Women's Health and Protection Insurance

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Women's Health and Protection Insurance

When it comes to protection insurance there are times that being a man or woman can alter the options that are available. There are more genders than this but we are unfortunately at a stage where insurers still need us to submit applications as male or female for life insurance, critical illness cover and income protection. The webinar does use the terminology of man and woman, to match the way that insurers word their and how they medically underwrite protection insurance applications. 

This 45 minute webinar will be give you insights on the how being a woman can alter the options that you have for critical illness cover and income protection, the key bits of medical information that are typically linked to the female anatomy and a brief look at how to support women going through a divorce or experiencing economic abuse.

Women's Health and Protection Insurance Webinar​

Women's Health and Protection Insurance 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  07:59

Starting to admit people Okay, so we’ve got just gonna give people about another minute or so just to get signed in. I know that we do have some people that have signed up. But I’ve had client calls suddenly happen. And obviously very naturally, we need to do our client calls first. And they’re going to be catching up on it so. So yeah, let’s just give everybody another a minute or so just to sign up and get in with these sessions they are being recorded. So please just bear in mind that that is happening. Do feel free to chat into the into the chats, you are welcome to take yourself off like new to anything as well and video, but if you don’t want to be potentially up on the when we share the recording session, then just keep yourself muted. And we can always chat afterwards.


I’m also just as well going to put into the into the chat while just giving everybody a chance to sign up the link to the CPD so that you can just quickly go into there. The in a sense the protection webinar aspect of it on the website, it doesn’t have the women health and protection obviously link on there but the CPD is available. So the following the recording will follow but the CPD is on there. So I’ll just put that in there for you to be able to access and obviously you’ve got the other ones to access as well. At some point if you want to say I’ll just give me b just got a couple more people coming in so it’d be one more minute and then we’ll we’ll get into everything so I’ll keep an eye on letting people in leave but do you want to start us off? Yeah,


Lee Robertson  09:48

of course. Well, welcome to the I think this is the third No, Kathryn. Welcome to the third session. Thanks for tuning up usual as Kathryn’s just said usual format feel free to stick your hand up digitally or ask questions in the chat. When Kathryn starts presenting, I will go off screen and not surprised like I did last month. Who thought I’d kind of offline but great to see everyone. These have been great sessions. Why am I here because we support the advice for advisors podcast through Octo, and we host a lot of Katherine’s content and CPD on October as well. So we’re very, very pleased to be part of this. So welcome, everyone. And I look forward to a great session. Kathryn. Fantastic.


