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Why does the insurance company want your selfie?

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Why does the insurance company want your selfie_.png

Anyone familiar with the process of purchasing life insurance knows that initial procedure tends to be slow. Applicants need to fill out forms, conduct phone interviews, and attend medical exams. The total time to secure a policy can regularly take several months.

Recent studies suggest that consumers are not happy with the status quo. One trade group found that only 42 percent of consumers are willing to wait one month for coverage to begin. This number plummeted to 18 percent when asked about waiting two months for coverage.

Consumer backlash is affecting insurance company profits. One study found that the number of purchased life insurance policies sold has dropped from 17.7 million in 1984 to 9.4 million in 2016.

More life insurers' are exploring new techniques to shorten the buying process. Streamlined practices have been developed to include statistical models, additional data analysis, and artificial intelligence.

Reports indicate that many insurers are now testing technology that would actually examine "selfies". The new method will allow insurance companies to use facial analytics to estimate life expectancy.

The selfie process could eliminate the need for a medical exam, allowing the customer to purchase the policy once the selfie is analyzed and records are pulled from online databases.

The selfie technology is still in its testing phase. Life insurance companies need to secure state approval before deployment in the underwriting process.

Is the new selfie technology something you'd consider if it meant providing you with a faster quote?

Source: USA Today, "How your selfie could affect your life insurance," Barbara Marquand, April 25, 2017

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