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ABI guidelines on clarity get the thumbs up

The Association of British Insurer’s consultation on clarity for protection application forms has received app-roval from independent adv-isers and providers.

The draft guidelines from the ABI are intended to imp-rove clarity of wordings and warnings on insurance applications to enable better disclosure and reduce contes- ted claims.

Some of the major chan- ges recommended to combat inadequacies in proposal form design include avoid- ing asking memory test questions.

So questions starting with the prefix “Have you ever had…” should only be used for very serious conditions where the life assured can reasonably be expected to recall conditions.

Warnings regarding the consequences of non-disclosure should be explicit and could appear on the top of each page where personal or medical questions are asked. The ABI made the decision not to include tele-under- writing in the consultat- ion which ends on Septem-ber 30.

Standard Life sees the recommendations as a step towards highlighting the importance of full disclo- sure and encouraging awareness.

But the ABI stresses this is not a call for full disclosure of claims statistics from pro-viders which Standard Life has been campaigning for.

ABI head of health Rich- ard Walsh says: “We want to make sure customers understand the terms and conditions of the product and the need to disclose. Where claims are turned down, it is often due to one of these factors.”

Direct Life & Pensions sales and marketing director Richard Verdin says: “I think this is all very sensible – a call for better questions and a step in the right dir- ection.”

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Sub-Saharan Africa Near-Term Outlook

By Paul Caruana-Galizia, Neptune Economist

Sub-Saharan Africa’s economic renaissance continues. After growing at an average rate of five per cent over the past decade, the IMF projects an acceleration to 5.5 per cent growth among Sub-Saharan economies in the next two years, as developed economies emerge from the crisis. We expect this growth to be sustainable for three broad reasons.

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