Kathryn Knowles  10:27

Thank you, Lee and, obviously, yes, it’s these magic that makes us all CPD, herbal, so so big thank you to the staff as well. So we’re going to be talking about women’s health and protection. So as was mentioned, on the online system, as well, there are multiple genders. And and, you know, it’s unfortunate, in a sense to be speaking in some ways as a male and female. But ultimately, that is what we’re going to be doing. And and it’s important as well that if you are somebody who is speaking to somebody, they in the protection space, and they don’t identify as male or female, but obviously you handle that conversation really sensitively. But as for the purpose of this, that the difficulty we have is in protection insurance, we have to at the moment with insurance systems, we have to put people in as male or female. So I am speaking to this very much as in like a female woman, sorry, that kind of like traditional terminology, just because that is what the insurance dictates that we do. And hopefully that will all be useful the stuff that we’re talking about, as well. I’m just gonna let somebody else in. So general things to kind of start us off before going to the really, really nitty gritty stuff. Premiums, we used to have it were premiums used to be different for male and females, men were much more expensive life insurance, females were much more expensive for income protection, because of the fact that they statistically showed the higher claim levels. We all have, obviously, the gender directive came in many years ago, which meant that insurers couldn’t price people differently based upon their gender. And so what that basically means is, instead of obviously people thinking wonderful, the premiums will come down, obviously, it didn’t. So whereas women used to be cheaper for life insurance, they pretty much came up to where the men were men maybe dropped a little bit in terms of pricing. Same for income protection, women’s premiums kept pretty much where they were managed, just shut up. So that’s what’s happened. But what’s really interesting is that this is relevant in the personal and business protection space. So if you do group insurance at all, so Group Life Insurance Group with Cronus, cover group income protection, it is still gender priced. I don’t know how I don’t know why. But there’s slightly different rules, when not slightly very different rules when it comes to the group. And stuff like side of things that technicalities, and they weren’t upheld to that gender directive that was brought in. So when you are doing quotations, and you’ve maybe I sometimes get it with companies where, you know, naturally, when you’re doing a group site quotation there, a lot of firms are quite small, they don’t really know too much about the grip side of things, so to speak, kind of like well, what is it are really needed, ultimately, what’s the price, and they might not want to give you all the employee data straightaway. And with that side of things, you know, we are talking, you know, some kind of usually a name and date of birth, the gender salary, things like that. So sometimes I’ve had this before, where firms have said to me, Look, we’ve got 20 people, it’s pretty much half women, half men, and the between 24 and 42. And sometimes you do just kind of have to make up in some ways the data, just go look and basically be saying, I can’t say this is accurate, because you’ve not given me the actual data. But I’ve done like what I think is roughly right. So don’t make that mistake of thinking arch putting him down was male, because you know, it’ll just it’s the same for everybody. No, we do need to make sure in that space that we are making sure that the gender is in there. So some of the things that we can see is a little bit of an issue. So it was pretty much a shoo in issue. When we’re looking at women’s protection is there. It’s not necessarily a this has been done because it’s women’s protection. And it’s it kind of sits behind the statistics and everything and in terms of the claims data and things I’ve seen in the past, but women do tend to have more exclusions than men. When it comes to income protection and critical illness cover. So life insurance, we it will be rare to have exclusions, we don’t usually expect that. For anybody who’s been very technical with me. A lot of insurers do put an initial 12 on suicide exclusion on life insurance policies, regardless of that person’s medical history. It’s just a standard clause that comes with what insurers but bear that in life insurance, we wouldn’t be expecting exclusions we’d be more expecting premium increases. That’s not to say it doesn’t happen. But with most of your mainstream providers, you’re not going to see that the show is just gonna go we either can’t cover or supreme increase but critical illness, income protection insurance go well actually a bit more leeway. So we’re not just going to say no, we’re not going to cover but my Be premium increase, it might be an exclusion. But if we look at say income protection, that’s a really interesting one. Because in terms of women’s health, and women being bit stereotypical here, so do forgive me, I’m not saying this is blanket information and definitely for everybody, but women do tend to talk about their health more they do, we tend to go out and seek support from counsellors talking therapies, GPS, things like that. And that can automatically start to lead towards mental health exclusions depending on the timeframes. And depending upon the situation, because mental health, the biggest claim area when it comes to income protection, so if somebody already has that, then it is something that insurers are generally going to want to exclude unless a good period of time has passed. I say sometimes if it’s a little bit around bereavement, and somebody’s maybe have to have some time off work, due to bereavement, that they won’t necessarily take that into account, they won’t necessarily put an exclusions, but quite a lot of time it is quite a also is a bit gung ho in terms of putting a mental health exclusion on there. And it is a say, usually women that would, don’t tend to reach out and get support in that area. And again, we do see that from the statistics in terms of a lot of data and information that’s coming out in terms of men’s health. And obviously, that lack of lack of ability to feel able to engage at times and getting that support. But ultimately, as with many things, as soon as we reach out and get support, them are automatically kind of labelled and it can be an issue when we’re going for the insurances. It’s kind of that thing as well as like, some people are blissfully unaware walking around, not alone, they’ve got high cholesterol, type two diabetes, blood pressure, and they wouldn’t have any issue getting insurance because they’re just not aware they’re not engaged with anybody. And that, you know, there’s there’s no symptoms, in a sense that have made them think, oh, I need to go and do that and check this. Whereas someone else who’s kind of like, be really on top of the health maybe going to I don’t know, the annual health penalties that you get with insurances, I do I get an annual and so that will be seen very early, and will automatically starting to get a little bit of like, oh, actually, because I’ve been doing so well for my health, that’s actually going to cause me an issue in terms of getting the insurance, sometimes it’s a little bit, it’s a tricky one. And the other thing to bear in mind as well with this, and it’s just it’s a little bit of a side tangent here away from the women’s health, but just be very mindful as well, that when we are as an industry, and I do think, you know, this is my opinion, I do appreciate this as a webinar. And you know, obviously, it’s sometimes opinions are going to come into it, and is that we need to be careful about value added benefits as well. Because the very nature of value added benefits that insurers are promoting these we offer mental health support with our insurances. Engaged do this do that automatically. That is when we’re coming into the site chatting to people about wanting to get things like income protection in the future, potentially, while they’ve engaged with mental health support. And at the moment, the insurance systems aren’t necessarily sophisticated enough