LifeScore Labs, a division of MassMutual, and insurance technology provider iPipeline are collaborating to offer a risk model for life insurance to the general market of carriers.

LifeScore360 was developed over a period of two years in the MassMutual unit, which was created to commercialize the intellectual property that has been developed through the insurer’s Amherst, Mass.-based data science program.

The LifeScore Labs model is similar to what Allstate has done with its Arity connected-car technology company. Both incumbent insurers expect data and analytics to have a profound effect on their core markets and are looking to take the lead in shaping the future. The product has been in development for about two years, and MassMutual has been using a version of what’s being taken to market in various areas of its business already.

“What we’re trying to do with the LifeScore360 product is introduce a standards-based way to identify life insurance risk, so that we, on an industry scale, can optimize the customer experience,” says Sears Merritt, MassMutual’s chief data scientist. “We see many different players are working on bringing these types of products to market. A carrier like us has collected, over the years, a very large standards-based data set than any of the new players will have access to in the near term. Knowing that a standard risk score is inevitable in the marketplace, we can get ahead.”

A look inside MassMutual's data science lab
Digital Insurance toured MassMutual's analytics center in Amherst, Mass.

LifeScore360 ingests a lot of fairly standard life-insurance application data from applicants, third parties and medical exams, to produce an insurability score. The product also comes with a data visualization component so that underwriters, agents and customers can look at the various facets of the score and see the major impact points.

“One of the things we think is table stakes for the life insurance customer is transparency and portability of their insurability,” Merritt says. “This tool lets anyone break down their score and understand which factors helped them and which factors increased their risk score.”

Distribution partnership

Once LifeScore Labs decided it was ready to make this product available on a wide scale, the next step was making it easy for clients to integrate with it. Enter iPipeline, a provider of several technology components for life insurers. The vendor’s customer base provides a potential market for the product while also smoothing the integration process.

The score, in order to really capture the value, it needs to be integrated in the application engine and policy admin system,” Merritt says. “IPipeline offers simple way to integrate our score into those different product offering. They also have a good new business system that integrates with this quite gracefully.”

The fact that MassMutual is already an iPipeline customer and had been using the model proved that the technologies could be complementary. Kevin Kemmerer, EVP of product management for iPipeline, adds that the company was already collecting a lot of the data the model needs to work.

“One of the key value-adds [of LifeScore360] is that it uses self-reported data. We already collect that data with iGo E-app, and if you are using our UW platform, we can operationalize the score very quickly into the decisioning process,” he says.

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