Pushing the boundaries: opening up more access to insurance
Helen Croft, Underwriting and Claims Strategy Manager
Friday 24 August 2018
Access to insurance is a topic causing lots of conversation and debate around the industry. Offering insurance to as many people as possible has always been at the forefront of what we do, but there is a misconception that this only relates to “healthy people''.
It’s becoming more apparent that our focus now needs to be looking at ways to reach out to those who think they are unable to get cover, when in all likelihood, they can.
More than 90% of people who apply to AIG Life for insurance are accepted, and over 70% are accepted at standard rates. Yet there is still a perception that only healthy people can get insurance, or that insurance becomes too complicated once medical conditions are disclosed. With phrases such as “clean lives” and “impaired lives” regularly used, it’s no surprise that the perception is misaligned to the reality.
With an ever-growing protection gap we have a responsibility as an industry to address this, but how?
Raising awareness of underwriting stances and being open and honest about underwriting needs to be our key focus. Historically, underwriting has been hidden away behind closed doors but there’s been a welcome step change over recent years, with insurers talking more about their underwriting and more influencers commentating on underwriting stances, changes and issues.
In reality, more than 50% of applicants tell us about a medical condition on their application, so medical underwriting is our bread and butter, both for our expert underwriting system and for our underwriters who work to the ethos to “Start from Yes”.
- #DidYouKnow that someone with diabetes can apply for income protection?
- #DidYouKnow that someone who is HIV positive can get life insurance?
- #DidYouKnow that more than 80% of people with raised blood pressure are accepted at standard rates?
How can we help support the difficult conversations with the less straightforward applicants?
We’ve launched our new dedicated underwriting webpages to raise awareness of underwriting with a focus on providing underwriting facts, talking about acceptance rates for our most common disclosures, myth busting around the underwriting of some serious medical conditions and providing guidance to help intermediaries and their customers.
This area of the website currently focuses on a few areas of medical underwriting but we are committed to developing this further, to take it beyond medical underwriting and have real insight from the people who use it.
So, next steps for you - let us know what underwriting information you would like to see, what would add value to your sales process, and most importantly, what would help shift the perceptions of who can and can’t get insurance.
Email us at email@example.com with your suggestions.
Increasing access to insurance is an industry responsibility and we hope that by helping change conversations around underwriting, we can help more people get the insurance they need and help build up consumer trust that insurance is for everyone.