View more on these topics

Industry mourns godfather of underwriting

Many in the industry have been mourning the death of Dr RDC Brackenridge, a pioneer of medical underwriting, who died recently at the ripe old age of 90.

Brackenridge laid the foundations for the evidence-based approach to risk assessment and his 1962 book, The Medical Aspects of Life Assurance, is seen as the definitive text on the subject.

Industry experts describe the fifth edition of the book, The Medical Selection of Life Risks, as the “gold standard” reference for justifying underwriting decisions.

Brackenridge served as a medical officer in the RAF during World War Two and in 1959 became a consulting medical officer to Mercantile & General Re, later acquired by Swiss Re. In 1977, he was made president of the Assurance Medical Society and was given honorary membership of the American Academy of Insurance Medicine in 1995.

Swiss Re executive board member Martyn Parker says: “He instilled into underwriters and consulting medical officers the need for continuous and meticulous research, along with a readiness to apply sound reasoning and judgement to underwriting decisions.

“He helped to create an evidence-based approach to underwriting and strongly influenced successive generations of underwriters and CMOs. This approach over time has enabled many people – previously considered uninsurable because of their medical histories – to obtain life cover.”

In other news Axa has published research showing that most people who do not have protection in place believe it is too expensive. We have heard this before but it is probably worth reiterating if it will get providers out there educating consumers that it is not actually as extortionate as they may think.

So one in four UK adults without a life insurance policy believe that cover is too expensive, one in five don’t think they need it and for one in ten the thought has never crossed their mind. But UK adults are more likely to have life insurance than their European counterparts. According to Axa, 71 per cent of UK adults have at least one life insurance policy compared with 45 per cent in Italy and 53 per cent in Germany and Spain.

Meanwhile Friends Provident has been busy researching as well. The firm found 5 per cent of people have lied on protection applications and one in five do not read all the terms and conditions before they sign up.

Friends surveyed 2071 people and found 54 per cent believed dishonest applicants should not be paid any benefits if they needed to claim. Fifteen per cent said applicants who have lied should get a percentage of the full payment depending on the type of information they withheld.

The firm found that just under half of respondents researched life insurance on the internet and through the media but 20 per cent said they would ask a financial adviser for advice. If people had £5 each month to spend on insurance 28 per cent would choose life insurance according to Friends and 17 per cent would choose income protection. But if they did not have to spend it on insurance nearly a third would spend it on food.

The protection world must have partied hard over the festive season – after a month long trip to Australia I was expecting exciting things, after all this talk of ‘innovation’ in 2007. But no, it’s still oh so quiet, to quote Bjork. Have a good week.


Blanchflower the lone dissenter as MPC voted 8-1 to hold bank rate

Bank of England monetary policy committee members voted 8-1 in favour of maintaining bank base rate in January.Minutes from the MPC January meeting reveal that only David Blanchflower voted against maintaining rates, preferring a 0.25 per cent reduction.The minutes say: “For most members, no change in bank rate was necessary this month. The short-run inflation […]

Advisers happy to adopt CAR, says Zurich

The majority of advisers would welcome the introduction of customer agreed remuneration according to Zurich.The firm surveyed 910 advisers and 62 per cent said they would adopt CAR, provided it included commission offsetting and provided financial incentives such as reduced regulatory fees were offered in return.The reseach shows commission remains a popular choice for adviser […]

Mortgageforce wins civil service deal

Mortgageforce has secured a three-year contract to look after the mortgage needs of over 300,000 civil servants.The deal with the Public and Commercial Services union will rank as one of the top three of Mortgageforce’s 20 corporate relationships.PCS has over 304,000 members and 10,000 associate members working in central government and for public bodies.Mortgageforce chief […]

Pada is urged to publish its calculations

Aegon is calling on the Personal Accounts Delivery Authority to publish the assumptions it is using to calculate charges.The firm says it is of strong public interest for Pada to publish models showing costs depending on how many people join, how much they invest and how long they invest for.It wants to know how Pada […]

Qatar cover image - thumbnail

White paper — Qatar International Insights

Jelf Employee Benefits highlights new legislation, key requirements and policy considerations when structuring international private medical insurance (IPMI) for expatriate employees in Qatar. This edition will be of particular interest to global human resource directors, compensation and benefits specialists and mobility managers who have employee populations in Qatar.


News and expert analysis straight to your inbox

Sign up


    Leave a comment


    Why register with Money Marketing ?

    Providing trusted insight for professional advisers.  Since 1985 Money Marketing has helped promote and analyse the financial adviser community in the UK and continues to be the trusted industry brand for independent insight and advice.

    News & analysis delivered directly to your inbox
    Register today to receive our range of news alerts including daily and weekly briefings

    Money Marketing Events
    Be the first to hear about our industry leading conferences, awards, roundtables and more.

    Research and insight
    Take part in and see the results of Money Marketing's flagship investigations into industry trends.

    Have your say
    Only registered users can post comments. As the voice of the adviser community, our content generates robust debate. Sign up today and make your voice heard.

    Register now

    Having problems?

    Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3712

    Lines are open Monday to Friday 9:00am -5.00pm