A case of the ‘vapers’ for underwriters

Steve Baldry

December 10, 2018

A case of the ‘vapers’ for underwriters

Vaping, genetic testing and wearable tech are the lifestyle changes that will have the biggest impact on underwriting protection insurance in the future, according to a recent UnderwriteMe Underwriters Forum survey.

The Forum, held in November 2018, brought together representatives from 13 insurance and reinsurance companies to discuss how the protection underwriting industry can improve the customer journey and ensure products are priced fairly. Also in attendance was London & Country (L&C), sharing views on how underwriters can help smooth the sales process.

UnderwriteMe’s free online Protection Platform currently gives UK intermediaries access to nine major protection insurance firms, enabling them to quote, underwrite, compare and sell with ‘buy now’ prices.
Steve Baldry, Director, Underwriting at UnderwriteMe comments:

“We hold the Forum annually and this year we had the biggest attendance to date. Lifestyle issues such as the rise in obesity continue to be a major concern in terms of pricing to factor in increased risks of type 2 diabetes, heart attacks and strokes. Another major area where more work needs to be done is around mental health and how questions relating to what is a highly sensitive area should be framed and asked at the application stage.”

Simplification of wording was a key theme at the Forum and there was praise for UnderwriteMe’s recently introduced customer journey questionnaire created using the support of communications experts Quietroom, which has reduced mouse clicks and the number of questions by at least a third.

One of the major benefits of UnderwriteMe’s improved customer journey is that advisers can now submit one application covering multiple products, across nine insurers in 10 minutes. It means advisers can provide customers with recommendations based on personalised analysis of the market, as required by the Insurance Distribution Directive (IDD).

However, at the Forum there was a call for insurance companies to shorten declarations, especially for intermediaries working over the ‘phone which requires all declarations be read out loud.

Steve Baldry continues:

“UnderwriteMe has worked with our insurance provider partners to get a short version of pre-application declarations that works for all and we’re working with them on doing the same for the end-of-application declarations too. Currently, the time it takes to read these out varies from 25 seconds to three and a half minutes per insurer, so clearly there is work to be done.”