Swiss Re Plans U.S. Internet Life Venture

January 23, 2001

London’s Financial Times reports that Swiss Re plans to start a joint venture with a technology company to offer life insurance products in the U.S. via the Internet within the next few months.

The world’s largest life reinsurer and a leading proponent of doing business online, Swiss Re still faces some hard questions with its life insurance proposal. The industry has been slow to adopt the Internet, as most life insurers feel that personal contact and medical examinations are prerequisites for writing policies.

According to the FT Swiss Re will offer term policies through other organizations, and will then team up with a technology partner to form an on-line life insurance subsidiary, to offer policies up to $250,000 to the public, requiring only the completion of a questionnaire and without blood tests.

Company executives indicated that they expected to approve between 60-70 percent of applications immediately, and an even higher percentage if they could conclude a partnership with a company having access to applicants’ medical records.

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