Protection insurance Underwriting

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Protection Insurance Underwriting

Protection insurance underwriting can be incredibly complex with each insurer having a different underwriting philosophy. You can find that a person is declined by one insurer and standard terms with another, it is not easy to understand. 

This 45 minute webinar will give you insights on ways to develop processes to speed up your underwriting research, manage your time more effectively and manage your clients expectations.

Protection Insurance Underwriting Webinar​

Protection Insurance Underwriting Transcript​

The text is the output of AI based transcribing from an audio recording. Although the transcription is largely accurate, in some cases it is incomplete or inaccurate due to inaudible passages or transcription errors and should not be treated as an authoritative record.

Kathryn Knowles

Good morning, everybody, just letting everybody in as we’re going along. And I’ll be keeping an eye on it over the next couple of minutes just letting people in as and when they ask them when they wants to move that so it doesn’t feel strange where I’m looking with my webcam. Give it one more minute for people to just sign in. And do appreciate that obviously, people suddenly get client Collins or you might suddenly get a client call and you might need to dash so please don’t worry it is being recorded. And any clumps you follow up at a later time if you need to? Okay, we’ll probably start getting underway with everything. So obviously, good morning, everybody. Welcome to this, we’re gonna be talking about protection insurance, underwriting how to simplify it, make it as, hopefully as easy for you as possible trends, just give you some tips as to what to do and where to try and save time be a bit more efficient. And this is being recorded. So you are welcome to speak, you are welcome to put messages in. But just bear in mind that it is being recorded, it will go out on stuff like the systems for people to watch back. So if you don’t want to be sort of in that kind of a situation where you’re maybe your face is on or you’re speaking or anything, then please, you know, feel free to contact me afterwards. And and we can always chat that way. I’ll just start the session as well in the chat by sending you all the link to the website. So if you go on to that website, link that’s in the chats. It gives you the access there to the CPD for this session. And also for the podcast if you listen to my podcasts as well. So so it goes probably about the main thing of introductions lady want to start us off? Yeah,


Lee Robertson  08:48

sure. Um, Thanks, Kathryn. Sorry, everyone. My voice is a bit croaky today. This is the latest in the series, October really pleased to be involved. We’ve got a real thing for protection. And we love doing these sessions with Katherine, we also sponsor the practical protection podcast. So I have the easy job really today, I just look out for questions. If you don’t want to come on screen and ask your questions. Do feed them into the chat. I’ll keep an eye out there and I’ll feed them through to Kathryn if you don’t want to come up on screen. No compulsion to do so. But listen, thanks, everyone for joining. I will go off screen now to leave everything for Kathryn. But I’ll come back on when Kathryn begins to wrap up and take questions but it’s a big encouragement for questions. And of course, if you enjoy today, and if you’re a repeat visitors so to speak, do feel free to tell or your colleagues is such a great resource. So over to you Kathryn.


Kathryn Knowles  09:37

That’s it. Thank you, Lee. So yeah, we’re going to be going through everything for anybody who has attended these before and I am a talker so we are going to be here for say about 45 minutes I will pretty much I’ll probably be going through the majority of that. So do feel free to post any questions that you want to along the way leak and always potentially into me as I go along, and an answer anything but hopefully hopefully I’ll be done in a little bit of time for you to ask Some questions. So essentially, today we are looking at Protection Insurance underwriting. And I’m going to tell you what I do, as I’m just purely a protection insurance broker, I don’t do any of the other things, I don’t do pensions, investments, mortgages, anything like that. And one of the reasons being is is that one, I’m just too busy to do anything else. But there’s just there is so much to do if you’re going to the protection insurance side of things and do it, you know, really right for your clients as well, because there are so many different options in terms of products, in terms of approaches, by insurers, in terms of the underwriting and the risks, is quite unusual, I think, to come across people where there’s not some kind of risk at all that will have an influence or potential influence on a protection insurance application. So I’ll tell you what we do at Cure, cure is my insurance brokerage.


So for ourselves, we actually don’t do any options for our clients until we’ve done kind of like a little teleinterview first. And I don’t want that to scare anybody. Because you know, when I mentioned to people at times, like oh, God, you know, kind of thing, if I’m not going to fit that into my own factfinder and how that works and everything. It doesn’t necessarily need to be intense what you start from. And the reason that we say that we won’t do that. And it’s just quite simply, if somebody comes to us and says, Well, can I get a price right now on the phone, then we say no, because just for in the sense of if you’re doing a pension if you’re doing an investment, and obviously yes, you can state your fees and things like that, but you wouldn’t be able to give the exact option of that client, it’s going to have, you’re going to need to take time to prepare, and look at the market, look at the different options in front of you. That’s exactly the same for the protection, a cure we’re using, I think it’s over 35 insurers for protection, show us options, or do something slightly different for clients. And in terms of the risks that they might have. You don’t have to be slower as we do, because I say we as advisors are kind of Whitwell we’re trained as insurance professionals, obviously. But I also train everybody to be kind of mini underwriters.


