Life insurers should offer cover and underwrite later for borderline cases stuck in the pipeline, says Heath Protection Solutions MD
While she welcomed insurer attempts to increase underwriting flexibility the during COVID-19 crisis so far, protection adviser Naomi Greatorex still feels more could be done to help her clients get cover.
The Heath Protection Solutions managing director has urged for increased leeway on cases which have been stuck in the pipeline due to GP reports (GPRs) or medical evidence requirements.
Even though some insurers have resumed requesting evidence after initially stopping, Greatorex recently found one insurer refusing to accept anything other than automatic evidence.
For one case, a client, who has already been for a medical, is stuck in the pipeline because the life insurer will not write out to his GP for follow-up questions, or accept the assistance offered by the client via an online service available at the surgery. "In this example, the client is right at the end of the process, but the current ruling in this underwriting team means it will only write out for automatic GPs but not specific information - it doesn't make sense," she said.
Greatorex explained she still has a number of cases stuck in a pipeline, where more evidence is needed. She said that while some insurers are more flexible than others, she is yet to see an insurer "think outside the box" and offer cover initially and review the terms at a later date. "I think it is about realising that possibly where it is border line, they could maybe offer cover and then underwrite retrospectively," Greatorex told COVER.
"I think there are cases where underwriting teams do not have the authority to make this decision, however I wonder if insurers could take a view and make an overall assumption without a piece of evidence for some cases, then in a few months write out and check it."
While she appreciates the industry is in "unknown territory", Greatorex explained that "inconsistencies" between insurer approaches to gathering medical evidence during the crisis has generated a large amount of extra work. In some cases she has had to spread risk across more than one insurer to meet non-medical limits or re-write cases which had been blocked.
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