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A great underwriting move by Zurich and some excellent studies for advisers

A great underwriting move by Zurich and some excellent studies for advisers

I am going to start my weekly summary differently this week. I’m asking everyone to take just a couple of minutes to support a very worthwhile charity, without it costing you a penny. Our colleague Alan Easter is a trustee of St Wilfrid’s Hospice Chichester, who do amazing work at the end of people’s lives. If you click on this link just for registering with which offers discounts at 4,400 retailers, they will give a £5 donation to the hospice for every person that registers, as I say this is at no cost to you.

Turning to the protection industry the big news this week is clearly the launch of Zurich’s preapplication tool. As you would expect Adam Higgs has produced the definitive analysis of this service which you can read here. In addition, we have updated Zurich’s showcase page  along with their Critical Illness and Income Protection pages all of which are a great read if you want a comprehensive summary of the various Zurich propositions.

While what Zurich has does is a significant step forward, I can’t help thinking what is really needed is a portal service that allows advisers to go through this process with multiple insurers. Given the underlying service is powered by iPipeline’s SSG Digital, it would be great to see this capability extended to other SSG Digital users like Aviva and The Exeter.

This would mean that those insurers who are not on UnderwriteMe would at least have a parallel service for advisers. Aviva have been emphatic that they will never join UnderwriteMe and, while I hear the calls from advisers for them to do so, given the insurer’s specialist expertise in applying artificial intelligence to underwriting, I can understand and respect the Aviva position. That said advisers need a portal capability that delivers greater accuracy on cases for Aviva so iPipeline SSG Digital does seem to offer a workable solution to the needs of both.

Turing to our normal update on Monday we looked at What are the limits for children’s critical illness cover.

On Tuesday we returned to one of the most popular subjects we ever cover updating our analysis of specialist Income Protection for NHS professionals and how different providers compare. If you ever advise NHS staff this is a must- read summary. I believe more insurers should follow the excellence of companies like Aviva, Legal & General, LV=, Royal London, Vitality and Zurich in adapting their contracts to follow NHS terms and conditions. It is noticeable however that, as the study identifies, not all the insurers above offer the same special features.

On Wednesday attention turned to splitting joint life policies following separation how insurers compare and I have been encouraged to see several advisers sharing this piece with colleagues over social media as a useful guide. Thanks to all of those doing that. Our last insight of the week was on Mortgage Protection policies and why the interest rate matters.


Because of the Zurich announcements we have not produced a new “Everything You need to know” study this week however we have now created a dedicated area within Protection Guru where you can find all the previous “Everything you need to know” summaries. We hope this will be a valuable resource for trainers in the industry and indeed anybody who simply wishes to update their knowledge on a specific subject. In addition, there have been some significant changes to the navigation on our site in the last week to make it easier for advisers to get quickly to historic analysis on subjects we cover.

You can now go to each of the main menus, life protection, critical illness, income protection, business protection and product updates and then by clicking on these you will see links to underlying articles by subject. Please give this a try. Further work is being done to make it even easier to get to exactly the detailed information any adviser needs on a specific subject in just a few mouse clicks. Please let me know what you think via LinkedIn. We are always trying to improve the service so I’m very keen to know what we can do better.

Over at Benefits Guru Jason Green looked at fund switches and redirections for workplace pension contracts and the different approaches workplace pension providers take to who can carry our contribution increases.

Have a great weekend everyone.

About The Author


Ian McKenna is the founder of Protection Guru. A 40 year veteran of the financial advice and related technology markets. Having worked for insurance and financial advice firms in 1995 he set up Financial Technology Research Centre, which publishes Protection Guru over a decade before “fin tech“ was recognised as an industry term. He believes passionately that far more people can be protected by life insurance and related contracts if we can demystify these and make objective comparative information on policies more accessible.

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