Willis Towers Watson Media
Technology and Software



PulseModel assists insurers and reinsurers in dealing with the many challenges involved in writing, or in some cases just managing, morbidity, mortality and longevity risk. PulseModel is a stochastic multi-state mortality/morbidity model developed using detailed medical research combined with expert medical opinions.

It is built in our powerful capital modelling software, Igloo, but has been developed in such a way that users have compete flexibility to see and change all model parameters in Excel without needing any specialised Igloo skills.

PulseModel offers clients a range of business applications, including:

Identifying segmentation possibilities

Historically,  'first mover' advantage has been achieved by those firms best able to identify profitable segments of the market and then act on this. PulseModel’s risk factor parameterisation allows segmentation possibilities to be uncovered and quantified for new rating factors, facilitating more granular pricing and better targeting of more profitable market segments.

Medical and personalised underwriting

PulseModel allows firms to rate business on various medical risk factors – for instance, state of health or disease at outset, or blood sugar.  This is vital information to improve the profitability of both standard and medically contingent business. For low to medium sized sum assureds, this information could reduce or even supplant the need for specialist medical reports, leading to reductions in the cost of underwriting.

Product development

Detailed insights are a pre-requisite for the development of new products. PulseModel provides you with a powerful tool giving an alternative, independent and objective view of assumptions.

Enhancing risk management

PulseModel can enhance various aspects of how morbidity, mortality or longevity risk are managed. For instance:

  1. Providing a biologically plausible view of longevity stresses
  2. Assessing whether premiums are too low for a particular segment
  3. Quantifying anti-selection risk in a changing market

Standing up to regulatory challenge

Insights provided by a range of experts in specific medical fields give PulseModel a more realistic and therefore predictive view of mortality and morbidity dynamics and longevity improvements. Assumptions (whether best estimate or stresses) based on PulseModel’s projections will stand up better to third party and regulatory scrutiny.

Advanced mortality insights

PulseModel allows users to derive powerful insights from the rich underlying parameterisation. Recent applications include a better understanding of the select mortality ‘wear-off’ effect, and the dynamics of mortality at very high ages (90-100).

Operational advantages

Operationally, PulseModel benefits include improved Board engagement through enhanced scenario analysis, greater consistency across models, model flexibility and the option of regular updates. PulseModel also allows bespoke parameterisation and bespoke model restructuring by users, based purely on adjustments of the Excel interface.

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