that I say sophisticated enough, in all fairness, I don’t even think it’s a computer thing. I literally don’t know how they would be able to manage this. But how do they know that somebody’s reached out to the value added benefits for just general talking therapy versus actually somebody who really has a mental health condition is needed to reach out. So we do have quite a difficulty there it is something that’s been discussed quite a bit in the industry, because we’re almost with so many extras almost lining people up to then have difficulty in getting insurance. So it’s just something to be very mindful of. But also as well, we do have that women tend to be declined more for income protection, because, and again, going a bit stereotypical here, but let’s say a woman has children. And she’s quite likely to at some point, while the child is quite young to experience some back pain, you know, and I’m not saying that the fellas wouldn’t either. But she’s chosen around quite a lot, this little hyperactive bundle of energy, she’s probably bent over quite a bit, helping them learn to walk, genuinely caring them quite a lot. And I’m not saying that this is a sage, just purely women, but women do tend to take more than maternity like, leave side of things that they tend to have more time doing that than say, the fellas do. She’s probably at some point as well felt a bit anxious. That’s not to say that someone’s got full anxiety condition, but you know, you’re anxious with that little bundle, especially if it’s your first one. I know I’ve got three. And we’re the first one obviously, everything’s absolutely terrifying because you solely responsible for this little thing, and you don’t know what you’re doing. And you know, it’s quite intense. But obviously, fellas can definitely experience that too. But straightaway we’ve got there, we’ve got probably a bit of anxiety, a bit of back pain, just need one more thing. And the majority of mainstream insurers will say that they’re not able to offer income protection. So it just wants to be really, really mindful that there is a lot of work that needs to be done in the industry still, but again, because of the fact that back pain as well. It’s like the next to mental health, it’s most claimed on condition. That’s the reason the insurers obviously are very cautious about offering that but we just want to be mindful when we’re speaking to people. We want to be encouraging people to have these policies, but it’s quite difficult at times of us saying I really want you to have this you need it because of x y Zed and this person’s luck. but haven’t really heard of income protection that don’t really know what it’s about or the worth of it is you’re trying to encourage them and then all sudden, we’ve got these exclusions there, it can be quite a negative thing, because also it’s especially on the mental health side of things. If it’s just been like a bit of mild anxiety, in a sense, it can feel like a weight will kick in the teeth. So just be mindful of that. When it comes to critical illness cover, I’m just going to talk about critical illness cover now. And then we’re gonna go into more like the chatting about the underwriting disclosures for more female specific conditions, again, not saying that they’re not there for men, but just what we were genuinely more seeing the female population, but critical illness cover, were quite likely to get breast cancer exclusions, if a clause family members have breast cancer at a certain age, and this person’s a certain age, we could have a varying cancer exclusions. And what’s interesting about that really interesting is that I was speaking to an insurer when I had gone to get some critical loss covered for a fella. And there was a family member with prostate cancer, and they got an exclusion on their critical illness because they were being told or grab an exclusion with the critical illness go because of the prostate cancer. And I went to the sheriff’s office, I said, Hang on a minute, in a sense of why because you, nobody else is doing that. And I just wanted to understand the background to it, and the feedback that came back. And it’s it in terms of equality, it made lots and lots of sense. And I said, Well, actually, you know, I talk about breast cancer and things like that we often talk about certain genetics and something none of the bracket a gene, it makes it potentially more likely not always a certainty, but more likely. And there’s certain genetic links as well to prostate cancer, that can’t be ruled out. Now, the majority of insurers don’t pay attention is but one of the insurers did. And that ended up being a really strange kind of mindset for me when I was looking at it, because I was like, well hang on a minute, I kind of I kind of liked and respects that there’s that exclusion there. Because if women are getting the exclusion, then I feel like well, if men also have a similar risk, then they should it should be equal. But then the same point is like that I don’t want obviously, that exclusion for my client, I’d really don’t want that then. And I certainly don’t want to advocate that the industry changes and we suddenly start getting prostate cancer exclusions everywhere. But it does show that there is a difference, because there is genetic markers for certain cancers with men and women. And ultimately, the majority of insurers choose to ignore one of those genetic markers on a prostate cancer for men. So we are seeing things that aren’t the same as being treated differently when there is a female clients. Now something else that’s really interesting is a really good example of this is if we apply for income protection, and I’m going to look at a sheet because I want to make sure that I’ve got this right before I start saying it specifically. But sometimes income protection, we might get a multiple sclerosis exclusion, if we’re a woman, and there’s been someone in our family have it’s so very specifically check this, which is why I’m just gonna quickly look at my sheet to the side and make sure I get this right for you. So if you have a female applicant, for some income protection policies, and their mom have multiple sclerosis, and they will exclude multiple sclerosis claims from the income protection policy. But if you have an male applicants, and the mom has multiple sclerosis, the male will be given the choice of an exclusion or premium increase. And that’s really obviously really interesting. Again, it will come down to statistics or comes down to data as to what’s been seen over time. But it is something where we are going to be seeing something different. So whilst we’re maybe not able to make changes straightaway, and I certainly don’t know all the statistics behind it, and just how different that is in terms of those claims, and the claim risks. It’s something where if we have done the research, we need to be mindful and go Well, actually, you know, no, you know, if somebody’s got MS, you know, as the mom that that means it’s an exclusion straight out, well, no, actually, we need really to kind of badly kind of have like a bit of like an inequality kind of document. So the side somewhere where we can go kind of like, well, actually, that’s certainly the case, if if it’s a female, if it’s a male client, I’ve got and the mom had MS with potentially buying, you know, and we can have a couple of options. So just really keep that in mind as well, that we’re always looking for the options that will often make things better, but we do need to be mindful that what we always search for in terms of male and female isn’t necessarily going to be equal when we’re going through those underwriting risks. So in terms of disclosures, just to try and give everybody a little bit of insight into some of the main areas. So we do have, as I mentioned before the bracket gene, it is it’s actually spelled BRCA, and I think there’s a few versions of it. And that’s the one I think, is quite famously, Angelina Jolie was told that she had he has a double mastectomy because of it and her mom had breast cancer. And it became quite well known, obviously is well known before that, but really well known when that happened a few years ago as well. And it’s basically a genetic marker that says that you are more likely to develop breast cancer, it’s not a certainty, but you are more likely. And this can