View more on these topics

Why protection acceptance rates need more promotion

The FCA recently published feedback on its Call for Input on access to insurance. While this was focused on the ability for people with pre-existing conditions to get travel insurance, it will have wider implications for the protection market – and rightly so.

Too many consumers feel they are uninsurable, having been refused cover, even though another firm may be able to offer terms. The FCA will be working with a range of organisations with an interest in protection, including us, to discuss how the market can increase access.

Some progress has already been made, with certain product and underwriting improvements enabling more applicants to get cover. The Exeter has taken great strides to be more inclusive, launching its Managed Life propositions targeting those with diabetes and high BMIs to help them get more favourable outcomes, and also high-risk conditions that mainstream life providers will not cover. Another example is Royal London with its Diabetes Life Cover.

Emma Thomson: How a charter can make protection claims right

These advances are to be welcomed, but there is still more to do. The desire to automate underwriting has brought huge benefits but has also meant some clients that do not fit a standard criteria cannot always provide a full picture of their health.

This can often be the case for those with mental health issues, for example, who cannot always tell the full story about their condition and experiences through online questions. Other groups can face more challenges than most, such as those who are HIV positive.

But while our industry should do more to help consumers access cover, we also know the position for those with health issues is better than many believe it to be. There is a perception-versus-reality issue, with people underestimating the number of applicants with health issues who can get cover in place.

To address this lack of awareness, let’s start publishing acceptance rates to show how many applicants are offered terms and on what basis. Even people with depression, hypertension, asthma and many other common illnesses can typically get some form of cover.

Does improving critical illness cover make a difference?

Publishing claims statistics has been hugely positive, making our industry more transparent and proving most claims do in fact get paid. It has also helped to raise standards: products and processes have improved to increase claims payouts.

Insurers could publish their acceptance rates in a similar format to claims reporting, split by product line with common/well-known disclosures highlighted. Scottish Widows has recently published a document doing just this, which shows 78 per cent of mental health disclosures result in standard terms being offered life cover, with only 5 per cent being declined.

This openness is a positive move that fits in with the access to insurance work. We hope others will follow, as it feels the next logical step to help increase consumer trust and encourage more people to buy cover.

Emma Thomson is chair of the Protection Distributor’s Group


FCA logo new 3 620x430

FCA bans former Deutsche Bank trader

Former Deutsche Bank trader Christian Bittar, who was sentenced to more than five years in prison in July, has been banned by the FCA. In April last year, the FCA issued a decision notice to Bittar that imposed a £6.5m fine. Bittar referred that notice to the Upper Tribunal. Those proceedings were stayed in August […]

Delivering advice and guidance in the workplace

Three advisers share their ideas and experiences of helping employees with their financial decisions The workplace is instrumental in engaging people to save for retirement. How are advisers helping employers provide advice or guidance to their employees? Telephone guidance Financial education provider and advice firm Wealth at Work recently launched a telephone guidance service to […]

Schroders increases stake in Benchmark Capital

Schroders is now the ultimate controlling party in advice business Benchmark Capital after increasing its stake in the firm in May. According to Benchmark Capital accounts filed to Companies House, Schroders increased its equity stake in the business to 77 per cent on 25 May. Schroders previously held a 65 per cent stake in the […]

The businessman stood on the road sign and watched the telescope

Advisers question SimplyBiz membership amid rising costs and declining offerings

Advisers are questioning their membership of support service provider SimplyBiz in the wake of recent cost increases, saying the breadth of services offered is declining. Money Marketing understands adviser members were asked to provide their fee income details to SimplyBiz through a questionnaire earlier this year. SimplyBiz’s monthly subscription is currently set at a guaranteed-for-life cost […]


News and expert analysis straight to your inbox

Sign up


    Leave a comment


    Why register with Money Marketing ?

    Providing trusted insight for professional advisers.  Since 1985 Money Marketing has helped promote and analyse the financial adviser community in the UK and continues to be the trusted industry brand for independent insight and advice.

    News & analysis delivered directly to your inbox
    Register today to receive our range of news alerts including daily and weekly briefings

    Money Marketing Events
    Be the first to hear about our industry leading conferences, awards, roundtables and more.

    Research and insight
    Take part in and see the results of Money Marketing's flagship investigations into industry trends.

    Have your say
    Only registered users can post comments. As the voice of the adviser community, our content generates robust debate. Sign up today and make your voice heard.

    Register now

    Having problems?

    Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3712

    Lines are open Monday to Friday 9:00am -5.00pm