So you can’t, in a sense, be an advisor in my firm, unless you have a good amount of risk knowledge as well, you must do that, because that’s essentially our client base, obviously, I wouldn’t expect you guys to be in that exact same position. But you can waste a lot of time if you don’t ask certain things from the start. So what I would say is if you’re speaking to somebody if you’re gonna be looking at protection insurance, and so if you’re doing the markets, I get asked this quite a bit and more professional, how do I bring in the protection insurance conversation. Now, this is partly my personality, but I do think is a good way to do it as well. It’s just basically say, to your client, I’m setting you up a mortgage, we are discussing life insurance, at the very least, you know, there’s no we’re not messing about at all, it isn’t like, Oh, this is something that you might do as an extra. Obviously, I know that not everybody needs life insurance. But let’s just assume that we’re talking about, obviously, the significant majority of people who would need life insurance in that situation. And we’re just saying it is happening, I am doing it, it’s part of my process. If I don’t do this for you, I’m leaving you at risk, which is not what I’m prepared to do all comes down to your consumer duty side of things as well.


But when you’re doing that, obviously, we’re going to be saying to them, this is happening from the start. And either you do it or you signpost to someone else who’s going to come in and do it from the start for you. But we just asked you know, some some because we don’t need to follow application. So we’re going to say is people have you had any medical conditions in the past, or now you know, anything, any outstanding tests, that brings a lot of things together, and it’s you’re not doing a full application, we might still miss things at that point. Obviously, for myself, my firm would be asking a lot more than this. But for you guys, if it’s not something that you’re doing just day in, day out and protection side, and you’re worried about how to be listened to fact find just ask that, get that information found out the condition, obviously, I would then suggest that really see the really good options for your clients who would ask a lot more about potential medical conditions, but at least at the very least, if you’ve got it at the start, then that’s a good thing. And so a really good one is to sell trade secrets or any medical conditions in the past, like if you if you had cancer has like stroke, anything now, you know, any outstanding test, you know, and we bring in the cancer because it might sound strange to some and I spot a lot of people who’ve had cancer or who actively have cancer and but people can actually compartmentalise that they’ve had cancer, and they might actually forget and until you start going through those insurance application with them, they might suddenly go Oh, yeah, I did have cancer, it might be that they had a very very small skin cancer. And it’s just kind of going out the mind as well. It’s been something that’s been over and done with so super quick that it’s not actually been a sensor a bit that really intense side of things to accounts for they’ve had a really significant treatment.


If you do ask people about this as well, obviously smoker status always comes up in protection insurance, usually about double the price if you are a smoker, and that includes any form of nicotine is cigarette gum, patches, anything like that. And then what we’re going to do is change our Quite frankly, instead of saying, Have you used any form of nicotine in the mindset, have you used any form of cigarettes in the last 12 months, which is what a lot of people tend to ask, is we’re going to say, have you used any form of nicotine in the last five years, excuse my cockapoo, he’s just having a moment in the background, I do apologise. And it’s because what we’re gonna do is we’re gonna say nicotine books, gonna encapsulate all those things that we might be missing if we just say cigarettes. And also when I say five years, because some insurers now, when you do your research, you will see that basic premium. But with some of them, when you start doing the application, I’ll see what have you used any form of nicotine in the last five years, but when did you and actually if the person gave up two years ago, three, four years ago, they’re going to rate the premiums. So actually, what you’re going to see from the start isn’t going to be the outcome at the end.


So you do really need to be conscious of that. And I do suggest, when you’re doing your research, when you’re building things to start building up, we’re going to talk about a G sheet in a bit. And include in there, which insurers are going to increase the price, if they have used any form of nicotine in the last five years, because that could be something that comes into your recommendation as well. But then obviously going to check the occupation, and really here and no matter what kind of thing you’re doing, you’re going to want the person’s occupation. And obviously, they might be retired, which doesn’t obviously fall into it. But in terms of occupation, so just what do you do for a living? The main things we’re looking out for is are they doing a job where they’re potentially gonna be working at heights, underground, and the water? Offshore abroad? is a really big one as well. How long would the movie be outside the UK, things like that. So not as intense necessarily on the occupation side, and I will go through each of these ones more, but I’m just saying so at the beginning, any medical conditions in the past anything now? What do you do for a living? In terms of travel? Are you you’re outside the UK for say, 30 more 30 days or more for holiday more than a week for work? It’s just one question, it will quickly let you know. And things obviously, if people are travelling to certain occasions if the foreign Commonwealth Office and says not to travel there, then that can be an issue and insurers do react to that quite quickly. A lot of you will probably send you these insurances that now if you’re travelling, obviously to Ukraine, that that’s going to be potentially while not potentially will be an issue. Even if somebody spent a significant amount of time in the Ukraine or Russia, or some other locations in the last, you know, 30 or so in the last couple of years that can in itself cause issues, even if they’re not intending to go back. So just ask that question.


