05 September 2017, Wellington
A Kiwi innovation is delivering instant healthcare cover for individuals, a service not available until now. A New Zealand and world first, the online service has been launched today by Accuro Health Insurance, a New Zealand owned not for profit health insurance provider.
“With waiting times getting longer and tight DHB budgets, it is becoming harder for Kiwis to receive all the essential health care they need, when they need it. That’s where health insurance comes in,” says Geoff Annals, CEO of Accuro.
“Until now, even if it was easy to get a generic instant quote, buying health insurance meant filling in lots of forms and extra questions. Then usually there was a wait for days until you found out what your health insurance policy would actually cover and what it would cost. And until you signed-up your acceptance of the offer you were still not actually covered. Phew!”
“With this new service, called HUGO, anyone can complete a simple guided questionnaire online and in many cases will get an instant, fully underwritten, personalised offer and cover that starts from the moment they click their acceptance,” Geoff Annals says. “That’s not only much quicker and much easier. It also takes away a lot of the worry and uncertainty.”
The key to the service, named HUGO (Health Underwriting Goes live), is a new intelligent underwriting engine. This guides users through a series of simple questions, but ‘under the hood’ is a complex system that only asks the questions needed, saving on pages of form filling, while going into detail where necessary. The innovation was developed by a partnership of New Zealand companies; Accuro, Intelligent Life and Quotemonster.
“This new automated analysis and underwriting system is something previously in the ‘too hard basket’ for health insurance, with many thousands of possible combinations. It is far more complex than life or car insurance, for example,” says Ed Saul, Director at Intelligent Life, the New Zealand company specialising in developing innovative solutions for the life and health insurance industry. “There’s a lot of business intelligence behind delivering such a simple to use system.”
A significant proportion of applicants will be able to access an instant offer and cover for their healthcare insurance. Applications identified by the intelligent underwriting system as possibly requiring extra attention will be sent to an experienced, human underwriter.
“The innovation also allows us to respond faster and better than ever before. And it means our skilled underwriters are freed up to spend more time on to the more complex applications so these applications can also be responded to faster and better while the automated system instantly handles applications that used to clog our underwriters’ in-trays,” adds Geoff Annals.
“This new HUGO service from Accuro delivers a one stop, accurate healthcare insurance service which is a major step forward for financial advisors and a world first for the industry,” says Alan Rafe, co-founder of Quality Product Research, the name behind the Quotemonster brand.
The new HUGO service is available today to members of the public and financial advisers in New Zealand via the Accuro Quote Tool.