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Critical concern at scoring system

Defaqto has been accused of sparking an “illness race” by encouraging insurers to add conditions to critical-illness policies just to boost their scores.

The company judges different critical-illness products against a range of criteria and scores products out of five for each illness they cover.

Bright Grey product manager Roger Edwards says he is concerned that some product providers, perhaps encouraged by their marketing teams, may add illnesses which do not add value to the policy simply to gain a competitive advantage.

He says: “I wonder if because companies can rack up quite high scores, we will see a return to the illness race?

“A provider with the third-highest rating could pull another two illnesses out of the air, such as Rocky Mountain spotted fever, and get extra points which will leapfrog them in front of other companies.”

Defaqto head of life and protection Nick Telfer says: “I am not aware of providers doing that but I guess it is possible in the short term.”

But he points out that advisers must consider a client’s needs and select a policy that meets those needs.

He believes that many advisers are doing this through Defaqto’s Aequos Engage database.

But Edwards fears many advisers judge products based on their Defaqto rating rather than by comparing features.

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