be really tricky when we’re looking at things. So let’s say we’re looking at life insurance, I’m sure many of us are aware when you do an application, they’re only going to ask about genetic tests if you apply for over 500,000 pounds. And if it was related to Huntington’s disease, and I believe it’s over 300,000 pounds for critical illness cover and Huntington’s disease that might be a little bit lower now, not sure off the top of my head. And but it’s definitely lower than the life insurance side. And we’re looking at applying for things now. So what that means is, if your client does have a positive genetic test for the back of the gene, we don’t need to say it to the insurer. But regardless of the sum assured, even though there is that higher risk, now, you might think, well, how does that work? Well, the reason that kind of works is, you know, in terms of the family history of breast cancer is very likely to come up in the family history, especially if there was a parent, which means that we’re possibly going to be getting the breast cancer exclusion. So they’re going to be they’re going to be absorbed. So even though we don’t know, even though we’re not telling them about the genetic tests, they’re going to assume in some ways that if someone has a close family member that’s had breast cancer, they’re probably going to assume well, there’s a there’s a high chance that this person has broken a gene. So there we go. And they’ll just treat it as such, you know, obviously, bearing on that side of caution, I can’t say that honour shows for doing that. But you know, I think that’s kind of like the way that they do it. There is that assumption. So it’s a bit like as well, if somebody has a family history of Huntington’s, we wouldn’t need to tell them about genetic testing under a certain amount. But Huntington’s disease would come up in the family history. So they’re going to work on the side of caution to think well, actually, there’s a 5050 chance that this person does have the Huntington’s gene. What can be quite confusing is knowing what to do in terms of is it a genetic test? Is it a diagnostic test, and genetic tests very different to diagnostic tests? So when you’re speaking to a client, and they saying anything about the bracket, Gene, it’s just really important, just to make sure that you just clarify with them and say, right, so can I just double check, this was purely a genetic test, you’ve not had any symptoms, there wasn’t a concern that you’d actually develop breast cancer, it was just purely to see if you have that link based on family history. Because what we don’t want to do and some people do get confused, we don’t want somebody to have gone for diagnostic tests, think it was genetic tests, and then a look in a nondisclosure situation. Because obviously, that wouldn’t be beneficial for anybody at all. So really key thing when it comes to genetic testing, for any genetic testing, was it because there was symptomatic? Or was it due to sort of just the genetic aspects of it for the family, often finance as well, in terms of bowel cancer, quite a lot of people do get the option to have certain genetic tests linked to bowel cancer, something often known as Lynch syndrome, you know, they might be offered that. So again, when you’re looking at the insurance systems and the questions. Some insurers will say, like family history, who’s had all of their is any of your family had this, and then they’ll say, or any other inherited condition that you’ve been suggested to have genetic testing for. So just keep an eye out for that. Because that would include if somebody even engaged with some counselling to see if they want that genetic test and not have it, things like that. And we just want to make sure that we’re, that we know what’s happening in terms of the diagnostics and things. Okay, so next one is breast cancer. So obviously, typically a female condition, but we are going to be saying that, obviously, men can get breast cancer. So with the breast cancer, the key things really, really key things you want to know the staging and the grading of the breast cancer, potentially, the client might know is the TNM. scoffs that’s tango, November Mike score. Now with the staging, that’s how big the tumour was. So it might be the same or what it was one and a half centimetres or two centimetres, so that we know how big it is, then the grading is to do with what the cells were doing. So that’s all about that, the higher the grade, the more the only thing, fun and crazy the cells are going, I know it’s not feeling crazy. So you know, forgive that kind of wording on it. But you know, the more they’ve had a bit of a party in there and gone, different shapes, different sizes, different colour, everything going on them. So we want it to be ideally, the lowest staging the lowest grading, when we’re going to be playing for cover. Really important as well to double check, if they’ve had anything that chemotherapy radiotherapy is really good indication for you and the underwriters as to how strong the cancer was. And you know, chemotherapy is the stronger one. So you do know that if they’ve had chemotherapy, then it’s really needed some quite intense treatment to it. You will find though, that obviously we all kind of like hear this as well. So say if you’re having any ongoing cancer treatments, that you know, you you’re probably not ready to get insurance until that’s stopped. That’s true and it’s not true. So have ongoing cancer ongoing radiotherapy, very, very unlikely we’re going to get any insurance, we can do insurance, but it’s going to pre existing condition exclusion, which is is a bit too intense considering if someone is going through cancer treatments. But there is something else tamoxifen, and that is an ongoing cancer treatments that people are given once they finished site chemotherapy, radiotherapy, surgery, things like that. And to Moxa thing is seen as kind of like a bit like a maintenance kind of drug. So if somebody is taking tamoxifen, you still have, you can actually have quite a lot of options with the insurers provided how strong the cancer was in the first place. And so, key thing staging, grading, tamoxifen should be okay, we just want to keep an eye on that side. Another one, abnormal smears. So abnormal smear tests are something that women do experience quite a lot of women experience them, everything sends down there just have its moments at times. And it could be that someone’s been told they’ve got abnormal cells, it could be referred to as sin one or sin two. And that’s actually Charlie Indigo November. It could be that the toll they’ve got HPV, you might be aware of HPV. It’s something that pretty much I think all children gets vaccinated against now, and when they’re in their teens, and it’s to try and prevent things like the HPV can lead to cancers in this area. But again, this is something where we’re going to have a little bit of a trickiness compared to women to men, because again, it’s a blissfully unaware kind of thing. So women are obviously given the option to have routine smear tests, where things like this can be found, obviously, ideally treated sometimes it is that there’s like a little bit of, there’s lots of technical terms, but sometimes they will, I won’t go into too many technical terms, because I can imagine people wincing a little bit if I explained the, the treatments, but sometimes they’ll be a little biopsy, sometimes there’ll be certain treatment that kind of buzzes and saps their cells, that shouldn’t be kind of being a bit different. The cells aren’t necessarily going to become cancer, but it’s the fact that they can do depending on what happens going forward. So lots of what’s been going on. Sometimes it’s just well, let’s just wait and see what the next smears like. Now, a lot of insurers don’t like that. Let’s wait and see what happens. They will want to see a clear, normal smear test. And not all of them do, some of them do. So just be again, be really mindful, be on top of who you are researching what you’re seeing, and then just be on top of that. Now, the blissfully unaware thing is, is that actually sort of the HPV thing, which is the one that is that really the key concern here, lots of men have HPV, but they are blissfully unaware, because obviously, women get the regular smear tests, but men don’t get