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Critical barrage for Bupa service levels

Bupa&#39s underwriters told the health insurer it should close to new critical-illness business until it cleared up its service problems, according to Hoiland Financial Services adviser Gary Festa.

After making a complaint to Bupa on what he describes as “disgraceful” administration, Festa says he was told by Bupa compliance officer Andrew Barnes that underwriters have suggested to Bupa management that cases in the pipeline need to be dealt with before any new business is taken on. Bupa management declined to take their advice.

Festa says he complained after waiting 14 weeks for a response to a CI application with life cover on a level term basis for a young client completing a mortgage. Festa is asking Bupa to admit that there is a problem.

Money Marketing reported poor service levels in May when broker Lifesearch made a complaint of “appalling turn-round times” against Bupa. Lifesearch technical adviser Adam Clark says: “The timescales are still a lot longer than we would be comfortable offering to our clients. We are looking at more than four weeks for a clean application to be processed.”

Festa says: “We have taken Bupa off our panel now. There is no way that I can look a client in the eye and recommend Bupa. It would be irresponsible of us to give them any business.”

Bupa head of operations Brian Bartley says: “Our volumes of new business this year have far exceeded our expectations. This has meant that we have been taking longer than we would have liked to process critical-illness insurance applications recently. We appreciate this has affected a number of IFAs who have not been experiencing our normal level of service.”

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