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ABI debunks protection jargon with guide for IFAs

The ABI is to consult on revising its statement of best practices for protection products in advance of FSA regulation in January.

As part of the consultation, the ABI is expected to issue a guide next week debunking some of the medical jargon on protection products in a bid to make it easier for IFAs to advise clients.

IFAs are often baffled by some of the medical terms they must explain to clients and the aim of the guide is to help them better explain to clients the need for protection.

Several providers publish literature explaining the details of the conditions they cover but this will be the first time that an industrywide guide has been made available to advisers.

Before statutory regulation starts in January, providers must ensure that their product literature is compliant with the new regulations which in many cases may involve replacing the literature.

Product areas such as critical-illness cover and income protection face regulation from the FSA and companies active in these markets will have to abide by the changes leading up to that date.

Skandia protection brand manager Shelley Robertson says: “The idea is that the guide could be used by anyone involved in protection – independent advisers, claims departments and consumers. Many individual providers already publish plain English guides but the ABI&#39s guide is the first industrywide initiative of its kind.”

John Joseph Financial Services director Steve Petrie says: “A guide may be helpful but unless it is going to say which providers adhere to the definitions in it, it will not accomplish much good.”

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