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Friends to offer tele-interviews

Friends Provident is to offer tele-interviewing as part of its income protection application process, bringing it in line with other providers, such as Progress by Royal Liver and LV=.

Experienced nurses from MorganAsh will conduct Friends’ interviews, asking applicants about their medical history and specific disclosures.

Friends Provident protection products and actuarial manager Mark Jones says the service will speed up processing and reduce non-dis-closure as it allows the firm to gather more detailed inf-ormation about the applicant’s health.

He says: “This will benefit the customer as it means we can make a more informed underwriting decision but, most importantly, there is less chance that a claim will be disputed.”

MorganAsh managing director Andrew Gething says the use of tele-interviewing will reduce Friends’ reliance on GP reports.

He says: “After extensive piloting over the last two years Friends Provident proved that nurse tele-interviews do provide sufficient information to enable underwriting without GPRs for many situations. This speeds up the process dramatically from weeks to days improving the service to brokers and consumers.”

LV=, which introduced tele-interviewing in March, uses the service for over 30 per cent of cases and 70 per cent of these are accepted within three days.

LV= customer solutions director John Perks says: “There may still be a need for a GP report or other medical evidence where there is a complex medical history or where the sum assured is significant, but for the vast majority of business the tele-interviews should be sufficient.”

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