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As the old adage goes, “a picture is worth a thousand words.” Now, a simple selfie could be worth your entire life insurance policy.

Recently, several life insurance companies entered the beginning stages of testing Lapetus Solutions’ product, Chronos, which employs facial analytics, biodemographic information, and evolving life event data to aid in determining applicants’ individual life expectancies. Such detailed information would optimize the task of sifting through applications and setting premium rates.

However, such technologies would not be useful just for life underwriters. On the contrary, they would also speed up customers’ application processes by eliminating the need for invasive physical examinations and the long waiting period that typically follows.

Here is how this digitized process would work:

An applicant would submit a selfie along with a brief questionnaire regarding their medical history, ethnic background, and demographic information. Once submitted, facial analytics will scan hundreds of points on your face, determining not only your physical age, but your physiological age (how old you look in comparison to how old you are) as well.

After this step, the application is combined with any other information the agency may find (i.e., prescription drug histories, automobile records, etc.) to give the most accurate projection possible. If approved for coverage, the applicant would be able to purchase a life insurance policy immediately from their smartphone or computer. All elements included, Lapetus anticipates this updated process would take a mere 10 minutes.

Additionally, Lapetus has been striving to improve the scope and capabilities of facial analytics technology, especially in regards to detecting early physical signs of diabetes, heart disease, and even dementia.

However, like every other technological advance, Chronos has its drawbacks. Experts are especially wary about adopting this technology so quickly after its release, since just one programming glitch or fault could result in inaccurate health and risk predictions — which would ultimately lead to compromised policies. This is why only a handful companies have chosen to dive into testing the technology, as opposed to taking the more common slow and cautious approach.
That being said, it is unlikely that Chronos will be officially integrated into the insurance industry in the foreseeable future, seeing as it requires state regulatory approval first.