We take pride in the fact that we’ve been providing high quality life and critical illness cover to our customers for many years. But it’s not just the amount and quality of the cover you are recommending that’s important; it’s trusting in the provider to pay a claim.
A well-handled claim is the ultimate endorsement of your recommendation to your client, so it’s good to know you’ve chosen a provider with a consistent track record of paying.
The ABI recently released its industry claims data which showed that the vast majority( over 98% of life claims and 92% of critical illness claims) were paid in 2016. That equates to millions of pounds being paid to customers to help them at some of the most difficult times in their lives. It’s a shame then that it’s often the stories of unpaid claims that grab the headlines.
I know most providers have claims teams that, like ours, do their very best to pay a claim. We, for example, had a claim for a condition that was not covered by the policy; sadly a clear cut decline. However, we took the time to investigate further and found evidence of a second condition that was covered and duly paid the claim.
It’s for reasons like this that the industry figures are so high and why our figures for 2016 were above average at 100% and 93.85% respectively. And for the claims that we can’t pay, the story doesn’t end with our decision. We monitor the reasons for declining claims and use the data to help us make improvements to future products that will enable us to pay more in the future.
We’ve also listened to our claimants’ stories and developed processes to speed up claims by reducing paperwork, making life cover payments of up to £300,000 without waiting for probate and paying up to 25% of the claim directly to HMRC when an Inheritance Tax bill is due.
A handful of providers, ourselves included, have also signed up to the Protection Distribution group’s funeral pledge. The pledge means when a death claim is received we can pay a funeral director up to £10,000 from the claim to cover the cost of the funeral if we are waiting for probate. A simple, but valuable service to relieve the financial burden at such a difficult time.
So is it just about money? As an adviser you want your clients to get the best cover they can afford and the majority of quality products today include benefits that your clients can use without having to claim; benefits that go beyond just a cheque.
When your clients take out an Old Mutual Wealth Protect policy, they automatically have the option to use our support service, There for You. For no extra cost, the service is there for policyholders and their immediate family and can be used at any time, without having to claim, and for as long as it’s needed.
The service, provided by the hugely experienced RedArc, gives your client a dedicated personal nurse who will take the time to listen, offer guidance and provide tailored emotional and practical support such as face to face second medical opinions, counselling and help at home.
Your advice and a provider who can be trusted to support your client both financially and emotionally is a powerful combination…..surely one that outweighs a few negative headlines?
You can find full details of Protect on our adviser website and full details of our 2016 claims in our latest brochure .
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This article first appeared on the IRESS blog on 8 June 2017