By Susan Cornett, FMLI, AIRC, CFE and James Vallee, FSA, MAAA
P&C insurance carriers recognize the opportunity to expand product lines and increase revenue by expanding into Accident & Health products. However, the differences between P&C and A&H product development are significant and what applies to P&C may not apply to A&H from a regulatory standpoint. Understanding those differences will allow P&C carriers to enter the A&H market with faster speed-to-market along with high-quality products.
During decades of providing insurance product development and actuarial support for insurance companies across the US, Perr&Knight has zeroed in on a low-risk A&H entry product for P&C: blanket accident policies.
Commercial entities, schools, universities, and other organizations often need supplemental blanket A&H policies to fill gaps in medical coverage to further support their staff or students. With fewer mandated benefits, these policies are the perfect starting place for P&C companies looking to break into the A&H market and provide additional coverage options to existing clients. Blanket Accident policies also fit nicely with General Liability policies and allow brokers/agents to offer comprehensive insurance protection from a single carrier.
Established P&C carriers may think they have the requisite experience to develop A&H coverages. However, a few significant differences between these two types of insurance product development are worth noting.
P&C carriers eager to enter A&H should know a few basic things before moving forward. Here are the most commonly asked questions from P&C insurers.
“Does our license cover A&H?” Short answer, maybe. P&C carriers may already have the ability to write A&H lines of business depending on what is included in their Certificate of Authority. Licensing requirements vary by state. Our licensing experts can help determine whether anything additional is needed. There are important differences in insurance product development and approvals, even for supplemental health policies, so P&C carriers should proceed with caution even if currently licensed to write the business.
“Can we offer blanket A&H on a non-admitted basis?” Simply, no. In the world of A&H, the concept of surplus lines is virtually non-existent. Companies may develop an A&H program thinking it will be available under surplus coverage guidelines, but state export lists rarely include any A&H coverage. The consequences for non-compliance can be steep and may jeopardize a company’s good reputation with state regulators.
“Can we ‘me too’ our A&H policy development?” Unlike P&C, “me too”-ing rating information from competitors’ existing programs is generally not acceptable. Different requirements for rate filing and support are a prime example of a P&C process that has no transferable correlation to A&H.
After developing a blanket accident policy, companies can easily expand into other supplemental health lines. After getting your feet wet with blanket accident, product lines such as hospital indemnity, critical illness, disability income insurance, and gap medical generally follow the same product development process.
Developing a blanket accident policy may seem straightforward on the surface, but there are lots of opportunities to fall into little-known traps. Partnering with experienced insurance product development partners like Perr&Knight can save P&C carriers from wasting time and money on mistakes.
With our deep experience providing insurance product development and actuarial support services for carriers across both P&C and A&H lines, our professionals act as the “decoder ring” between the two. Working with knowledgeable professionals helps insurance companies step into a new world with greater confidence and ease.