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‘IFA involvement is critical in ABI review’

The Association of British Ins- urers must involve more IFAs and medical professionals if its critical-illness consultation is to save the product, warns Standard Life protection marketing manager Mick James.

More effort at explaining the product to consumers through intermediaries and less attempts at tampering with tiered payments and cancer definitions are needed if the consultation, which closes in two weeks, is to have any success. The consultation has canvassed the views of providers but other parties should be involved, says James. James says critical-illness insurance cannot continue to work in its current format as it is a “broken” product. He singles out the effort to repackage cancer protection through tiered cancer definitions as fundamentally flawed as intermediaries will not be able to communicate the differences between categories which could lead to accusations of misselling in the future.

James says: “We welcome the ABI taking on CII but the product is broken. We need to be able to have open and frank discussions for there to be change but I fail to understand how the ABI is going to come to a decision on what it is going to do.”

ABI spokesman Jon French says: “These are perfectly valid views. But with all of these things we have to not only look at individual submiss- ions but also how overall opinion is going.”

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