checked for HPV. So that’s another area where it’s kind of again, women are kind of getting the the bad side of it. I mean, obviously, we get the good side of it in the sense of we get these tests, we can catch things early on. And fellas, obviously, unfortunately, don’t get those tests and get them early. We catch things early on. So they’ve got the bad side of that. But then in the insurance world, women are kind of being sort of given a different treatment to men because of the fact that if while assuming that they are being doing those tests, and doing that regular engagement with the the GP and the nurses to make sure that everything is working, how we would want it to be working. So a key thing with smear tests, have they had a follow up? Is it is it clear, the majority of insurers will want that menopause, menopause in itself shouldn’t have an influence on any of the insurances. And I’ll say sorry, the smear test. So when I say about it affecting it, the majority of insurers will not offer insurance unless there has been a normal smear afterwards. It saves some time, but the majority won’t. And but with menopause, majority of insurers if it’s menopause, in itself should be absolutely fine. They don’t ask about HRT treatments or anything like that. But some women choose not to have HRT treatments, some choose to just not have any treatment. Some choose to have HRT, which is hormone replacement therapy, and it’s trying. And then it says that delays and menopause, it doesn’t actually stop this thing. Well, it does kind of it does stop the symptoms, but it’s not solving the issue. It’s just delaying it. Or some people decide to go do anxiety medication, because that can help with the sleep, it can help with menopause does make you a bit more alert, a bit more anxious. And what we can find is that people who are in that situation, if they’re taking the anxiety medication, potentially with income potential could have a mental health exclusion. Now there is debate as to whether or not worth the feeling anxious because the menopause and that’s mental health and but it’s also it’s in some ways, it’s not mental health, because it’s just the fact that it’s something that’s symptomatic. All women are going to go through it at some points, you know, so are we doing this to everybody? You might think well what about if the time that they’re going to be taking our IP when this you know, at what age are they going to be? Well menopause can kick in from as early as the 30s It’s unusual, but it can do, there are certain medical conditions that can cause it to kick in earlier as well. I’ll chat about them a little bit. If I have time, I’m very, very conscious of time. I’m such a talker. And so we just need to be on top of that. So if you’ve got somebody you want to income protection for them, and they’ve got menopause, the take anxiety medication, don’t go through the usual computer boots from the start, you know, speak to an underwriter to explain the situation, get you indication, I’ve actually specifically spoken to quite a lot of insurers about this in terms of their underwriters. And they’ve said, actually, the guidance is that, you know, if it’s anxiety medication related to the menopause, it shouldn’t be an issue that shouldn’t be an exclusion. Now, you know, we wouldn’t want to be doing that. But the online systems, you know, would be automatically doing that. So you would still submit online, but then you get into the underwriters and say, remember, we had this conversation, and you gave me this reference while this app is related to it, can you please just go in and sort it out? So with the menopause key thing is at what treatments are they taking per se, HRT won’t even come up, we then have things like IVF treatments, and again, needing IVF treatments, doesn’t actually have in itself, any connotation for the insurances, you know, there’s insurance specifically stay on there, we don’t need to know about IVF treatments. Now we say that, the thing is, is that if there’s an underlying medical reason, so sometimes there is no medical reason whatsoever. Sometimes it is due to the relationship. So you know, you could have two females that are in relationship to males that are in relationship that could be surrogates involved, so that there could be many, many situations, and we wouldn’t need to be detailing them. But the key thing with the IVF side of things is whether or not it is a medical conditions. So as an example, we have endometriosis. So Andrew, endometriosis is typically thought of as a female condition, because it does tend to be in the female organs. However, endometrial endometriosis cells have been found at times to be in the lungs, or the brain, and they have also been found to be in men as well. So something with that one, we’re gonna want to know, is there any treatment? Is there any outstanding surgery? Is it causing time off work, things like that, it can be very, very uncomfortable, painful condition. So it just wants to know how much it’s affecting them, you know, again, surgery would want them to be at a point where they’ve fully recovered from surgery, things like that. And, and also has it have the cells kind of travelled anywhere else? That’s, that’s a really important thing. And for something like that, if that was causing the need for the IVF treatments, you know, it’s again, the IVF treatment in itself wouldn’t it wouldn’t even come up. But we would know that there was the endometriosis there. And if the mic turned, I say, Have you got any outstanding tests and investigations. And you might say, well look for the interest of transparency, there is actually going to be some IVF treatment, the show will just discount the IVF treatments, and it won’t come into their deciding factor side of things. We then have another one that’s similar ish. As I just realised, I’ve got quite a bit more to go through actually, so best viewed up is a polycystic ovary syndrome. And so that is another condition that can really affect fertility. It might be a reason that somebody were going through IVF. So again, any outstanding investigations really key things with apply Cystic Ovary Syndrome just be aware of is one of the medication. So people with PCOS, which is shortened to will sometimes be given Metformin. Now Metformin is quite a common medication for type two diabetes is not necessarily so far. Obviously, medical things changed. So far, it’s not necessarily the go to treatment for PCOS. So the insurer just generally wants to know if Metformin is in use. The other thing as well for people with PCOS is just be mindful because often their BMI is higher. So you might be needing to look at specific insurers in terms of those BMI tables. Now, in terms of other things that we can quickly go through, and just in case anybody has any questions, we can go through there. So pregnancy and income protection, and people can have income protection when they’re pregnant, we, you know, we can potentially take it out. And people often also what’s the point, but there’s reasons why we might want to or not. And we do find that with pregnancy, that women tend to be the ones to take the maternity leave, there was obviously shared parental leave now. But usually it is the woman that will take the parental leave. Now, when it comes to income protection, if you’ve got an existing policy, there’s different things that can happen. Some insurers will just say, it’s absolutely fine. You know, the policy just stays as it is, and we will honour our claim, which is obviously wonderful. And it might be something that you want to consider when you’re choosing an insurer if you do have somebody obviously, we’re not going to say to our clients, Hey, are you planning on getting pregnant in the next few years or anything depending on their age, but it might be that if they are somebody who is at an age where they might potentially feasibly in our mind be pregnant? At some points, we might want to choose an insurer who is able to say, well, actually, we’d still cover claims if they were on maternity leave. And we have some insurers that will change the definition away from own occupations or house persons cover during the maternity leave, and then we’ve got some insurers who will say, well, we’re not going to pay or anything when they’re on maternity leave, because I’m not working. Which obviously, I