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Product matters

Norwich Union has quietly revamped its directto-consumer life insurance product.

Called Simplified Life Insurance, it guarantees an immediate decision on every occasion.

Using an intuitive underwriting process, the consumer gets an initial quote as normal, based on a normal, healthy, clean life.

Once they have completed the application questions, the premium will either stay the same, be rated or the client will be declined there and then.

There are no GP reports, no requests for further information, no referrals to an underwriter, just an immediate yes or no decision.

As an attempt to simplify the process of buying life insurance, it certainly succeeds.

The whole process, from quote to underwriting decision, took me no longer than it generally takes to quote and book a flight online. The user is also able to supply bank details and commence cover online.

Level and decreasing versions are available but that is about it as far as features go. There is no PTA version and CI, waiver & indexation options are all absent, as is any encouragement to consider a trust.

Initial premiums seem competitive with their IFA term product. However, the price for the lack of traditional under-writing may be a higher propensity to rate premiums. The sample test we did in the office seemed to confirm this.

The simple process is very refreshing and I am sure that many consumers will be happy to pay a small extra premium in return for the quick, simple process on offer. Currently only available direct, nevertheless advisers and insurers should take note of this product.

Jason King is director of Torquil Clark Life Insurance

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