It may seem like an early April Fools joke, but recent reports have suggested that insurance providers are experimenting with a new photo technology, which could help them to detect an individual's lifestyle habits, to assist with the grading of health and life insurance premiums.
Some firms are currently investing in facial analytical programs which can apparently analyse a photo to identify key information such as, whether you smoke, if you've been ill, or even if you're likely to die young. The information garnered would be considered alongside your 'self assessment', in order for the insurer to determine; whether you qualify for insurance, how much your premiums should be, and how much you'll be paid out in the event of a successful claim.
Two American based providers are already trialling facial analysis as part of their pricing process, and it is anticipated that other firms, including those in Britain may soon be following suit. Jay Olshansky, creator of the first facial analysis program, and co-founder of the 'Face My Age' website, confirmed to the New Yorker earlier this year that they currently have some life insurance companies interested in their technology.
The 'Face My Age' website which is powered by the technology, allows individuals to upload a current photo of themselves, to get a verdict as to whether they 'look their age', and has been dramatically refined as the site has grown in popularity. Founders Olshansky and Karl Ricanek claim that their software can now detect traces of mental conditions, such as long term depression and early dementia. They also predict that the program can be expanded even further in the future to determine life expectancy with some accuracy, however the website currently states that the chances that you'll live longer than estimated are around 50%.
There are concerns about the accuracy of the website from some extreme anomalous results, however the most common reasons are stated to be due to poor picture quality or framing issues, such as facial angles, or excessive facial expression. So, if insurers can standardise the process to prove that it gives somewhat accurate results, it seems at the moment it could be possibility that your early wrinkles might lead to an increase in your insurance premiums.