And the last one is sports. And it’s really interesting and fun with sports, because you either get people who don’t do any of the high response and go, I’m so boring. And you’re like, No, you’re not borrowing you’ve been saved, that’s fine. And it’s either that or you get people at the other end who do everything, and don’t see any of it as risky at all. So I say to people early on, are you doing anything like super risky on a weekend like I don’t know, jumping out of an aeroplane riding a motorbike horse riding. And I include those ones specifically because jumping out of an aeroplane does make people think, Oh, we’re talking about things that are actually quite risky if something goes wrong, I say motorbike because a lot of people who ride motorbikes do not see a motorbike as high risk at all. And you will find with some insurers that you’ll get into the app, and it’ll suddenly say something about motorbikes, massively changes the outcomes. And often with the sports, you’re going to go into what’s known as per mil ratings. And so generally, with health conditions, we’re going to be looking at percentage increases on premiums, if there’s a risk depends on the situation, if there has been recent cancer that could be per mils, and per mil is where they basically they increase the premium for every 1000 pounds that you’re taking out. So let’s say if the insurer might say, right, for every 1000 currently taking out, we’re going to increase the premium by two pound across an entire year, in a sense, you know, so whatever, if you’re taking out like 100,000 pounds, compared to 250,000 pounds of tuition and 50 is going to be far, far more because you’ve got an extra, you know, 150 150 of these extra two pounds, it’s fairly complicated.


So I do apologise, I won’t go too much into the maths of it, the insurance can help you do check with them, and watch out as well for per mils because some insurers when they say per mil, you might see some that say, I don’t know like something like eight per mil, or 10 per mil. And they’re doing that based upon like an annual assessment of the premium and you might see some are really really good at like two or three pimoroni Like I want that one because, hey, temperamental, two, three per mil, definitely to three per mile. But you can sometimes then find that the ones who were looking super good compared to the rest are actually doing their assessment based upon a monthly assessment of that per mil. And now I’m going very technical jargon here so I’m sorry for that. But just basically if you see per mils for your clients, one of them looks super amazing. Just double check, is that a monthly or is that an annual because if it is a monthly then when it goes to like the full annual amount is probably not that much different to everybody else. So we’re gonna be keeping a look at all of these things. Obviously, there’s lots and lots going on. As I say, with sports, we’re more likely to have a per mil rating, which obviously we want to avoid. So if there’s some insurers like with the motorbike, who wants to know who are going to play MLA, then we want to know so that we can go to the insurers that aren’t bothered about the motorbiking. And this is all mainstream insurers that I’m talking about with these differences.


We’re not talking about having to go super specialist or anything like that. It’s just different insurers have different risk appetites, and it’s knowing we’re about to look at these things and put these things. So in terms of underwriting systems, there are some absolutely brilliant underwriting systems out there that can help you. Now that’s not necessary. I’m not saying stop by giving you the quotations but the actual the underwriting, doing the online system for you kind of centralising all the insurance systems for you. And they can be absolutely fantastic. They are brilliant, if you have things that I can be among high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and some levels of mental health. So depression, anxiety, stress, where there’s not been a kind of disorder of the really significant interventions, or there’s been any kind of significant harm or anything like that for the person. So it can be really, really useful for that. And that can be really good for sports and travel as well, just to give you a good idea. What I would say, though, is if you are using these kinds of systems, because I do, I’m involved in quite a lot of social media groups, and especially on Facebook, in terms of advisor things and people put on, you know, suggested so what should I do in this situation, as somebody goes, I use this system, and I’m there thinking, don’t use that system. And the reason being is if somebody’s had cancer, if they’ve had a heart attack, if they’ve had a stroke, if they’ve got Parkinson’s, those online systems are not going to give you an indication, they are going to sit, you’re going to go through the mall, and they’re going to say with for a medical report. So if you know it’s going to refer for a medical report, if it is one of those situations, there’s only one insurer, whether it doesn’t necessarily require a GP report for Parkinson’s, but that is going direct, not through one of these online systems. And it’s very, very specific circumstances. And majority of the time in those situations, you just need to speak to the underwriters, you’re going to have to do that to get a really good idea as to what that person’s situation is going to be and what’s going to be available for them.


So do play about with online systems online, on the underwriting systems, find what can go through what doesn’t go through and make a note. So I’m gonna say this, obviously, early on build a G sheets. So that’s a Google spreadsheet, I really suggest this for anybody who’s working in this space. And it doesn’t need to be fancy. But if you do it as a G sheet that you can share with your team, you can all build in to your answers. So you can have a tab in the G sheet that says cancer or breast cancer saying, and then look at your insurers. So you could have the insurers in the rows in the sense that you use and in the columns, you could have life cake, IP, and then my in what they did, so you know, oh, well, I had somebody with breast cancer. And, you know, let’s say, you know, I don’t know how to set a viva for life insurance offered, I don’t know, plus 50% on the premiums based on the situation. So you could just write in there saying plus 50%, you know, and you can say, you know, was it a lower staging cancer, something like that, and then it just, it will help you later on when you’re looking at the different insurers and looking at those conditions to go right? Well, actually, previously that insurers said this.


So they tend to be a bit better, you do want to keep an eye on it every now and then and kind of have another really look because it shows do change their risks at times, and they don’t outwardly kind of come forward with that. But it will help animal simplifies a little bit more at the start. But it saves so much time in the long run, you know, because you know, in terms of what we do, as a caregiver, we do have a G sheet, quite a lot of us use it, some of us with certain medical conditions will just know off the top of our head this and show that insurer, that’s the kind of situation we’re going to get it might be standard, it might be rated that insurable declined for this. But if you’re not doing this purely day in day out, and specifically working with clients who do have risks, it’s gonna be very, very difficult to do that. So having some kind of like repository where you can start to like really engage and insight put the information in will will save you a lot of time in the long run. And you can find as well with these online systems, because when you look at the online systems, what they do is the underwriting systems, they have a centralised set of questions that the insurers have agreed to, and given in their ratings, what they will accept.


