COVER editor Adam Saville rounds up the most popular articles on the site from past seven days
A little nauseating for first thing on a Monday morning, I know (sorry!), but last week kicked off with a gruesome story about a court case in Slovenia involving a woman who allowed her boyfriend to sever off her hand with a circular saw so they could make multiple insurance claims. As a result, she received a two-year prison sentence, alongside her partner who received three years and his father received a suspended sentence for driving them to the hospital.
Aside from the gory details, which sent COVER readers rushing to the site in their droves, it's a harrowing story that indicates an extreme level of financial desperation at play and, as pointed out on Twitter, raises questions about the potentially coercive nature of the relationship. Andrew Wibberley also highlighted it is important that insurers ensure they are not encouraging this sort of fraudulent behaviour in the wording of definitions.
The big proposition related story from last week was that Vitality has simplified its life insurance offering, by rolling it into a single personal protection product and Optimiser plan. Children's cover has been turned into a standalone option and Vitality's incentivised rewards have been enhanced. CIExpert's Alan Lakey said the move has removed the "confusing elements" of the Vitality offering, therefore making it easier for both advisers and customers to understand it better once it comes into force in October.
A drawn-out legal battle between The Times and Travel Insurance Facilities (tifgroup) came to a head last week, when the newspaper decided to settle the case and issue an apology to the travel insurer after it published a string of articles accusing tifgroup of a pattern of fraudulent practice that it said had likely caused a string of avoidable deaths - a claim it has accepted is ‘untrue'.
The libel case might be over, but the insurer's director of emergency assistance, Dr Miguel Nadal, will still have to face a fitness-to-practice tribunal because allegations of ‘impairment by misconduct' related to three cases are being pursued by the General Medical Council (GMC).
We also ran some market research findings courtesy of ActiveQuote which show how its panel of private medical insurance (PMI) providers are offering Covid-19 testing, whether that's by covering their costs or as an extra option.
For income protection (IP), The Exeter launched its ‘Income first' toolkit which includes an income risk calculator, ‘reasons why' follow-up support and a whole host of useful resources to help intermediaries prioritise IP when facing clients.
We also published two articles from industry experts offering some useful guidance to advisers which proved rather popular. Legal & General's Richard Kateley made a strong case for why recent government support schemes, such as the business interruption loan scheme, should be held up as an example of why small-to-medium-sized businesses cannot ignore debt protection. Another, from Zurich's Andy Woollon, sought to remind advisers that convertible term life is an option that should not be overlooked.
Many of you spotted our ‘Six things you ought to know ahead of the COVER Claims & Underwriting Forum' article, but if you missed it I would strongly urge you to check it out. Offering some tips and tricks before we host our first ever fully interactive virtual conference tomorrow, there's lots in there to help you get the most out of the networking opportunities available on the platform - these include a virtual exhibition hall, an online chat facility and an ‘Ask A Question' device which allows you to pose questions to our speakers during sessions.
If you have not already, you can still sign up to the CPD event for free here and check out our jam-packed agenda here.
As always, we've got plenty of news and features coming your way and I hope to see many of you (virtually) tomorrow morning from 9am. Until then, take care!
Until further notice
Adventures in the forest
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PHIN data shows
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