About time, I hear insurers and advisers shout. Providers need to protect themselves from a rising number of claims and advisers need to protect themselves in an increasingly litigious society where misselling claims are becoming increasingly commonplace.Medical advances have increased life expectancy far beyond that of even our recent ancestors. The cost of treatment measured by medical inflation has risen much beyond our normal cost of living although Bupa has just announced a decrease in its medical inflation factor from 10.25 to 9.75 per cent. I know this sounds like a crude comparison but statistics on the frequency of car claims and repair costs, broken down by type and region, are more readily available. It is relatively difficult to gather similar information about CI although providers sharing data on the percentage of claims they decline is a welcome move. It is a sadly true that the average individual will spend more on maintaining their car than on maintaining their health. We need to encourage the public to seek regular medical screening or health checks and this must be coupled with education. I try to have a well-woman check every year but I usually leave despondent that I have been nagged about cholesterol readings, which have only recently appeared as a common conversation piece over the dinner table. As I grew up in the North-west, what on earth do they expect? As medical procedures advance, once life-threatening conditions can increasingly be treated without lengthy hospital admission. People’s expectation of surviving many horrendous diseases is now much greater but the statistics remain that one in four will suffer from a heart attack, one in three will get a life-threatening cancer and one in 20 will have a stroke by 70. Nearly half the people who contract cancer of the breast, cervix, larynx, testis, uterus or a malignant melanoma will survive for at least five years. Survival rates for many other cancers are also improving. There are over 150 different CI policies on the UK market. In order for IFAs to be able to select from the whole range of products, they need to need to know that the definitions remain current and products competitively priced. If there was ever one range of protection products that clients need independent advice about, it is CI. IFA John Joseph is to be commended for his sterling work in investing in and building what he calls “the biggest critical-illness cover website in the world”. He claims the site allows the public and financial advisers to access the information needed to find the best policy. He has fought hard to get uniform definitions of illnesses across all the available products to match the expectations of clients and IFAs. I have helped individuals with limited life expectancy to realise the wishes they have for their loved ones at this most difficult time. This is the primary benefit of life and CI cover. To this end, we have a responsibility to educate and guide the public through their financial choices. We forget sometimes that the responsibility of financial advisers is to enable people to make provision to live in the house want, debt-free, with a reasonable lifestyle that they can maintain in sickness and in health.
Brazil is an attractive emerging market, particularly in the consumer and commodity areas. The consumer market is large and growing while the country has many natural resources, which can be extracted at low prices.
Norwich Union is set to automatically contract its direct customers back in to the state second pension.The insurer is writing to its direct customer base this week, advising them that unless informed to the contrary it will immediately contract them back in.NU first wrote to disintermediated customers last Autumn strongly recommending they take this step, […]
Schroders expanded its business more than any other major fund company last year, increasing its retail funds under management by almost half to 19.8bn. The UK fund industry review 2005 shows that Schroders increased funds under management by 49 per cent, from 13.3bn to 19.8bn. Its nearest rival among firms with over 10bn under management […]
The Tenet Group is setting up two new businesses to create a support services suite for directly regulated IFAs. IFA Professional, the support services provider for investment and pension intermediaries, will be positioned alongside new firms Mortgage Professional and Insurance Professional, which both launch in early September. Glenn Chapman, who joined Tenet from Sesame in […]
Royal London carried out a UK wide survey with 2,500 consumers age 35-44 over the summer. The survey found that over a third, 34 per cent, said their finances felt Squeezed and so were struggling to meet day-to-day expenses, despite 87 per cent being aware that they need to save more. However, the survey did […]
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The pensions industry has welcomed government reforms to boost auto-enrolment while raising concerns about their limited scope and time it will take to implement them. In its much anticipated review into auto-enrolment the government says it will lower the age at which people are eligible for a workplace pension from 22 to 18. The government […]
Such products should not be off limits for all but record keeping is key
An influential Government committee has written to the FCA outlining its concerns that the regulator’s protection of British Steel Pension Scheme members remains ‘grossly inadequate’. In a 15 December letter to FCA supervision director Megan Butler, work and pensions committee chair Frank Field says it is apparent there are “insufficient protections” in place to prevent […]