So what you can find at times is that the insurers will have signed up to say, right through this system, we agreed to this question set and this is what we’re going to do. But actually, if you went direct to the insurer, you can have very different outcomes to them. And some insurers won’t use these online underwriting systems because they’re not prepared to go to like a generic, centralised set of questions because they want to really be very specific about certain areas. So It might be that all these years of Sonic agreed in this centralised system. Okay, we agree that we’ll see this as risky. But we’re gonna say that we don’t see this as risky. So the shows that don’t sign up to it are the ones who are probably thinking, well, actually, that bit that you’re saying isn’t risky to us that no, statistically that is a risk, we probably don’t want to completely ignore that. So do use them. If it really helps you just bear in mind, as I say that sometimes you might still get better options if you go direct. So they can be brilliant, absolutely fantastic, saves so much time, but they’re not always the answer for everything. And for everyone has it a really good example of that is sports. As I say, Some insurers don’t see motorbikes as a risk, some taxi skiing as a risk, sometimes he’s sailing as a risk, others will do. And, you know, it might well be that actually, you end up with a worse outcome through an online system, because of the fact that the online system maybe asks about skiing, and your client has to be going off piste, and doing all this fancy stuff, and, you know, stuff that’s, you know, potentially going to get quite a high rating. But the insurer of it, if you’ve gone direct to them might not have asked anything about skiing. So you really do need to just be on top of where that all sits.


One thing I do suggest as well is that you never give the client the basic price until you know their risks until you’ve at least had a chat with them, you know, if they say no, absolutely nothing in my medical history, document, you know, I just go on holiday to Spain a couple of times a year, maybe work, I’ll just work in an office, some financial advisor, no sports, you know, the worst thing I do is go running, and maybe you know, cycling around the world, somebody who’s not going to seem like anything, and you’re thinking, brilliant, you know, that’s absolutely fantastic. You know, we can just go straight in and do all the app and everything. That’s potentially okay. But then just bear in mind as well, whilst we might do that, it might work really well. We do have the fact that we’ve not asked about family medical history, which can have a huge, huge influence on critical illness cover especially. So I really do suggest that you do, do at least some of these questions, try and capture as much as you can, whilst also being sensible to your time and your fact finding what you can allocate to this. And just because you can really, really see a huge change.


So somebody, you’re doing an application, all of a sudden, they turn around and say, well, actually, you know, let’s say as an example, there were a woman, and they’ve had a sibling diagnosed with multiple sclerosis at the age of 42, it’s quite likely that they will, with a critical illness application of a multiple sclerosis exclusion on there, that’s something you want to prepare for, before you get to that decision stage before you’ve done that half hour, 45 minutes in the application, because that’s probably the key, one of the key areas of concern for that person. And if you’re suddenly seen as an exclusion, it’s going to be very negative process. And it’s going to make it feel negative for everything you’re suggesting to them. Because you’ve, you’ve not been able to prepare them manage their expectations. And you know, they can feel sort of quite quite downhearted by it, some will be quite annoyed by it as well. So just really think about what you’re doing in terms of, am I gonna match the expectations to the start Is that going to end up being the right thing in the end, because life insurance, we all know, it’s lovely and cheap for the majority of people. But I’d say basic humans by account and once you get through underwriting, it’s 20 pound a month, I think all of us would probably think, well, 20 pound a month, you know, for probably quite a lot of us is affordable. Why would really live like that five pound a month, you know, why am I getting that. And it’s kind of like a little bit of a kick in the teeth. Bit of a slap in the face to basically, you know, I always say it’s a bit like that whole, you know, when there used to be that TV show, and this is the price you could have won if you’ve chosen the right door kind of thing. And the beer is a lovely, you know, and boat or fantastic car in the background, it kind of feels like that to sort of be like, well, actually, no, we can’t have this because of this health condition because of that. And that can really be very negative to that person and how they feel about themselves.


So we’re doing all of that, obviously, we’re going to be trying to build our G sheet as well, which is probably the key thing that we really, really want to be taking away is that we can do stuff to help ourselves in these systems. So let’s have a look at things. So if we somebody had said to us about health, and I’m going to talk about mental health here, because I think that’s one that’s really, a lot of people will come across and we have lots and lots of people that are experiencing mental health. And let’s have a look at depression. Okay, so the first thing I would say when you’re speaking to a client, if they do say to you if you say to them any medical history, Scoble, I have experienced depression in the past. Thank them, you know, so thank you for being open with me. It is something that a lot of insurers would want to know about. Do you feel comfortable chatting to me about it? There are some quite quite specific questions that are need to ask you. Is that okay? If not, we can look at options where If we don’t have to go through the questions, but they’re not going to be as good an option in terms of like the the quality of the product, give them the choice, thank them for being open, explained that we do need to go through these things to get them the better option. A lot of people will just be pretty straightforward in the sense of depression, and it goes through the application set. But obviously, there are some people where it’s going to be a bit more tricky.


