LifeAnuuity Specialist





Startups Study Photos for Longevity Clues, and Behavior for Lapse Risk

By Hannah Miller   January 13, 2021

“The Startups” is a series of short profiles of new companies trying to innovate and change how the life insurance industry operates. Each article covers a different part of the life insurance business.

Managing data and underwriting effectively can be a challenge for any life insurer. By tapping sources like call center data, lengthy medical records and even applicant selfies, these companies are promising innovation that improves underwriting and customer retention.


Headquarters: San Mateo, Calif.

Clients: Nassau Financial Group and two insurers that the company is finalizing relationships with.

Spyglaz founder Neeraja Rasmussen has noticed that life insurers prioritize new sales over customer retention. In that gap, she sees opportunity. “Insurers lose hundreds of millions in lapsed policies,” she said. Spyglaz uses artificial intelligence and machine learning to analyze an insurer’s historical data and predict when the company risks losing a customer. The Spyglaz platform integrates with an insurer’s call center software. When a customer phones in, a profile pops up that lists the value of the policy at risk, the person’s likelihood of lapsing and whether a retention strategy, such as a specific call script, should be employed.

Rasmussen said the model goes beyond actuarial data. It analyzes human behavior, such as the number of times customers have called, how many of an insurer’s emails they’ve opened and why they’ve contacted the carrier in the past. With the pandemic making it harder to acquire new customers, retention is more important than ever, according to Rasmussen. The startup is also developing a new feature for the platform that can identify cross-selling opportunities.

“Life and annuity companies are looking at ways to grow that are not solely dependent on new sales,” she said.

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