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The COVID underwriting & claims info you may need if we have a winter wave, plus much more

The COVID underwriting & claims info you may need if we have a winter wave, plus much more

With COVID-19 very much back in the news this week perhaps the most important update on Protection Guru  over the last five days has been Rob Harvey’s investigation of which insurers currently apply COVID exclusions to income protection cover published on Wednesday afternoon. Many of you will have first got to know  Protection Guru from our analysis of how  different insurers were treating underwriting claims and other processes as a result of the original pandemic. We continue to update our COVID hub at as soon as any announcements are notified by insurers.

Obviously at this time none of us really know how significant the omicron variant will be but over the next week or so we will be issuing a series of updated analyses looking at key issues across the market. You may want to book mark our site and particularly the Covid hub so that you can get the latest information at your fingertips whenever you need it.

In our general work we began the week with an insight from Rob Harvey which asked whether all children are eligible for children’s critical illness cover and included a comparison of providers who offer this product.

On Tuesday Rob examined the reintroduction of income protection earnings guarantee by Vitality. Our second insight of the day focused on our November Protection Forum meeting and the discussion on how annual statements can be improved. If you missed the last Protection Forum I would really urge you to listen to this recording or read the transcript at the link above. Many advisers were passionate about the importance of insurers making it easier for them to provide an ongoing service to their protection clients. At a time when the FCA are so focused around customer duty and ongoing support for consumers we believe it’s really time for those insurers who care about the future of advice to step up to the mark and make things happen.

Protection Guru does have plans to help facilitate this so I am keen to talk to any insurers interested in helping make digital protection statements a reality.

Thursday’s insight turned the spotlight on those insurers who include trauma benefit on income protection plans.

Finally, on Friday we published an insight on six things you should read about business protection insurance for Small Business Saturday.

Next Tuesday sees the last Protection Forum meeting of 2021 starting at 11am. The session will review developments in the protection market over the past twelve months and look forward to 2022. We will split the meeting into two sessions:

  • In the first session we will have a number of advisers spending five minutes each discussing the last year in terms of positive industry advances, and then less positive moves. We will also be asking them to provide a wish for the New Year in terms of something they would like to see the industry do better.
  • After a comfort break, we will be asking representatives from insurers to spend five minutes each looking ahead to 2022 and giving their predictions of what the New Year will bring in terms of underwriting, claims and product development.

We expect this to facilitate a vibrant discussion and I would urge everybody to participate. Advisers can register to attend the event free of charge via this link.

If you are not an adviser but want to join the conversation please approach your normal Protection Guru contact.

Over of, we started the week examining Synaptic Analyser, a retirement income analysis and drawdown product comparison tool. 

On Tuesday we recapped the Planning for the Future discussion which was part of an Investment Forum meeting earlier in the year. This session saw expert panellists Ed Carey (Timeline), Paul Resnik (The Suitable Advice Institute) and Zahib Bilgrami (at the time the CEO of Defaqto) discuss advances in risk profiling. 

An advisers client portal has, in my view, long been the most important part of the tech estate, it is a digital representation of the business to their clients. For a long time such functionality was conspicuously absent in the Time4Advice Curo system. It is welcome that they have now addressed this and in Wednesday’s insight we looked at what the proposition offers.

Integration  between different systems is increasingly one of the key things that advisers consistently asked for so on Thursday we recapped some of the highlights from our February AdviceTech Forum meeting and the discussion centring around getting systems to talk to each other

Finally I’d like to give another shout out for the

Empowering Advice Through Technology 2022 event. If you are you an adviser who wants to put technology at the heart of their business or you work with advisers in any way, either as a platform, life insurance or technology supplier, and are interested in understanding precisely how firms can do this, this is an event you really should attend.

The show which FTRC are producing in association with the Personal Finance Society, will be held at The Pullman Hotel, Euston Road, London on Thursday 27th January 2022. 

This is a very different technology conference as it is also a master class in the key issues you should consider when deciding how best to use technology. 

It is about the AX, the BX & the CX, the Adviser Experience, (your) Business Experience and the Client Experience. 

At the show you will see an array of new services that can help enhance each of the above. Also hear from firms delivering new technology and most importantly their customers explaining where they have found value. 

This is not a conference to attend casually, it is only for those serious about getting the most out of technology for their business. 

We want to change how you think about advice technology, in the end of show poll at our last event 92% of the delegates told us that was what we had done. 

“Early Bird” tickets are available until 10th December 2021 so if you don’t want to miss out click the link below to secure your place  

Benefits Guru

Tuesday’s insight from Kat Mitchell examined the providers who have payroll integrations with Brightpay and Moorepay, while on Thursday she turned her attention to Just Global and Pegasus Payroll, and the providers who integrate with them.

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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