But we also want to make sure that we’re capturing all of the potential trickiness early on early on so that we know where to go to and again, not give any, for some people false hope as to what might be happening when I say false hope. Let’s say somebody has, you know, potentially attempted to take their life two weeks ago, we’re not going to be getting life insurance in the mainstream ensures that we will be able to get insurance, but it is going to exclude anything relating to any kind of self harm or suicide attempts. And then we can also prepare them for the timeframes when we maybe can look at more mainstream things like that. Key things with any health condition, what were you diagnosed with, When were you diagnosed with it? What medications or treatments have you needed to take that’s really, really important have they changed recently is a good one as well. So you know, if you’ve got somebody with mental health, and their dosage has suddenly gone up recently, depending upon the medication that can have quite an influence in modern stronger medications, where it can potentially have an influence. And, and there’s, there’s lots that go into this, and we don’t have time to go into all of this right now. But I’m just trying to give you the main things, you know, we’re going to be saying, What, When, what’s the treatments, any changes recently, and also feel free to in a sense, apologise and say, so like, I’m really sorry, with insurers will ask about these things? Is it okay? If I ask you, if it gets too much, or just stop? You know, that’s fine, too.


You can always say to people we can stop. So the insurers as soon as we say things about depression, they are going to be saying inpatient treatment community mental health team, and psychiatrist thoughts, self harm attempts, it’s better to know that early on, because then again, some insurers don’t ask about thoughts, in the same way as others, some don’t ask about self harm our attempts, if there were other five years ago, some other 10 years ago, someone asked forever. So we want to make sure that we know exactly where we’re going. And in that G sheet, where you’ve been building up these potential things, you know, next to the mental health section, you know, you’ve got an insurer in there. So several life insurance doesn’t ask about, you know, attempts or self harm, if it’s over five years ago, that will really, really help you, as you’re going forward. Some extra things in terms of health that can be really, really useful is and I have this sometimes, with my team, it’s all about learning experiences, somebody says to you, I’ve got this condition, and I’m absolutely fine. Doesn’t doesn’t bother me at all. I’ll just carry on as usual, I work normally, and all this kind of stuff, okay. And then you find out that actually, they’re in receipt of your Personal Independence Payment, or employee Support Allowance in the in the health side of things. That doesn’t add up, unfortunately. And what we’re going to do is turn around and have to very, very, very carefully be discussing the fact that, okay, so we’ve got this health condition, we’ve got this benefit here, those benefits, especially personal independence payments are not easy to get, they’re very, very difficult to get, you do need to be quite ill. So if you’re being told that the condition isn’t strong, then those to get those benefits, there will have been reports from the GP, it should be in the GP records, you know, and the GP should mirror what they’ve said, in a sense to the I’m trying to think of the people who do the assessment now. I can’t think of it the pit people. And it’s the same to the insurer to the underwriter.


So we need to be chatting about that, from the start, in a sense of, we’re not gonna be challenging them, we’re not going to be funny, we’re not going to be pointing and saying, hey up, that doesn’t add up or anything like that, that’s certainly not what we’re going to do. But we’re just going to be from the start, you know, being very cautious, very sensible, very empathetic, and just say, well, obviously, you know, with the receiving Pip, they would usually the insurers, you know, we’d be thinking that that means that your health is actually quite, your symptoms are quite strong. And obviously they would want to see you apart from your GP just to confirm everything. And then you would just speak to the underwriters, you know, it could well be and then at some point, we just need to be saying to the client, obviously, this is the indication based on what you’ve told us, but obviously, depending upon what comes back in terms of what the information was in regards to your health when you’re needing the PIP and things like that, that could really alter the options. Another thing I forgot to say in terms of the mental health is to really be careful. It’s really hard, because it’s kind of you. We don’t all talk Got suicide all the time, but we do hear about it on the TV, in the news on films and everything. And it’s been quite normalised for a long time to say commit suicide. We don’t say commit suicide, the insurance questions shouldn’t say commit suicide, they should say attempt suicide.


The reason being is that commits suicide, it goes back to when it was illegal to try to take your life, and its religious connotations to it. So it can actually be quite offensive to people in terms of religious backgrounds and things like that. So we’re going to try and really try and change that wording, as to as to how we’re going to save, if you do say it, you’re just going to have to be a case of let’s, you know, let’s hope that the person has offended if they are just apologise. And say that, you know, you’ve been really trying to sort of like to, to improve the way that you know, or the instrument improving the way that things that we talked about these things. And it’s just been an unfortunate thing that you’ve said it in the old version, and you are solving specimen you can do. And so as I say, if we’ve got anything like Pip, then we know, it’s not as a lighter condition, as people would be suggesting to us. And you’ve also got as well, I will be saying, Now, not everybody does this, I will do it with my clients where I say for them to see the GP report, it can delay things a couple of days.


