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Lifestyle is set to dictate cover for younger lives

Protection underwriters predict that lifestyle factors will increasingly be taken into account in protection policies for youn- ger lives.

Axa chief underwriter Mike Taylor says one of the most common causes of death in the 20 to 30 age bracket is road accidents and questions about whether or not an applicant drives and how many points they have on their licence can be more relevant than health factors at the underwriting stage.

Taylor says: “Historically, it was a one-size-fits-all approach but people are different and we want to tailor that to different groups.

“Lifestyling and tailoring is where we are automatically going to end up and it is only a couple of years way.”

RGA UK business development manager Mick James says it seems like a natural evolution for companies to start asking questions which are specific- ally tailored to age groups, replacing health-related questions with accident risk fact- ors instead.

He says: “I can see that tom-orrow’s market will be much more sophisticated, in which questions are asked of which customers.”

James says he can potentially see a point at which no health- related questions are asked of young people.

He says: “There are examples in the Australian markets where this happens in conjunction with a pre-existing conditions exclusion. This kind of a product could have potential for young consumers in the UK.”

Munich Re chief underwriter Paul Gyseman says an underwriting process tailored specifically to young lives in the next two years “is highly likely”.

He says: “They will not only centred around lifestyling but other risk factors such as postcode, occupation and salary.

“But one of the drawbacks will be insurers’ ability system-wise to cater for such changes.”


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