Insurance

Method of calculating a premium payable by an insured person on a life insurance policy

Insurance Abstract
A method of calculating a premium payable by an insured person on a life insurance policy uses the amount of claims made from a health insurance plan of the insured person and information regarding the general well-being and/or lifestyle of the insured person to calculate the premium payable. The premium is calculated using a base percentage amount which is then either increased or decreased. If the insured person has made few claims to the health insurance plan and they have taken positive steps to look after their health, they will be rewarded by a relatively lower premium on their life insurance policy.

Insurance Claims
We claim:

1. A method of calculating a premium payable by an insured person on a life insurance policy, the method comprising the steps of: obtaining first information regarding the claims made from a health insurance plan of the insured person; obtaining second information regarding the general well-being and/or lifestyle of the insured person; and using the first and second information to calculate the amount of the premium payable.

2. A method according to claim 1, wherein the first information is the amount of claims made from the health insurance plan.

3. A method according to claim 1 wherein the second information is obtained by: defining a plurality of health related facilities and/or services; offering the facilities and/or services to the insured person; monitoring the use of the facilities and/or services by the insured person; and allocating points to the insured person depending on the use of the facilities and/or services by the insured person, wherein the second information is the amount of points allocated to the insured person.

4. A method according to claim 3 wherein the plurality of health related facilities and/or services includes at least one of the group consisting of a membership of health clubs, membership of gymnasiums, membership of fitness programmes, weight-loss programmes, programmes to quit smoking and preventive medical procedures.

5. A method according to any claim 1 wherein the premium payable is calculated at least annually.

6. A method according to claim 5 wherein the annual calculation is comprised of two components, a first component being a pre-agreed increase and a second component being a further increase or decrease determined by the first and second information.

7. A method according to claim 6 wherein the annual calculation has a pre-agreed maximum amount.

8. The method according to claim 7 wherein the maximum amount is related to other life insurance products available.

Insurance Description
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0001] This invention relates to a method of calculating a premium payable by an insured person on a life insurance policy.

[0002] Typical life insurance policies include a premium which is either payable monthly or annually. The premium increases by an amount which is typically calculated annually and which is normally related to inflation.

[0003] It is an object of the present invention to provide an alternative method of calculating the premium payable

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0004] According to the present invention there is provided a method of calculating a premium payable by an insured person on a life insurance policy, the method comprising the steps of:

[0005] obtaining first information regarding the claims made from a health insurance plan of the insured person;

[0006] obtaining second information regarding the general well-being and/or lifestyle of the insured person; and

[0007] using the first and second information to calculate the amount of the premium payable.

[0008] The first information may be the amount of claims made from the health insurance plan.

[0009] The second information is preferably obtained by:

[0010] defining a plurality of health related facilities and/or services;

[0011] offering the facilities and/or services to the insured person;

[0012] monitoring the use of the facilities and/or services by the insured person; and

[0013] allocating points to the insured person depending on the use of the facilities and/or services by the insured person, wherein the second information is the amount of points allocated to the insured person.

[0014] The plurality of health related facilities and/or services may include at least one of the group consisting of a membership of health clubs, membership of gymnasiums, membership of fitness programmes, weight-loss programmes, programmes to quit smoking and preventive medical procedures.

[0015] The premium payable is typically calculated at least annually.

[0016] The annual calculation is preferably comprised of two components, a first component being a pre-agreed increase and a second component being a further increase or decrease determined by the first and second information.

[0017] The annual calculation may have a pre-agreed maximum amount, which maximum amount is related to other life insurance products available.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

[0018] The method of calculating a premium payable by an insured person on a life insurance policy according to the present invention is aimed at encouraging the insured person to adopt a healthy lifestyle.

[0019] Life insurance policies are well known where an insured person pays a premium, typically a monthly premium, to an insurance company. If the insured person dies, the insurance company pays out a pre-agreed amount to the beneficiaries of the life insurance policy.