So the reason being is the amount of errors that we see, I see my firm specifically helps people very much. So in risk situations, a lot of the time is health, we see a huge amount of errors in GP reports. And, and we have to get them corrected, it can also be as well that the person maybe hasn’t understood a certain medical term has been sent to them, which completely changes everything. So I really suggest get them to see the report. There’s two ways that’s done. There’s the electronic version, which is known as a GPR. With that one, it’s a bit tricky. So you have to prepare them. If it comes to you electronically, when you check it, don’t just say yes, I approve and send there’ll be somewhere on there, it says download my own copy, get them to download a copy, and then say yes to send because with the electronic system, once that button is clicked to send and the GP sends it, it’s disappeared, it’s completely gone in the system for the GP is with the insurer, and getting that back of the insurer is not simple at all, it’s gonna take a long time. So get them to download it, then if anything happens, that you’re not expecting in terms of terms, then, you know, obviously, you can basically say to them, what can you share a copy of that with me, I can then speak really clear with the underwriters, because I can evidence to them say I’ve got the GP report, and they can let me know what’s what’s the outcome of this is, for myself, my firm, we will just say just send us a gap report from the start, because then we can preempt anything that we weren’t expecting.


Some examples of errors, we have somebody where in their entire report, there was one line that said diabetic, didn’t have diabetes, never been tested for it, there was no blood test results, but the show was going to increase the payment because of that one line. Luckily, we were able to get the report corrected, which meant that we were able to get the standard premiums. And we then had somebody else, you know, this is not uncommon where they drink maybe a couple of times a year on special occasions. And actually the GPS put this person drinking six or seven units a day, which massively changes the outcome. That’s another one. So just just as well, I do suggest, you know, in terms of checking in alcohol, just how much alcohol do you drink, you know, when we’re getting something always ask us is just as good as well, have you ever been advised to reduce? Because I’ve certainly been caught out by that before, when I was in my early stages of advice, a lot of my tips come from obviously tried and tested things that have happened. And again, massively changes the outcomes. Another thing to be mindful of with health is this. Insurance views of medical conditions are very different to GP views. And this can come out quite specifically as an example, with people who tend to be older, and what’s known as chronic kidney disease. So it’s a very medical kind of thing. But essentially, as we get older, our kidneys don’t work the same as we did when we were in our 20s. Pretty pretty standard.


So just like as we get older insurers assume that rpmi will go a bit higher that our cholesterol, our, our high blood pressure, or blood pressure will get a bit higher and they adapt where they’re going to, like underwrite and rate people based on the fact that this is just what the body does as it gets older. It’s not that you poorly, it’s just that you’re older. But that doesn’t happen with chronic kidney disease. So according to kidney disease, GP will say to somebody, right, this is your kidney function are fine, because based on their age, and everything and the medical side of things, it is seen as fine. But insurers will look at that figure and go Well, that’s chronic kidney disease. And you know, but the that’s based upon a 20 year old, you know, 2030 year old in good health with their kidneys working at that function like yeah, but that’s chronic kidney disease and You ended up in this kind of like, hitting a wall kind of situation. So sometimes with older people, we can find that there are certain things that are going to come out that the GP isn’t concerned about in the slightest. But the insurers will another ones some of you might be familiar with, I had a client who had consistently protein in the urine, and it was just something that their body was doing. And it seemed specialist had been fully checked, their body was just doing that. And their GP, that consultant just won’t look, it’s just one of those things for you with, there’s nothing else to do, we’re not gonna be able to correct it, it’s just one of them. But to ensure was that’s the case of well, actually, that means that something in the kidneys isn’t working, right. So you know, this is something that we’re not too sure about. And we want to know a lot more. But so then again, even this thing about, well, the GP and consultant aren’t gonna do anymore on the show is like, well, we need to know more, or else we’re not going to be doing this. So it can be really tricky at times. And people can get quite frustrated that the insurance world obviously isn’t working in the same way as the medical world. But that is the way that it is we do do a lot. And I am involved in a lot of changes that happen in the industry and being vocal about changes that I think needs to happen. But there are certain sometimes certain limits as to what we can and can’t do and what we can and can’t change. And, and we obviously just need to work through it as best as we can. I’m going to give you some examples now. And then hopefully, I will actually have a few minutes for any questions.


 And so it’s give you some examples of some of the other ones occupation, I was trying to figure out what we’re good at occupation for the people attending this, because I know obviously, we’re going to have advisors from all aspects of financial services looking at this, and I went with Merchant Marine, because I thought Merchant Marine, it is potentially a bit of a risk. But they also tend to be quite wealthy. So I thought that probably fits, you know, any financial advisors that are here, and potentially the people that you’ll be accessing. So Merchant Marine, similar if you have fishermen or anybody else who’s working on a boat, things like that, not offshore people shop people be different. But merchant, I mean, where are they? Where are they travelling? Which waters? Are they going to what’s the size of the boats, that’s really important, how often out the outside of the UK, so how much time is spent, you know, not on UK grounds each year. How big is the crew is another big thing that’s important for certain ones, for merchant marine as well, it’s interesting is that they can sometimes have a special tax code. So it’s good to know if they have that tax code. Because with a lot of these insurances, the show wants them to be a UK taxpayer. There are certain jobs where they’re not necessarily UK taxpayers, they’ve got a special thing, that means that they’re not, but they still have the foot in the door here, which means that they can be covered.


