Life insurance premiums may soon be selfie-based
Facial recognition technology could be used to better understand a person’s overall wellness.
Selfies have become exceptionally commonplace, but these self-portraits may soon have an impact on life insurance premiums. In fact, as facial recognition and analysis technology continues to improve, it may one day determine whether or not someone even qualifies for a policy.
The reason is that selfies provide a great deal of information about a person’s health and aging.
The various details picked up by a selfie, such as drooping skin, fine lines and wrinkles, contours and even dark spots can be indicators of aging. When combined with other data, it may help insurers to calculate life insurance premiums or even whether or not they want to cover someone at all.
Lapetus Solutions co-founder and chief data scientist, Karl Ricanek Jr. explained that “Your face is something you wear all your life, and it tells a very unique story about you.” Data about your face can be viewed and potentially collected and analyzed to learn about a person’s present wellness as well as how it is maintained over time.
As a result, several insurers are testing technology to use selfies to affect life insurance premiums.
These life insurance companies are looking into the way Lapetus technology can use data combined with facial analytics to estimate a person’s life expectancy, said Ricanek. At the time this article was written, Ricanek declined to reveal the names of the insurance companies testing the Lapetus technology products.
Life expectancy estimates are a vital component of insurer decision making in terms of approval and pricing determinations. Chronos, the Lapetus product, would make it possible for a consumer to purchase life insurance without having to undergo a medical examination, said Ricanek.
Insurance providers already use a range of other forms of information – with the consumer’s permission – in order to create a more complete picture of their life expectancy. This goes well beyond the information provided within the initial application form. For instance, life insurance premiums can also be based on data from motor vehicle records, insurance industry database reports and prescription drug history. Selfies would only be the latest addition to the mix.