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Insurer Set to Provide App to Address COVID-19’s Impact on Mental Health

The app will help people connect to insurers’ support networks, according to Swiss Re.
  • John Weber
  • January 2022

Mental Wellness App

Insurers continue to find innovative ways to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic's impact on mental health. Swiss Re has teamed up with a leading mental health platform, Wysa, to create an app that will help consumers better track their mental well-being and connect to insurers' existing support networks.

Jolee Crosby

Jolee Crosby

Jolee Crosby, Swiss Re's head of Life & Health Global Core Solutions, Underwriting & Medical Reimbursement, spoke to AM Best Audio about how the app can be helpful amid the COVID pandemic. Following is an edited transcript of the interview with Crosby.

How has risk assessment changed, and how are underwriters responding to these changes?

If you think about life and health and the practices of how we underwrite risk, until the last couple years, nothing hardly changed. Underwriters typically used discrete buckets of risk. They relied upon these age and amount grids to make underwriting decisions.

Then, all of the sudden, even before COVID, we started to get these new data sources that were coming into the world of risk assessment. Then COVID hit. All of a sudden, insurance companies had no choice but to adapt unless they wanted to be left behind. That's exactly where we are now.

How does the industry capitalize on changes in new forms of data and data collection while also meeting regulatory and data privacy concerns?

Swiss Re has always been at the forefront. We've been a knowledge leader on these things. We help our clients go through the process.

It's really important that reinsurers and insurers invest in digital and tech capabilities. That's how we get the new data sets. That's how we understand the insights from the data. That's how we get to the more precise underwriting risk assessment that we're all looking for.

It's also important that insurers put an equal emphasis on communication and behavioral science skills in this new world. What that means is taking all this data and making meaning from it.

What are insurers doing to address mental health as the industry's understanding of risk expands beyond traditional physical measures?

We've focused on two areas in particular. One is our Wysa partnership. Wysa is a leading mental health platform. What we've done is we are developing an app with them that's specifically designed for insurance. It helps consumers track their mental well-being.

It also—this is really important—improves the links to helping someone get the support they need from a clinical health professional. We think of it as definitely a win-win. We know the earlier we can intervene in someone's mental well-being, the better they are.

AM Best Audio

Click here to listen to the interview with Jolee Crosby.

John Weber is a senior associate editor. He can be reached at

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