feel lots of women who’ve maybe had children, same as me would feel such like, how very dare you, you know, kind of thing on that, you know, it’s definitely a job, at least one job to be having a little one. And if you’ve got more than one, it’s, it’s intense, I say, I’ve got three children, and they outnumber us now, which is just interesting. So we want to really keep an eye on that I believe that LV has really really good options when it comes to pregnancy and IP maternity leave. So I do suggest having a look at that one. As with anything, if they’re not the cheapest provider by a considerable amount. And even if they aren’t the cheapest, buy even a little amount, you should really make your client aware, you know, sort of like, well, this one’s available at this price, I do think the LV one’s better. Because of this, you might not want to go into like that, because of pregnancy, unless they’ve said that they’re planning on starting a family, that could be a real selling point for it. But obviously, there’s quite a lot of people don’t want kids are. The other thing you have to bear in mind is that some people can’t have children. And you might not know about that, based upon the questions that we’re going to be going through for the protection insurance thing. So we also want to be mindful that we’re not going to upset anyone by saying anything that’s quite triggering. So do that as well. So a couple of last things, divorce, lots of people are getting divorced. And not always but you know, we can find that, you know, there’s times where insurance has been mainly done for a male partner. And again, obviously, I’m not saying it’s just men and female partners is obviously different situations, different families, but it might be, let’s say the breadwinner, there was lots of insurance system for the breadwinner, and there’s a divorce and the person who wasn’t the breadwinner is actually coming out of that and not sure as to as to what to do, they’re having to start from scratch, and you’re gonna be there to help them. So there’s a few things that we can try and do. So the first one is to do separation clauses, if possible in the insurance, so we don’t have to restart again, obviously, the older Now there might be health conditions now. So wherever possible, let’s try and get separation clause. So the insurance splits the joint policy into two single ones. It might be that we need to update the trust’s Some insurers, which I’m sure we all know, have a wonderful online truss systems that allow us to update them easily. And some of them are absolutely awful, require wet signatures and all this kind of stuff. And at the end of it, and as well, depending upon the relationship dynamic and how it was happening, you might not get the partner willing to sign the trust to update it and to, to sort of like make those changes. And obviously, it’s usually all trustees as well, obviously, that would need to make the changes. So it can be quite difficult. So we might just decide, you know what stuff this let’s just start new. But an interesting thing. And it’s something that we’ve been involved in a few times where people have come to, as I said, I am getting divorced, part of the divorce agreement is that I have to put in insurance in place so that if I die, my ex partner has this much money for the kids because obviously the child support. And so in terms of recommendations, if you do have a client that’s going through a divorce, and in that process, it might be worth saying to them look just wondering, does your partner have anything like, you know, a family income benefit policy so that if something happens to them that, you know, that basically you’re going to still get that child care that you know, and at that amount that you need the child support that you need, not many people are aware of it. And it could be something that they do bring into that divorce discussion. And ultimately, for you and your client, that is well for your client, that is going to be obviously a very, very positive outcome for them, if they’re able to get something like that arranged, possibly do, but unlike a life of another basis, where they will pay for it and your claim or pay for it. And obviously it’ll be the other person but it would always be done obviously, with permission of the other person as well, or potentially through the enforcement of the divorce proceedings. And then the last thing, so we just have about 10 minutes out a little bit less than 10 minutes or so for any questions or any thoughts are leakin can be something is the thing of safeguarding. Now, I’m going to be saying that, you know, statistically, women are the ones that are far more likely to experience economic abuse, and then males, that is not to say that men don’t, and certainly not, but in terms of statistics in this is why we’re bringing it in here. It is much more likely. And actually now, economic abuse does sit within domestic abuse laws. So it is something obviously there’s very, very legal, really tricky for us as advisors, because as an advisor, somebody new comes to us and we’re going to be doing something for a couple and we’re speaking to one person which naturally quite happens. And then we’re saying well we need to speak with them as well because we need their name the Sorry, probably their number their email to be able to do the application forms. And the person said, No, I don’t want that. And it starts to feel a little bit uncertain. Now the problem is and that we have with that is that if you are in that situation, and it is an issue of potentially economic or domestic abuse, because you’re doing a good job, and you’re insisting on having this information, you’ll probably find that the abuser will just stop contact. And that the, they’ll just use someone else, they’ll just be like, hang on a minute. And you know, they’ll be thinking, This person is getting wise to this. And we obviously want to, to, at that point is this, there’s not much we can do. But we might see it emerging for our clients as well, which is really hard. Depending upon the clients that you have, you know, if you are a mortgage protection adviser, you probably speak to many, many people. So you might have some quite close connections with some but you speak to so many probably won’t have close connections with everybody. So it might be in some ways easier to spot it because you’ve not got that emotional connection. But in some ways, it can be harder because you don’t know them. But if you are an IFA, and you’ve got a handful a handful of families, I’m not saying helpful, but you’ve got a set number of families, you know them really, really well. And again, it might be easier, because you might be able to spot it. But then also, you might have that long term connection, where actually, it’s really hard to kind of think, oh, this person I know is maybe doing that. And so you just really want to make sure that you are speaking to to all parties involved. So make sure you get their number, their email address, so that you can speak to them as well. And there are times when it can be really difficult to do that, you know, it might be that somebody works. shift worker, it might be that somebody’s abroad quite a bit, you know, it might be that somebody, I don’t know, maybe some recent medical condition, which means it’s not easy for them to communicate, that doesn’t necessarily mean that we can’t insure them, but it could make it quite hard. But then we’re potentially going into things like powers of attorney and stuff like that, which is definitely not for the last six minutes of this. But what I would say is that if you do think that you are witnessing any kind of abuse or anything like that, there are really specific places that you can go, there are some brilliant advisors who do specific training on this, you also have a charity, which is known as a see charity, which is surviving economic abuse, they do provide training, they do provide lots of outlets, there are people you can contact and say that this is a situation that I’m aware of what is the next step, and it’s just making sure that you’re really, really on top of that as well. So hopefully, that’s been useful from quite a few different areas. And Lee, that’s probably me doing the main bits. I don’t know if you’ve got any thoughts, any questions that you have for me?


