A Warren Buffett-backed insurance tech company is going to help 'uninsurable' diabetics in the UK

LONDON — A South African insurance technology company supported by Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway is launching a life insurance product for diabetics in the UK.

AllLife has partnered with Royal London, the UK’s largest mutual insurer, to offer a new product to diabetics previously regarded as “uninsurable” because of their condition.

AllLife uses an algorithmic pricing platform called Kaliber to deliver a cost-effective life insurance product.

CEO and founder Ross Beerman told Business Insider earlier this year: “The term now is robo-underwriting but it’s using tech that pulls a vast amount of medical information and puts it through a decision tree process that allows us to automated most of the stuff that life insurance companies are doing manually.”

Kaliber also allows AllLife to adjust premiums based on user behaviour. AllLife will prompt users to take certain actions to improve their health — everything for taking their medication to going for a run. Successfully completing these tasks helps lower the price of the insurance.

Beerman said: “Instead of using our life company data to price people perfectly, what we should do is we should use data to empower our clients to be the perfect people. Let our data help our clients be the type of people we want them to be.

“We have a follow-on process, we intervene in people’s health. We tell people, don’t forget to do this, you should really do this — we do that through text message, emails, sometimes calls. We intervene.”

Diabetics can reduce the cost of their policy by up to 40% across its lifetime if they do things like regular blood glucose tests, exercise, take their medication regularly, and eat healthily.

Beerman says: “When we interact with people, they actually get better. Just interacting, just caring, just reminding people to do the right thing, actually has an impact on their health whether or not they do the thing you ask them to do. We can see a correlation.”

Royal London will underwrite AllLife’s insurance policies in the UK, while all policies are reinsured by Gen Re, an insurer that is part of investor Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Group.

AllLife first developed Kaliber when trying to offer insurance to HIV-positive people in South Africa, where 19% of the population has the condition. The company, founded in 2006, became the first in the world to offer whole life insurance to HIV-positive people.

Beerman says: “What we see in the HIV space is there’s quite a dramatic improvement in people’s health, even though there’s no change to their medication. We think it’s because you’ve got somebody saying: you’re going to live a long time.”

“Outside of sub-Saharan Africa, HIV-positive is not a big proportion of any population group so the question is what else could we do with the processes we built and the systems we delivered? The thing that screams out at me is diabetes. Diabetes is 8.5% of the global population.”

The launch of the UK product is the first use of Kaliber outside of South Africa. AllLife hopes to roll-out its diabetic product to elsewhere in the world in future.

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