[0020] These insurance policies are normally straightforward and the monthly premium is calculated based on the amount of insurance that the insured person has purchased. The premium is then recalculated annually to take such factors as inflation and automatic annual benefit increases into account.

[0021] The present invention seeks to calculate the premiums payable by the insured person in a different manner which is aimed at encouraging the insured person to adopt a healthy lifestyle. This healthy lifestyle manifests in improved mortality which can be passed on to the insured person as a premium reduction.

[0022] Accordingly, different criteria are introduced, and the premium payable is calculated based on these criteria. The criteria used are as follows.

[0023] First information is obtained from the insured person regarding the claims made to a health insurance plan of the insured person. The health insurance plan may be a traditional indemnity health insurance plan of the insured person or may be another type of health insurance plan.

[0024] It is envisaged that the present invention will be more easily implemented where the life insurers are somehow associated with the health insurers in order to facilitate the ease of transfer of information. However, it will be appreciated that this is not essential for the present invention.

[0025] The first information preferably more specifically relates to the amount of claims that the insured person has made from their health insurance plan. As will be explained below in more detail, the premium payable on the life insurance policy will be calculated to be relatively higher if the amount of claims made from the health insurance plan are relatively higher. The premium payable on the life insurance policy will be calculated to be relatively lower if the amount of claims made from the health insurance plan are relatively lower. In actuarial terms, this means that the premium can be priced on "Select" mortality rates for a longer duration than traditional pricing, before moving to "Ultimate" mortality rates.

[0026] Second information is obtained regarding the general well-being and/or lifestyle of the insured person. The general well-being and/or lifestyle of the insured person is measured by defining a plurality of health related facilities and/or services and offering the facilities and/or services to the insured person for use.

[0027] The facilities and/or services include any of a membership of a health club, membership of gymnasiums, membership of fitness programmes, weight-loss programmes, programmes to quit smoking and preventive medical procedures.

[0028] It will be appreciated that the use of any of the above will have a positive effect on the insured person's health. Therefore, the use of the facilities and/or services are monitored and points are allocated to the insured person depending on the use of the facilities and/or services.

[0029] The second information regarding the general well-being and/or lifestyle of the insured person is in the form of these allocated points. A higher points allocation indicates that the insured person is taking steps to maintain their health and this is essentially rewarded when the premium on the life insurance policy is calculated. The higher the allocated points, the lower the calculated premium payable.

[0030] The above will now be described in more detail referring specifically to the implementation of the present invention by the patentee.

[0031] The patentee presently manages a traditional indemnity health insurance plan together with their so-called Vitality programme. The Vitality programme is described in more detail in U.S. patent application Ser. No. 09/265,240, the contents of which are incorporated herein by reference.

[0032] In short, the Vitality programme rewards members for utilising approved health related facilities and/or services. For example, members are rewarded for utilising gymnasiums, Smoke Enders.TM. and Weighless.TM..

[0033] Members are rewarded by a points allocation system and depending on the total number of points allocated to a member, they fall within one of four categories. In the implementation of the Vitality programme, these categories have been named blue, bronze, silver and gold. All members are placed initially in the blue class and only once a member has accumulated a number of points is their Vitality status upgraded to the next appropriate class.

[0034] The Vitality status of the member is used when calculating the premium payable by the member on a life insurance policy.

[0035] A personal health matrix is set up for each insured person whereby the Vitality status is used in conjunction with the amount of claims made by the insured person to calculate the premium payable on the life insurance policy.

[0036] Premiums on life insurance policies are typically recalculated annually, and this will be used for illustrative purposes in the present invention. However, it will be appreciated that this time period can be adjusted.

[0037] The annual recalculation or adjustment includes a pre-agreed base percentage increase amount which is typically linked to inflation. For example, the automatic annual premium increase maybe 10%.

[0038] The personal health matrix is then used to calculate the premium payable by either increasing or decreasing this 10%.

[0039] If the insured person has a high Vitality status and their claims have been low, the 10% will be decreased.