Lee Robertson  47:39

Yeah, sure. And of course, please do come up with your own questions, too, if you’ve got any to ask Katherine, while we’ve got our online. So I’ve got a couple. What is the kind of practical question more than anything, we’ve got some meal advisors on, which is always brilliant to see great to see you guys. This, this, this kind of discussion, particularly around women’s protection, it can get into quite sensitive matters, quite sensitive medical matters that, that we males are not as tuned into as perhaps we should be. Have you got any practical tips on how you might deal with that, if you’re looking at it from a male advisors point of view?


Kathryn Knowles  48:17

It’s a tricky one. So I’ll probably say, You know what I would say what Alan would do so Alan’s my co director, and the husband, and what we would do so and then in terms of the things that can be really, really intense is, you know, we’ve certainly experienced it, you know, so it can be people who maybe experienced recurrent miscarriages. It can be there are people obviously, who have been victims of assault. And you know, again, that can be either gender, but it is something we see quite a lot with women that then develops into PTSD and things like that. And I think as with anything, it’s to make sure that as contact, but that you’re just being very human about it, that you’re just being a nice person, when you know, in terms of you know, if somebody has experienced PTSD due to an assault, we don’t need to talk about the assaults. And we can try and keep it as minimal as possible and just say, right, okay, you know, you thank them for being open. That’s a really important thing. Thank you for trusting me with this information. Thank you for being open with me. We don’t need to talk about that, you know, in a sense, we don’t need to go into that. I do need to ask some mental health questions. We will be asking this of anybody, especially with PTSD, do you mind just if I ask you some specifics? And you will find that you’ll either get somebody who’s really kind of this date? And yes, no, but a lot of the time, you will get people who talk quite a bit. And so what I always say as well is and it is it is hard, is it’s really important for advisors that you have some kind of outlet yourself. So if you do speak to somebody about these sensitive situations, I mean, if it’s endometriosis, if it’s PCOS, things like that. Menopause. They are part and parcel of, you know, people’s lives. There are medical In addition, just because there happens to be a female condition, and we’re talking in a sense about those organs, they’re not going to be saying talking to you about the vagina, and things like that, you know, it’s not going to happen, they’re going to be talking about the actual medical terms and what they’re going through. And to treat it like you would do any other condition. But with some of the things that can be more emotive, potentially triggering for yourself, just make sure that speaks, I say, speak to them, like you would do a close friend, if someone was trying to say this to you. Let them talk, let them say, but then make sure that you’ve got that opportunity to confidentially and anonymously with somebody say, Wow, that was intense. It is really, really intense sometimes. Great,


Lee Robertson  50:46

thank you. Thanks, Kathryn. It was great. Simon has raised his hand. Hi, Simon. Nice to see you.



Hi, Simon. Hey, yeah, Kathryn, thank you so much. He’s a absolutely brilliant session. So thank you for giving us your time. And what you just said, in terms of leads question is phenomenal. So thank thank you for kind of helping steer that as well. And I think I think I’ve got two questions, I think I think so my first one is about you were talking earlier on about the additional benefits that people can get, and through the process, and then that it does that have an impact on the insurance thereafter? That kind of feels like a really, it feels like it could be quite a worrying thing? And what options like how far are the industry and down the road of fixing that and kind of being wise to that from your perspective. And


Kathryn Knowles  51:41

I think it’s very much in its infancy. It’s one of those things that it’s probably about half a year ago, I just suddenly sat there and thought, hang on a minute. talking therapy, you know, because obviously chatting to insurance about IPF people, especially a lot of young people do quite a bit of talking therapy because there’s so you know, there’s quite a lot by this, alright, well, I go to the gym from our body. But I’m also going to do this for my mind, which is brilliant. And it’s so good that young people are doing that, but they’re getting penalised for it. That’s the word I’ve been thinking of all this time. I’ve been trying really hard on the last five minutes. Think of the way I got being penalised for it. And and it was something that I’ve said to the insurers. And to be honest, I think at the moment, a lot of them were just gone and kind of like not now, Kathryn, not another thing and have this thing. Yeah, we need to do this. And we need to talk about it. Because ultimately, you know, we are so we are offering something, really, and I’m so sorry for my dog barking. That’s why I kind of became far before Exactly. He actually was having a moment. But But yeah, we’re giving a mental health support, which is generally fantastic. I am cautious of mental health support, because I’m aware of very specific situations where it was an incredibly negative experience for a few people. And that is I’m feeding that back to the industry as well as the mental health support services that you get are generally mild things if there’s anything more than mild, if it’s if you’ve got any kind of like mental health condition like bipolar, schizophrenia or anything like that, they just will not offer support. And it’s not clear. And the processes aren’t great. But yeah, there is definitely I personally feel soft, it’s my opinion. And I feel that there is a significant issue coming up, not probably too far in the future, in the sense of with giving people as brilliant benefits. But that means that we’re penalising them. So why, you know, we shouldn’t actively encourage people to seek, and we should actively encourage people to get mental health support. So I want to make that very clear on that. But we shouldn’t actively encourage them to seek the mental health support, if that, in turn means that they’re gonna have mental health exclusions on their income protection. And they’ve not figured out how at the moment, nobody’s been clear to me as to how they would address that.



Yeah, like it’s, I guess, like, how does that fit into in terms of like, human rights and you know, like in disclosure and you know, confidentiality and because I get we need to disclose medical records, but that from an insurance point of view that does that cross boundaries, anyway? Yeah. Okay, great. So we’re moving we’re moving down that road, which is which is actually positive news, although it’s clunky for the now further


Kathryn Knowles  54:30

now. It definitely looking into a lot.



The next question was about think he was talking about and forgive me, I’m gonna use the wrong word. So you were talking about the genetic testings, I think, and you were saying that you said something about they could they could go down one sort of testing and then it not be disclosed and they could be caught under nondisclosure. Is there any flexibility to be nice You’ve about it from everyone’s perspective. Because it with the greatest respect in the world. I’m not, I’m not a medical, ya have any medical. So if we go down a route of submitting something on the application, and we, we would probably note something as an additional piece of information, but whether we categorise it correctly, Is there flexibility from the underwriters to go? Okay, get what you say, get what you mean. you’ve allocated it here, not here. Your what, what, what’s your experience of?


