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Insurers failing to explain critical changes

Advisers say very few providers have contacted them to explain the Association of British Insurers’ new critical-illness insurance definitions and how they affect their products.

ABI protection committee chairman Nick Kirwan says there are lots of advisers who have approached him, since his speech at Money Marketing Live last month, complaining about providers that have left them in the dark.

He says: “It is really important that advisers understand the new contracts so they can explain them properly to their clients. The feedback from the conference is that many insurers have more work to do here and that advisers would really appreciate insurers taking the lead.”

Kirwan believes providers have a chance to talk advisers through the benefits of their updated products.

The definitions came into force in April and many insurers upgraded their CI policies, adding new conditions and expanding existing definitions.

Kirwan says: “It seems to me this is a missed opportunity. Insurers could explain what the industry changes are, what these mean to their particular policy, where they offer additional cover and any other changes they have made, which clients would benefit from the changes and why the advantages their policy offers over their competitors and how to explain the new benefits to their clients.”

Lifestyle Management Financial Services principal Steve Butler says: “Not a single company has been in touch but I am not surprised. Information of that nature is extremely important and it is disappointing that insurers do not support the guys like us who are out there explaining it to the clients.”

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