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UK must avoid merely copying US tele-underwriting models

Tele-underwriting will form a major part of protection business but the UK must not merely copy US models, according to this year’s Protection Review.

SelectX director Susie Cour-Palais says many UK firms are keen to apply tele-underwriting as a “plaster” without treating the underlying problems in their businesses or in their underwriting processes.

She believes the relatively immature US life insurance market is still reliant on human underwriting for review and decision-making, whereas the UK and Australia have moved further towards straight-through processing. As a result, she warns that any implement-ation of tele-underwriting must work with existing technology-based underwriting systems rather than simply add- ing another layer of complexity to get someone under risk.

In a survey by CWC Research sponsored by Scottish Re, two-thirds of distributors interviewed are in favour of insurers using tele-interviews to capture medical data.

CWC Research chief executive Clive Waller says: “The nature of the handover from adviser to insurer and the delicacy of the issue of underwriting mean agreement, rather than differentiation, must be the order of the day. It will only take one player to cut costs and perform badly to harm all.”

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Jeremy Pearson is Technical Support Manager with Canada Life’s ican Technical Services Team. Canada Life offers a range of wealth management solutions, including retirement income planning, estate planning and investment solutions from a choice of jurisdictions, including the UK, Isle of Man and Republic of Ireland. Many parents value the standard of education offered by […]

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