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Direct Life tries to simplify life cover questions

Direct Life has set up a new underwriting system based on the US model which it says will transform life cover in the UK.

Express Underwriting presents customers with a single-page application form requiring no medical or family history detail. Once this is received by Direct Life, an adviser will take the customer through more detailed questions, helping them to understand the nature of the questions fully. All conversations will be recorded.

Direct Life believes the system will be welcomed by consumers who want straightforward life cover without being expected to be experts on their medical history.

It says the questionnaires used by some brokers are so complex that many people are in danger of being denied payouts because they do not declare all their medical history. Direct Life has tested the system with 9,000 customers and is launching it nationwide.

Managing director Mike Ward says: “For the majority of people wanting straightforward life cover, the typical questionnaire that all life firms require can be nightmarishly difficult to navigate.

“The danger is is that crucial information is frequently overlooked and when the policyholder comes to make a claim they find they are refused because the condition in question was not declared on the original form. Our answer is to develop Express Underwriting, a single-page application form requiring no medical or family history detail.”

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