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ExamRight: American General Life Companies.

What It Is

The traditional paramedical paper exam, commonly referred to as Part B or Part II of a life insurance application packet, was digitized. American General originated the concept of replacing a paper Part B with an electronic Part B in 2007. "With a digital Part B, we believed we could dramatically improve 'In Good Order' submissions, remove complexities inherent with paperwork and provide better information to underwriting. Our trademarked name for the digital Part B is ExamRight. APPS Paramedical Services, (which American General partnered with) refers to it as SMART Paramed. Our focus now has been integrating a digital Part A with ExamRight as well as working with other paramedical companies that are now adopting their version of a digital Part B."

Why It Is Different

* Leveraged newer technology not previously used for paramedical examiner interviews or mature enough to be price-competitive and reliable including netbook computers, cellular air cards, user screens and databases on the Internet.

* The partnership is across multiple parties. American General teamed with the paramedical company, APPS Paramedical, and the software vendor, Applicint Software, for the shared investment, design of the process, tool specification and marketing.

* It introduced electronic signature on the netbook for the policyholder, allowing the client to sign digitally instead of using a wet signature.

How They Did It

In January 2008, American General conducted a pilot with APPS in Houston and notified other exam providers of their plans to remove paper from the paramedical process. No other paramedical providers were interested. The pilot was successful based upon usability by the paramedic, improved 'In Good Order' submissions and feedback on the quality of the applications. A few months later, the pilot was expanded to all 50 states.

Measuring Success

* American General's underwriting department concluded from the results of a formal 2010 protective value study that exams completed on ExamRight delivered higher-quality information than what is provided on paper-based exams.

* Application errors were reduced.

* Three other exam companies and six other insurance carriers have since adopted similar system, customized for their forms and business rules. The speed of industry adoption has accelerated over the past three years, which not only reflects high degree of interest and need, but also confidence in the results.

* All staff using the documentation found that the electronically populated documents that are completed in their entirety are easier to read and make their daily work run more smoothly.

Expert Review

"This is a winner! innovation is best when it is simple in concept, meets a need, improves efficiency, reduces cost and benefits all stakeholders. The action by American General to leverage technology to electronically complete the paramedical Part B process meets all of these criteria and more. True innovation can often be identified by the ferocity of those who oppose it or fail to recognize its value. Further confirmation of the innovative nature of the American General approach is that the idea was initially rejected by all but one of the paramedical firms approached.

The use of technology to electronically complete this process in a faster, safer, less costly and more convenient way to collect the needed information and is a true innovation that will prove its worth."


Bob MacDonald, principal in his own consulting firm, CTW, in Minneapolis.
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Title Annotation:INNOVATORS SHOWCASE: Life Underwriting
Comment:ExamRight: American General Life Companies.(INNOVATORS SHOWCASE: Life Underwriting)
Publication:Best's Review
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jan 1, 2012
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