So just double check those kinds of things. In terms of travel, again, I was trying to figure out the best kind of travel. So obviously, we can show people for all kinds of situations, I was at giving recommendations to somebody not long ago, who’d be travelling to Haiti. And as we’ve seen, probably news recently, Haiti is an area where there is obviously the foreign Commonwealth Office would be a huge no for, for a lot of insurance for ensuring there. So I’ve gone with Abu Dhabi, I thought, let’s go against somewhere where potentially, you know, some of that’s not in the list of. So obviously, the shows will ask, you know, North America, Europe, New Zealand, Australia, that kind of UK, but you know, we’re no longer part of Europe. And so I think of sort of Abu Dhabi stands out, because it’s not really a risky area in terms of what the insurers see at this moment. And we’re sorry, say at this moment, but again, how often are they going there? Why are they going there? Is it work? Is it leisure? You know, how many months of the year is correct, but sooner as well, if they’re there quite often, is it like in three words, three week bursts? Because some insurers will say, well, it’s consecutive, rather than sort of like if it’s just lots of individual ones. And again, that thing of other UK taxpayer, that’s a really key thing, when people are abroad quite a bit. And just in general, insurers wants to make sure that they are here, because they want to know if, if they’re not a UK taxpayer, then it’s a case of well, if they are more resident in another country, can they have this insurance now that will come down to partly what the insurer can do, what your compliance will allow you to do and what your PII insurer will allow you to do? Because you might need to go international, which is possible. But also, it’s just a case of if somebody is not resident in the UK, it’s because of the fact that the underwriting risks change. And it’s, you know, what are the risks for that country in terms of someone’s likelihood of dying or like of developing a critical illness? What’s their healthcare structure there, and that’s why it changes quite a lot. And then in terms of sport, so for people doing sports don’t often realise how risky their sports can be. Some insurers aren’t too bothered about certain ones.


Some are so I’ve chosen scuba diving, scuba diving is one where a lot of people just like scuba diving, which is fine, but there’s a lot to know as well a time so I’m just gonna go through some of the things that I will be asking someone if they’re Tommy scuba diving. So I’d be saying is it UK base? Is it abroad? Are they using mix there? Are they doing open? Walter are the more like in coves. Are they solo? Are they in a group? What qualifications do they hold? Are they record cave diving? If they are doing that do they see, obviously the exit, if it’s a wreck is an actual about speed going and sunk. And it’s a wreck, or there are manmade wrecks. Or you might have seen them sometimes on social media, like the manmade art, sculptures and things that are underground, things like that. And what’s the max depth that they go to? And how often are they doing it? So it’s not just a case of saying, Oh, yes, you do scuba diving, we’re trying to preempt everything that’s going to come out later on. So we can make sure that we have the right insurer. And again, that’s where things like your G sheet figuring out like, should actually this insurer asked this, this one didn’t ask this. And just helping you to build up that really quick guide as to this is the insurer I need to go to, in this situation for my clients. That is the majority of things I was going to say. Hopefully, it’s been helpful just to explain everything. So again, so yeah, leave any questions. Any thoughts?


Lee Robertson  46:04

Yeah. Thanks, Kathryn, as always, really comprehensive. Excuse me. gentle reminder, as I said, on the chat, that all questions are welcome. I’ve got one. And this comes from my time as a financial planner. One of the frustrations that we always used to suffer with and as you know, I’m a big believer in insurance was GPS could take a long time to reply. Do you have any tips there for the assembled delegates? Because I’m sure everyone feels this frustration keenly?


Kathryn Knowles  46:29

Yeah, well, I GPR, if it’s an electronic one, IGP. website, and it’s brilliant. And, and they what they do is you you go on their system, and you would have to remember what you’re typing, I think you’re typing application number, I think that’s it, and then it will meet and it was an if you don’t put in any identifiable information, except that and then it will come up. And I’ll say to you, received by the GP at this point, based upon this GPS, previous experience, we expect it to be released in two weeks. And obviously with being electronic, it’s, it’s amazing the actual statistics and what they can give you saved an incredible amount of time, because it means as well, you’re not then having to chase the GP, some GPS can be really funny. Sometimes it can be helpful to ring them and go. But we’re not, you know, we’re not being funny. But ultimately, this is stopping this person from protecting their family, you know, this isn’t like was messing about, you know, you are literally stopping them getting this insurance. And that can help sometimes, if it’s a paper based one, what I would say is what we do is because we have specific administrators who help with this, so they will then come and say, Have you received the the GP request? Yes, have you sent an invoice to the server? Then you go back to the show and come back? Have you paid? You know, have you paid it to the GP, to the GP, have you received the payment, and obviously that’s our processes, we do it, we will then keep getting in touch with them.


