As we are well aware here at The Insurance Surgery, we witnessed all insurers tightening up their underwriting criteria last April as Covid 19 spread across the planet. For all industries, it has been a challenging time. The reasons for the underwriting changes were due to the increased risk of death because of Covid 19. It was also impacted by how people with chronic conditions were more susceptible to the virus. As a result of this, we unfortunately found ourselves in a place where we had a number of customers every month that we couldn’t provide protection for. We would have been able to help before the Covid 19 pandemic hit. The changes didn’t mean that customers would never be able to get cover again. However, it did mean there were “postponed” offers of insurance. This was until there was some stability in terms of the viruses infection rate dropping and stabilising.
So now that infection rates are at the lowest point in 12 months are there any signs of underwriting changes on the horizon that will help these postponed customers?
For the first time this week we have seen signs of the life insurance market responding to the current levels of infections. LV have made the first move and are now considering life insurance for diabetics again. They are also considering life insurance for other chronic conditions including post cancer, respiratory conditions and heart and lung conditions. Debbie Kennedy, Director of Protection at LV commented: “This problem has affected all insurers and meant that people with these conditions have had their life insurance
applications postponed, due to challenges with complex underwriting and securing medical evidence during this difficult time.” Kennedy also said: “I’m delighted that as the insurance risk posed by coronavirus recedes, our flexible and speedy approach to underwriting means LV= will be the first in the mainstream market to underwrite life insurance applicants with chronic medical conditions. It is important that we continuously review the data and risks and be prepared to change our approach when the evidence supports this.” Specifically around Diabetes Life Insurance
, Debbie added: “The change to our philosophy for diabetes will mean that we’re likely to accept over 50% of diabetic cases at point of sale, providing they have controlled blood sugars, no complications and no other adverse cardiovascular risk.”
Does that mean it is all back to normal for life insurance underwriting?
Unfortunately not. As we know, all insurers have different criteria for different conditions. Therefore it is highly likely most customers who were postponed before, are still likely to be unable to get cover. LV is just one insurer out of our panel of 20+. However, positively, we know that once one insurer makes a change back, others will usually follow in due course. The team at The Insurance Surgery are going to follow developments very closely. We are in contact with insurers every day about any changes to their underwriting criteria. If you have been declined for life insurance in the last 12 months, you might want to request a quote from us today. If your chronic condition has been cited as the reason you haven’t been able to get cover, we could help you. 70% of customers we approve were declined previously somewhere else. Even if we can’t help you this time round, we will put you into a holding pot. As soon as insurers make further changes back to their previous underwriting philosophy, we will be in touch. We can then look to get your cover sorted for you and your family. For more information get in touch today, keep an eye on our weekly blogs and social media.