Protection IFA Direct Life & Pensions Services says it has developed the first tele-underwriting service for the IFA market.
Sales and marketing director Richard Verdin says the group developed the process, called Express Underwriting, in a bid to improve protection distribution.
Verdin believes advisers in the UK are generally ill-equipped to support or advise clients on how to complete application forms asking for detailed medical and family history.
DLPS's research shows that advisers are well versed in product structures and benefits and are able to give advice on appropriate levels of cover but Verdin says few have had any instruction to support appropriate medical disclosure.
The company has worked with Scottish Widows, Legal & General and Friends Provident to develop its system following research with US insurer MetLife.
Reinsurers have told DLPS that its new service will lead to improvements in their mortality and morbidity experience and that this in turn could lead to future pricing advantages.
The express underwriting staff contact the intermediaries' customers at home and go through detailed underwriting questions covering recent medical history, including serious illnesses and injuries, and lifestyle questions.
Verdin says: “The service cuts down the process for the intermediary by 30 or 40 minutes and leaves them free to be financial services professionals.”