Cirencester friendly backs COVER's IP campaign

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Cirencester friendly has become the first insurer to give its backing to COVER's campaign to reform the assessment of claims for income protection (IP).

The campaign aims to end the practice of writing list-based occupational definitions, such as Activities of Daily Living and Working (ADL and ADW) for the product.

These have proven increasingly unpopular with advisers and clients recently and COVER, in partnership with the Protection Review, hopes to repair the damage to IP's reputation.

John Bridge, director of sales and marketing at Cirencester friendly, said the mutual has been an advocate for openness and transparency, especially with regards to claims.

"Transparency at claim is paramount to building trust amongst consumers and this includes the incapacity definitions used to determine whether or not a claimant is fit for work," he said.

"Cirencester friendly has led the way in the production and release of detailed claim statistics annually and sees the definition of incapacity as an extension of their commitment to transparency and fairness at claim.

"If the mechanism used to judge a person's eligibility for benefit is based on activities like bathing, dressing or climbing stairs, then claimants might reasonably question their relevance to what they do for a living.

"After all they are insuring themselves against the risk losing their income due to illness or incapacity rather than their functional status as a person," he added.

Bridge noted that all cover offered by the society was based on Own Occupation or Own/Own Suited incapacity definitions.

"As with many insurance products the proof of the product is in its primary function, which is the payment of valid claims.

"For many years Cirencester friendly has called for a standard format for the detailed release of claims statistics which enables a true comparison of product performance," he concluded.

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