[0040] By way of example, the prototype of the present invention has been implemented using 4 different matrices that may be applied. The factors that determine the matrix to be applied are as follows:

[0041] Is there more than one life insured on the life plan? If yes, then the family matrix is applied. If no, then the principal matrix is applied.

[0042] Is the policyholder on a core or comprehensive health insurance plan? The grids differ by health plan as the various health plans provide different benefits, which lead to different claim bands.

1 Family Core plan Vitality Claims Blue Bronze Silver Gold 0 to 1500 0.00% 0.00% -0.25% -1.00% 1501 to 3000 1.45% 1.20% 0.45% -0.75% 3001 to 6000 1.90% 1.70% 1.00% -0.50% 6001 to 10000 2.55% 2.25% 1.50% -0.25% 10001 to 15000 3.15% 2.80% 2.00% 0.00% 15001 to 25000 3.65% 3.35% 2.50% 0.25% 25001 + 3.90% 3.55% 2.80% 0.75%

[0043]

2 Family Comprehensive plan Vitality Claims Blue Bronze Silver Gold 0 to 3000 0.00% 0.00% -0.50% -2.00% 3001 to 5000 1.35% 1.00% 0.00% -1.00% 5001 to 10000 2.10% 1.85% 1.00% -0.50% 10001 to 15000 2.80% 2.30% 1.50% 0.00% 15001 to 25000 3.30% 3.00% 2.10% 0.25% 25001 to 35000 3.65% 3.30% 2.50% 0.50% 35001 + 3.90% 3.70% 2.95% 0.75%

[0044]

3 Principal only Core plan Vitality Claims Blue Bronze Silver Gold 0 to 1000 0.00% 0.00% -0.25% -1.00% 1001 to 2000 1.45% 1.20% 0.45% -0.75% 2001 to 3500 1.90% 1.70% 1.00% -0.50% 3501 to 5000 2.55% 2.25% 1.50% -0.25% 5001 to 10000 3.15% 2.80% 2.00% 0.00% 10001 to 15000 3.65% 3.35% 2.50% 0.25% 15001 + 3.90% 3.55% 2.80% 0.75%

[0045]

4 Principal only Comprehensive plan Vitality Claims Blue Bronze Silver Gold 0 to 2000 0.00% 0.00% -0.50% -2.00% 2001 to 3500 1.35% 1.00% 0.00% -1.00% 3501 to 5000 2.10% 1.85% 1.00% -0.50% 5001 to 10000 2.80% 2.30% 1.50% 0.00% 10001 to 15000 3.30% 3.00% 2.10% 0.25% 15001 to 25000 3.65% 3.30% 2.50% 0.50% 25000 + 3.90% 3.70% 2.95% 0.75%

[0046] As can be seen from the above matrices, the amount of health claims and Vitality status determine the annual additional percentage increase or decrease to premiums. Clearly, there are cases where premium reductions occur e.g. a Gold Vitality member.

[0047] Claims taken into account include Chronic medication, In Hospital Benefits, Insured Procedure Benefits and day to day expenditure. This expenditure may apply to all lives or a subset of lives on the health plan. As can be seen from these matrices, there is an initial band of claims which do not translate into any increases of premium on the life plan.

[0048] The bands of the matrix will be altered annually to allow for medical inflation. This prevents policyholders getting higher increases in their life premiums as medication and procedures increase annually with inflation.

[0049] One may also impose levels of protection, to ensure that however bad the clients health is, their premiums are still sustainable for long periods of time. For example, one could guarantee that premiums do not exceed the premiums one would have paid on a standard life plan for 5 years, and do not exceed 110% of this premium from years 6 to 10, 115% from years 11-15 and 120% for the remainder of the policy term. This provides piece of mind that the plan is sustainable no matter how bad health is.

[0050] Thus it will be appreciated that the premiums on the life insurance policy may increase or decrease annually on the policy anniversary by an additional percentage depending on the amount of claims on the health plan as well as the Vitality status.

[0051] The calculation of the premium payable encourages the insured person to look after their health which obviously has benefits for the insured person but also helps the insurer by minimising their risk.

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