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Edwards wants to cross the t’s for tele standards

Bright Grey product director Roger Edwards is calling for common definitions of tele-underwriting methods to remove confusion.

Most protection providers offer some sort of tele-underwriting, whether in-house or outsourced.

But Edwards says that some product providers offer “big T” tele-underwriting, which involves filling out the entire application form with the client over the phone, while others use “little t” tele-underwriting, which involves calling clients to clarify answers given on a paper or online application.

Some providers only ask clients the health questions over the phone. In some cases. qualified nurses ask clients questions while in other situations it is underwriters or trained interviewers.

Edwards considers that some benchmarks are nee- ded. He says: “We need a common understanding of what each level is. It is all very confusing. Perhaps we should call it a tele-application if it is the whole application form or tele-health questions if they are only asking the health questions.

“We need to make it clear what companies are talking about because advisers are getting confused.”

Master Adviser senior partner Roy McLoughlin says: “Conceptually tele-underwriting is a good idea but different companies have diff- erent definitions, which is causing confusion. I would welcome benchmarks for each type.”


Spring forth

The Easter break heralds the start of spring. As Wikipedia says, spring is seen as a time of growth, renewal and new life being born. The term is also used as a metaphor for the start of better times. People change jobs and the lighter days result in more time to househunt which may please the mortgage lenders as the CML figures show that gross mortgage lending fell to around £24bn in February, down by 7 per cent from £25.9bn in January.

Simple truth

What did the rest of the year have in prospect, mused the chairman of the curiously named Betelgeuse Investment Funds? Private investors had remained cautious after the bumpy end to 2007 and were still dumping equity funds. Property remained in the doldrums and even that recent saviour of fund sales teams – commodity-based products – had had wobbles recently.

Mortgage lending falls by 6%

Gross mortgage lending fell to around £24bn in February, down by 6 per cent from £25.6bn in February 2007.

Charcol bosses plug gap

After months of waiting for John Charcol to file its overdue 2006 accounts, Money Marketing revealed this week that the broker’s directors have stumped up £1.5m to plug a hole in them.


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