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A significant week in protection: Zurich’s Accelerate and GRiD’s Latest Data

A significant week in protection: Zurich’s Accelerate and GRiD’s Latest Data

While there is no such thing as a quiet week in the protection market, the last seven days had a couple of announcements that I find really significant.

Thursday saw some real innovation from Zurich with their new Accelerate package. An additional £9.50 per month  can give consumers some really valuable extra benefits that can offer an additional medical path to explore if they are suspected of having cancer, heart disease or neurological disorders.

Adam Higgs has written his usual excellent summary of the new launch, with the help of our medical panel, which can be found here. I would urge all advisers to study this in detail.

This is a highly innovative new product which brings a great deal of benefits, but it does need to be seen in context. First, as Zurich emphasise, this is not an alternative to private medical insurance, but it does provide a valuable second option in situations where NHS waiting lists are a problem. This will vary significantly depending on the condition and the client/patient’s geographical location. In some locations NHS services are outstanding but in others there are extensive delays.

For those who can’t afford PMI, this does seem a valuable back up plan, but advisers really need to understand this contract in context, so Adam’s analysis should be a MUST READ. I applaud Zurich for their innovation and will be fascinated to watch the level of adoption of this add-on over the coming months.

The other thing that really stood out to me last week was the publication by GRiD of their 2023 claims statistics. I’m recognised as a long-term critic of the group risk market as it has a higher level of declined claims than individual protection. This year, however, we seem to have taken a major step forward with the data showing the primary and secondary reason for claims being declined.

Overall, much more data is supplied by GRiD in the 2023 claim stats and this should be applauded. In the case of Group Critical Illness, the second highest reason claims were declined was as a result of a pre-existing condition. This gets us into an area where I believe the industry could and should do better.

Modern on-boarding systems should make it possible to make individuals more aware of pre-existing condition exclusions and I’d be delighted to talk to any insurer looking to improve their group risk systems to reflect this.

While we are still not seeing the disclosure of claim stats at an individual company level. The greater level of granularity provided this year is a welcome step forward and should be applauded. It’s certainly a positive move and I hope indicates the future direction of travel.

Group products have enormous potential and do a tremendous amount of good, personally I’m convinced that with a bit more transparency around claims we could make an even stronger case to employers to provide these valuable benefits to all staff.


Also on protection guru last week

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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