Japan’s SBI-AXA Life Insurance Co. Ltd. has launched a new processing system for life insurance applications. This will allow faster applications and lead to a higher acceptance rate. The new system is based on an underwriting rules engine (URE) from Allfinanz and Munich Re’s Japanese underwriting rules set. It is the first of its kind in the Japanese life insurance industry, says the company.

SBI-AXA is Japan’s first direct-to-consumer life insurer to use the Internet to collect data from applicants. It is also the first life insurer in Japan to use Allfinanz’s URE to support the new business process. The company had been seeking ways to improve the acceptance rate of its application process, and opted for the Allfinanz system in January 2009, after a rigorous selection process. The implementation project began in February 2009, taking just eight months from decision to launch.

The new system uses drill-down questions, developed by Munich Re, to obtain deeper disclosure data concerning the insurance applications. This means SBI-AXA will now be able to decline fewer, and accept more, life insurance applications. The move will also play a major role in improving customer satisfaction.

“By introducing this system, we are now able to underwrite more precisely and accept more applications” said Toshiaki Suzuki, executive officer & general manager customer service department at SBI-AXA. “This will help our customers and our own growth prospects.”

“We are excited to have contributed to this dramatic development in the Japanese life insurance market” commented Yoichi Hayashi, Allfinanz’s head of business development in Japan. “With the most customizable solution available in the market today, our clients have an enormous advantage in the competitive field of life insurance. This product allows them to be faster and more efficient while maintaining excellent underwriting risk management and maximum consistency. The combination of the leading-edge technology from Allfinanz, together with Munich Re’s global reach and risk management skills will add significant value to their business.”

Patrick Sallin, general manager of Munich Re Japan Services K.K., Life department comments: “The system’s underwriting rule set was developed by Munich Re and has been fully customized for the Japanese market by Munich Re’s Life Department in Tokyo. The rules have been adapted to the local Japanese practice, language and tailored to SBI-AXA’s specific risk acceptance philosophy. They cover hundreds of impairments and thousands of different underwriting scenarios to increase the ability of decision making at point-of-sale and therefore the acceptance rate.”

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