It’s SMART to Monitor Accelerated Underwriting Programs

During this second episode of our two-part series presented by SCOR’s U.S. Underwriting Solutions team, we introduce SCOR Monitoring & Acceleration Reporting Tool, or SMART. The SMART tool uses visualizations from our data analytics platform to provide rigorous monitoring of accelerated underwriting programs and to identify actions to improve programs quickly when needed. Moderator Michelle Spevak interviews James Atkins and Thomas Ballweg about SMART, its pricing implications, and its use as a benchmarking tool against peer companies and industry standards.


Michelle Spevak, Director, Underwriting Research, is responsible for assisting with proposals, answering client-related underwriting requests and monitoring accelerated underwriting programs. She advises the pricing process and works closely with SCOR’s Client Solutions teams. Michelle joined the company in 2015 in Underwriting. She obtained her bachelor of science degree in Business Administration from University of Nebraska, Lincoln. She is past president of the Nebraska Home Office Life Underwriting Association.

James Atkins, Vice President, Underwriting Data Innovation & AUW Analytics at SCOR, is based in Leawood, Kansas. James has 25 years of experience in the life insurance industry, having started his career working in customer service for Americo Life Insurance and later as a line underwriter for Transamerica in Kansas City. 
In 2002 he moved from the direct side into the reinsurance side where he underwrote complex and large face amount risks for Generali USA, Transamerica Reinsurance and SCOR. James later transitioned into an auditor role within SCOR, conducting both internal and client audits. 
James and his team are currently responsible for analysing and reporting on monitoring data obtained from the various accelerated underwriting programs that SCOR reinsures. James also served on the board of the Texas-Wide Underwriting Conference from 2015-2019. 
James earned a bachelor of arts degree in mass communication at the University of Missouri Kansas City. He is a Fellow, Association of Life Underwriters and Fellow, Life Management Office.
Thomas Ballweg, Assistant Vice President, AUW Analytics, analyzes accelerated underwriting reporting provided from clients to monitor program performance.
Prior to this since 2017, he assisted Underwriting management in performing various internal and external reporting, evaluating client change requests and completing the underwriting review on requests for proposals (RFPs).
Before joining the company in 2014, Thomas worked as an underwriter for a number of life insurance companies since 1996.
He is a graduate of the University of Nebraska – Lincoln, having earned a bachelor's degree in actuarial science and mathematics.  He is a Fellow, Association of Life Underwriters and Fellow, Life Management Institute.