Canada Life has exclusively spoken to COVER on the reasons behind its return to the individual protection market, adding that the newly launched product is 'not the final design'
Paul Avis, marketing director of Canada Life Group Insurance, revealed that one of the key reasons the insurer decided to return to the individual market was due to the UnderwriteMe platform.
He added: "This is not the final design, this is an iterative process whereby we will listen to advisers and continue to develop this proposition. At the moment we think we have more than enough in the proposition to compete with established insurers as the UnderwriteMe platform is transformational."
Avis said on its decision to work with UnderwriteMe: "It mirrored the same [easy] process that we do with [its group risk technology] CLASS. You can get quotes, you can go on risk, it does all of the underwriting and it gives people cover easily and effectively and that's what CLASS does in the group market.
"From our perspective as the technological leader in group, if we were going to be entering the individual market, we wanted something that would match that and UnderwriteMe we believe is the technology engine that will transform the individual protection market."
He added: "Having the straight through process on the medical underwriting side, was the real opportunity to differentiate ourselves in the market. The ability to buy now, to not have to wait for decisions or medical records and so forth but to actually make a decision to go ahead now I think is a massive boost to the adviser market in terms of that."
Canada Life exited from the UK individual protection market around 11 years ago and Avis said that the market had "evolved" significantly in that time.
Avis said: " We knew we had to have a range of conditions. I said "I think we need to adopt the same product philosophy in individual as we offer in group, i.e. we provide much more than a financial benefit."
He also said that the policies are only being distributed through UnderwriteMe and the product would not be a whole of market launch.
Avis added: "We're working very closely with Lifesearch and UnderwriteMe, it is subsequent to that working with UnderwriteMe to support any new partners they get on.
"We will go at the pace of UnderwriteMe, being on a comparison service rather than offer a standalone Canada Life product. The benefit of being on the comparison service for the consumer is that if we don't want the case, one of the other UnderwriteMe partners may.
"The downside to being on a comparison service is it is a competitive well evolved market and we need to differentiate ourselves."
Avis said: "We think that by starting where we're starting with people like Lifesearch we can prove that we are a credible, valued player in this market, something we feel we have achieved with our launch."
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