Lifesearch Insurance Bulletin 2006

Round Up of the latest Life Insurance News

– Direct Life & Pensions launched their eagerly awaited Intelligent Protection system to the intermediary market

– Legal & General were named Best Life Assurance Provider at this year’s Professional Adviser Awards held on Tuesday

– Skandia have confirmed they have no plans to launch a PTA product on A-day

Comment of the week

‘There is no one-size-fits all approach to protection and people need a portfolio of policies.’
Scott Mowbray, Head of Public Relations
Virgin Money

LifeSearch Says…

Too right there isn’t. Protection is far more complex than many people realise but the more ‘off-the-shelf’ products our industry launches the more sales seem to fall. We welcome innovative products, the market needs them to help try and close the protection gap. But just because something is new that doesn’t necessarily mean it is good. We are concerned about the communications that surround such products and providers must be careful not to mis-lead consumers with their marketing, websites and communications. The FSA has been quite clear on this matter already with regards to critical illness cover.

Heroes of the week

Scottish Equitable

Who this week published their paid and non-paid Life and CI claim stats. Focussing on the CI stats, 90% of Guardian’s CI claims were paid successfully while 72% of Scottish Equitable Protect’s claims were paid. As expected the main reasons given for the non-paid claims were non-disclosure and not meeting the policy definition.

A good thing they have done here is to provide stats on both a mature book (more than 5 years) and a new book (less than 5 years). Scottish Equitable say that this provides a good comparison bearing in mind the same underwriting philosophy is applied to both sets of business. Scot Eq have also made the effort to produce the statistics in format that is easy to use with consumers.


Ditto. This week Prudential revealed that 80% of their CI claims in 2005 were paid successfully.

We also expect the likes of Bupa, Scottish Widows and Liverpool Victoria to follow suit soon.

Why the fuss about claims stats?

We’ve said this before but we’re happy to say it again. We believe this to be a highly important issue. Not so that one company can be directly compared to another in a ‘league table’, but to improve consumer and adviser understanding of the importance of factors such as ‘non-disclosure’ and ‘meeting the definition’ before they buy/recommend. We believe that publishing claim stats in this way is the best method of improving consumer understanding of both issues and will only lead to more claims being paid in the long run as a result.

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