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Numerical Rating System

Definition of "Numerical rating system"

Underwriting method used in classifying applicants for life insurance according to certain demographic factors and assigning weights to these factors. Factors include physical condition, build, family history, personal history, habits, and morals. For example, if an applicant is 5 feet 8 inches and weighs 250 pounds, his mortality expectation based on this height-weight ratio may be 160% of a standard risk who weighs 150 pounds at that height. In this instance a debit of 60 percentage points would be listed next to the weight factor on the applicant's underwriting sheet. If the applicant has an excellent family history (no hereditary diseases such as diabetes), his mortality expectation based on this factor is 90% of the standard risk. Here a credit of 10 percentage points would be listed next to the family history factor. Upon completion of the debiting/crediting process, debits and credits would be totaled for a final rate, which would classify the applicant as standard, substandard, or an uninsurable risk.

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