janus technology, the capability allows applicants purchase life, hospital cash or accidental death insurance by uploading a selfie from their smartphone. The engine calculates an estimation of age, gender and BMI to generate a premium.

The technology is bundled in an app branded "NOW" and is being tested in English, Korean, Japanese, Spanish, Chinese, Portuguese and Russian for the Asian market. The NOW app allows policyholders to self-manage their accounts, allowing “booking” on specific days for coverage.

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Tim Cook, chief executive officer of Apple Inc., right, stands for a selfie photograph with a customer during the sales launch for the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus at the Apple Inc. store in Palo Alto, California, U.S., on Friday, Sept. 19, 2014. Apple Inc.'s stores attracted long lines of shoppers for the debut of the latest iPhones, indicating healthy demand for the bigger-screen smartphones. The larger iPhone 6 Plus is already selling out at some stores across the U.S. Photographer: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg *** Local Caption *** Tim Cook

“Besides its effect on speed and efficiency, we view the facial analytics module as a gamification feature that brings a more human focus to the onboarding process and attracts and motivates an increasingly tech-savvy audience, says Dr. Dirk Nieder, Gen Re’s Regional Director for Life/Health in North East Asia.

Lapetus' technology has also been tested by Legal and General Insurance, whose SelfieQuote.com site has been used for customer engagement, but not to bind a policy.

“Gen Re understands the power of innovation and the launch of our NOW app is testament to our commitment to bringing the best ideas in the Insurtech space to our clients in order to develop insurance solutions that meet the expectations of today’s tech-savvy and time-pressed consumers,” added Dr. Winfried Heinen, Chairman of Executive Board of General Reinsurance AG.

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