They do once they receive payment, there is a requirement that they return it within a certain amount of days, I believe it’s 28 working days, what we have found recently with some GPS is that they’re being quite funny at times, not all GPS. And obviously what I want to say is that I adore GPS, I’ve got nothing, you know, they are incredible, they are so overworked, they are so busy, they’ve got hardly any resources to doing this is intense for them as well. But we have had it with some GPS, where the insurers would set an amount that they’ll go well, we’ll be prepared to pay this for GP report. And they’ll do that. But then some GPs have said, well, actually, for that price work, and we’ve literally had this will go for that price, you won’t get it for six months. So if you want it in three months, you have to pay us this in two months, one month, one week, you pay us this, and it’s not feasible, the insurance can’t do it. And the thing is, is that that is not the insurers fault. That is what the GPS is doing. And that’s then again, as well, that’s a really hard situation, because you then get either a client who’s upset with the insurer for not paying it, or you get a client who’s then really upset with their primary health care provider. Because they’re just like, why are you doing this for me, you know, this, you’re really stopping this, which is really, really sad. So the best thing you can do is keep a record, if they say the sending it back at a certain time contact and close that time, is it still going to be done in that time, then if you are getting to the point where it’s that 28 day turnaround from the point they’ve received payments, so it’s not quite a report point of receiving payment for it. And then that’s when you probably want yourself or a manager to be contacted them and then at that point, unfortunately do have to start saying things like well actually wonder the you know, the BMA guidance you need to, you know, you need to send this back, you know, you’re not allowed to just have you been paid this and not complete the service. Okay,


Lee Robertson  49:47

thank you. We’ve had a question from Cassandra. Thanks, Cassandra. What do you do when a condition doesn’t quite fit an application form? So if you disclose it, you’re asking random non relevant questions on the form and having to follow up With emails, these then could be detriment to the customer with a return or exclusion, but don’t want to have a non disclosure at point of claim.


Kathryn Knowles  50:07

Yeah, it’s a really, really tricky one. And so sometimes if it’s something doesn’t fall completely in the questions, then, you know, I’d say is that the important thing as well, I have to say with these insurances is that the whole rule is, if the insurer does not ask the question, you don’t volunteer. So if you’ve got a health condition there, that doesn’t at all fit into those questions that you don’t need to tell them about it, that is the rule. Right? But at the same point, if someone has a medical condition, there’s usually a catch all somewhere that says, Have you seen a professional in the last three years? Have you had any medication? And at that point, you’d say yes, and then you’d need to probably type something in, some of them do have that facility now where you say, you know, other or unknown so and then you have a free text box where you can type it in. And if you really feel that it’s nowhere in that application, but you are worried about nondisclosure, I would just for your own safety as the advisor and the client security as well, I would contact your account manager, I would email them. So you’ve got an email trail of records basically say, I wouldn’t necessarily say I’ve done this application. And I want to know where I should put this, I would say I have a client that I’m considering putting to you. And they have this situation, where would it go in your question set? Because if you start saying to them, oh, well, this application, they have this, and obviously don’t start the app, don’t start it. And if you don’t start it, everything’s fine, in a sense. And if you’ve started that, then you will need to be obviously much more vigilant. But I’m just saying that. So why would I put this? And if they say, well, there’s no way to fit it in our questions, actually. And then you find you just carry on as is. But if they say, well, actually, that condition is actually it’s it sits in here, because of this, this this aspect of it in the background, it makes it I don’t know, a neurological condition that we may be, you know, we don’t necessarily know, no, so fit it in there. And then you know, that, obviously, you’ve got it done the right way possible, and added somebody a little while ago, where there was something else, I’m just not sure if it fits in this question sets.


So I did the policy, and I just email, you know, obviously, I didn’t start I just emailed the underwriters. And I said, but what do I need to do with this? Where do I need to put it? I’m not completely sure. With your wording. I wasn’t, it was it was hit or miss as to whether it needs to be in there. And they’re like, it’s fine. These are the questions it wants to know, what are the answers done, and it was absolutely fine didn’t change anything at all. But yes, it it sometimes it isn’t easy to just get around it. There’s there’s some insurance, for example, where with mental health, instead of actually having the ability to put in the mental health condition. They don’t actually recognise it, even though it’s a very well known medical condition, mental health condition. So you have to put in mental health as the as the disclosure because nothing else fits is none of the other ones. And, and then you just go down the regular route of questions of you know, which is very, very confusing. But with those ones, I say, the key thing is exciting for compliance background as well. You always protect your back. So if you don’t think it’s in there, double check with somebody, don’t just assume, don’t hope, as you say, the last thing we want is anything that claims go on for the client. We also don’t want a complaint against ourselves either. And if we’ve got that trail, then the insurer can argue against us to go, well, actually, this person told me this, I’ve done the right thing. If you’ve done it wrong, you’ve done it wrong, and you should honour what you’ve done wrong. And that’s hopefully the best, best we can do.


Lee Robertson  53:44

Okay, lovely. Thank you. And Cassandra says thank you, too. So I think that’s just about on time, unless there’s any final questions? Nope. Pretty quiet solution. Thanks, Kathryn is always fascinating. I don’t know if I’d forgotten about that whole thing about whether you did or didn’t put it on the form of the question wasn’t there. So that’s great. Thank you. Thanks, everyone, for coming up. See you for the next one, I hope. Thanks, Kathryn. Thanks, everyone, for joining us. Thank


Kathryn Knowles  54:11

you. See you soon, everybody.

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