As life insurance executives, actuaries and underwriters examine risk, they may want to take a look a recent study completed by LexisNexis and RGA Reinsurance Company, the principal operating subsidiary of Reinsurance Group of America.
The “Motor Vehicle Record (MVR) Mortality Study" study analyzed more than 7.4 million MVR requests and determined they are a predictive data source of an individual’s all-cause mortality—meaning one’s likelihood of dying in general, not just in a vehicle.
The research found that individuals with major violations, such as alcohol-related infractions and excessive speeding, have all-cause mortality rates that are 70 percent higher than individuals who do not. Additionally, the presence of six or more driving violations on an MVR elevates an individual’s all-cause mortality rate by 80 percent.
“Motor vehicle records can be a reliable indicator of lifestyle risk,” explained Elliott Wallace, VP, life insurance, LexisNexis. “By examining the severity and number of violations on an applicant’s MVRs, a life insurer can make more accurate pricing decisions, improve risk posture and improve underwriting efficiency.”
Individuals with high numbers of major driving violations represent the worst risks, according to the study. Having just one major violation on an MVR elevates an individual’s all-cause mortality by 51 percent; while having four or more violations elevates an individual’s all-cause mortality to more than twice that of individuals without major violations.
The results of the survey suggest that motor vehicle records likely have positive protective value across a wide spectrum of ages and face amounts for life insurance carriers. Analysis shows that MVRs offer positive protective value across genders and a wide spectrum of ages. Specifically, women have a lower incidence of adverse driving records. However, the relationship between all-cause mortality and major violations is more pronounced for women than men. Women with major driving violations face 100 percent greater all-cause mortality rates than women who do not; men with major violations have 61 percent higher all-cause mortality rates than men who do not.
For the study, LexisNexis supplied 7.4 million randomly selected MVR records from all 50 of the states and time periods for which LexisNexis is permitted to retain MVR inquiry history records and used proprietary linking technology to cross-reference these requests against the Social Security Death Master File (SSDMF); approximately 73,000 deaths were identified. Subsequently, RGA completed an actuarial mortality study, normalized the data to compensate for possible under-reporting of deaths in the SSDMF, and calculated the relative mortality ratios for various customer segments. Individuals were segmented based on clean records, minor violations or major violations. To avoid bias, major violations were pre-defined by RGA, and include alcohol- or substance-related infractions, excessive speeding, and reckless or negligent driving.
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