iPipeline has updated its base underwriting philosophy within the SSG Digital Platform’s underwriting component.

As well as incorporating recent changes that have been made in the market around mental health and COVID-19, the update also reflects latest thinking on automated decisions and reducing the need for medical evidence referral where it is no longer required.

The updated philosophy will support and benefit protection providers who use the underwriting component of iPipeline’s end-to-end SSG Digital Platform, which can be deployed individually or as part of a full quote-to-claim solution.

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The SSG Digital Platform sits behind over 30% of protection business sold in the UK.

With the underwriting component, insurers have the flexibility to amend as much or as little of the base philosophy as is appropriate for them, and existing users who have done this have achieved straight through processing and acceptance rates.

This update hopes to allow new provider users to tailor the philosophy to their specific needs more easily, further improving customer experience, online acceptance rates and policy take up.

The new base philosophy has been developed in partnership with Andrew Wibberley, director at Alea Risk.

Ian Teague, UK group managing director at iPipeline, said: “Updating the base philosophy enables existing providers to meet their underwriting needs in a fast-changing market.

“It is particularly vital to drive productivity and meet the needs of customers in a mid and post-COVID world, especially as we see the potentially long COVID impact on individuals and reduced NHS screening and visits alongside the mental health consequences of the pandemic.

“We recognise that it’s not a case of one size fits all and therefore flexibility is key to maintain and increase the automated acceptance rates that the SSG Digital Platform achieves.

“It is a unique proposition because providers can apply their own underwriting philosophies on top of this updated base philosophy.”

Andrew Wibberley, director at Alea Risk, added: “We have updated the base philosophy to reflect the changing needs of customers and insurers.

“This enables insurers to start from a reasonable and consistent approach and to efficiently tailor areas where required.

“We have structured questions with the customer at front of mind to ensure that questions are asked in an appropriate and sensitive manner, and to reduce the occasions on which they will need to be contacted again later in the process.”