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‘GP report should guarantee payout’

Lifesearch is calling for protection providers to pledge to pay out on all policy claims if a GP report is provided at acceptance stage.

Head of protection strat-egy Kevin Carr says insurers guaranteeing to pay out on all protection policies is preferable to the Law Commission’s proposals to introduce a non-contestability period.

Carr proposes that when an insurer does not automatically require a GP report for a policyholder, the consumer could be given the option to pay a fee for the GP report and would get a guarantee that any claim would be paid. This fee would be paid back in the event of a claim.

But clients who do not want to take this option would be treated as they are under the present system and would not pay any extra fee.

Carr says: “The overall benefit of a system like this would be to boost consumer trust.”

But CBK principal Peter Chadborn says: “I agree that we need to do something but this system would send out mixed messages. It is implying that the policy will not pay out unless you get a GP report, which would call into question the value of the current system.”

Legal & General head of claims and underwriting Russ Whitworth says: “We get many cases of non-disclosure about a person’s intake of alcohol or their smoking habits and this is not necessarily something that people go to the doctor about so their GP may not know. It would not give the insurer certainty of claims in every instance.”

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