Kathryn Knowles  55:32

It’s tricky. And I think it would come down to individual consideration. Most insurers have like a grey claims committee as well, where a lot of this would be debated. And the key thing is, is just it says people with breast cancer, the tests he had done, did they think you have breast cancer? And if the answer is yes, then it wasn’t a genetic test. You know, even if they say to you, it was a genetic test, then you asked me like, okay, however, I appreciate you saying it’s a genetic test. But you’ve said that they thought you potentially have breast cancer, because the thing is, they might think that they potentially have breast cancer. If they had the investigations done, and it was all clear, then that’s not going to be an issue. So you know, it, there’s no hardship in saying, we have had checks done, because that is a positive to get checks done. It was all done clear, and there won’t be an issue with it. But it’s more sort of like from your wording. But it does come down to the questions and how you do a site for myself when we do it at cura. We pre pre underwrites everybody before we start doing our research. So we will go into all of this with people. If you’re just doing it from an application form, you’re probably not going to see that that conversation come up too much, because it’ll be right at the start. And one thing I didn’t mention, though, about genetic testing is that you can volunteer negative tests. So let’s say a family member has Huntington’s. You’ve had a genetic test, and it’s negative, it can volunteer that and then you can potentially get better terms and better options for the for the insurances. But in terms of, you know, naivety, I think that would be it that would come down to the medical records for you as an advisor. Obviously, there is you need to be on top of it. But let’s say someone said, you know, it was just a dentist test, and you’ve gone Did you have any investigations or anything like that, why not just the genetic test type thing, claim comes in, and actually this person went for, you know, sort of biopsy of the breast because that’s, you know, there was a bit of a long, fair. And then this happened, and this happened. And it all came back clear. Even if it had come back clear that will be seen as a nondisclosure because they went through that process. It wasn’t just a blood test to check it, sir. That’s maybe another thing to do as well. Was this just a blood test? Because if not, then that would lead me to think no, actually, this was this was my investigation.



Sorry, Lee, is I can ask you one more question. Thank you. Do you have like a? Maybe this is really cheeky, Kathryn, but do you have like, a cheat sheet? Where you’ve got? Like, if if this type of question comes up, these are the like, is the right? Have you got a decision tree? Question? Like, the things like that,


Kathryn Knowles  58:18

we don’t have a decision tree thing, I have lots and lots of questions that I that I have. And that would ask more than what the insurers would ask so that you can preempt as much as possible. But what I do suggest to people is to set up a G sheet between you and obviously anybody else in your firm. And then in that in the tab and at the tops of the Boston put breast cancer. And then when you do the research, then you know, each client that comes along, in a sense, you know, breast cancer, right? You know, in the columns, you’ve got the show, what did they indicate? And then you know, it builds a repository, it’s really easy for you to go to the insurance do change around a little bit every now and then. But it’s not usually phenomenally difference. But But yeah, there’s, there is some I do do training, obviously, in terms of actually doing some medical underwriting and stuff like that. And the questions to be asked for, it’s usually quite generic, but there are certain things that you would you would really need to double double check. But generally, what was diagnosed, when was it diagnosed? What treatments have you had? Are you currently having anything outstanding? And does it affect your ability to work with some conditions? If it’s neurological, it can sometimes were worth asking, if there’s if it has any influence on the person’s ability to drive without a driving licence, because that will give you a really good indication as to where that medical condition lies. And also as well as as an extra if somebody is in receipt of PIP performance independence payments or Employment Support Allowance that would genuinely give you a good indication I had someone in my team recently said to me, I’m going to do this for this person. You know, they’ve told me now it’s sort of like look, it’s really mild their health and I will because it’s it and I was like, but the receive disability benefit? And I’m like, Well, yeah, and I was like, then that’s not, that’s not a mild version of that condition. You know, it’s incredibly hard to get those benefits. So again, it’s being mindful of not just the health side, but sometimes those financial things, either, but just to give you that better idea. Thank you. Thank you. That’s been helpful.


Lee Robertson  1:00:22

Is that Is that you, Simon?



So hold on, sir. Thank you, Brian. Thanks, Simon.


Lee Robertson  1:00:28

Thanks for the questions as well. So we’re sort of coming to the last few minutes. So final questions, please just do raise your hand. Oh, come on screen, like Simon has I’ve got a question, Kathryn, which maybe is almost the same. But coming from a slightly different direction. I’m, I’m a huge believer in protection, as you know, and signposting and all that kind of stuff. In fact, I’m even presenting at the prediction distribution group tomorrow. So my question is, I guess with the consumer duty overlay, which is now coming into the whole of the retail space. Are there any particular things that you might point out to the people have come on today to think about in terms of signposting things they really should be considering?


Kathryn Knowles  1:01:11

I think in terms of consumer duty, what people really need to be mindful of is that just because you’ve not been able to arrange protection insurance, or it’s maybe taking up too much time that you don’t have good insurance or say no, that doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s a no. So there are specialist firms like Kira, where we have access to a significant amount of insurers, we have a you know, sometimes some specialist policies with insurers. And people sometimes go well, how come you can see, it’s like, well, actually, there’s a little bit of risk for us as advisors with those more specialist policies. So it isn’t like, we’re getting special treatments or anything like that, you know, there are certain things, you know, in certain situations where, you know, we can do a bit more, even with the insurance that other advisors have. And I think, you know, in terms of your consumer duty, if you, I mean, I personally don’t understand why we wouldn’t look at income protection for the majority of people who are of working age, on the base. I know, there’s lots of lifers that I speak to who say, Well, we’ve got this and that, and we’ve got this, and now we’ve got this pension and thing, and this investment is just like, Well, okay, but if the income goes, then all of this beautiful plan is destroyed. And you know, it’s much poverty and much bigger, if somebody in a sense goes from 10,000 pound a month, the take home pay two benefits, the hits on them is going to be far more probably to cope with and somebody who’s earning much less so even it to me, I don’t really get the argument a lot of the time, obviously, people could agree or disagree with me about like, the more value, you know, somebody has more net worth someone has that they don’t need these things. So are we saying, you know, it’s a lot of work. When you’re looking at things, you know, make sure that you have life, you’ve got political risk of income protection somewhere in your flat find, and make sure that you’re putting in that well, why haven’t I done it? So that’s the way that I train my team, when they’re becoming advisors case. So why haven’t you put on waiver premium? If you’ve got not got an excuse, then you putting it on? You know, why haven’t you done income protection? Because you forgot about it, because the client said, this is another as what the client said they didn’t want it, it’s like, well, doing a quotation is really quite simple. For a with a lot of insurance systems now. So you could just say to somebody, look, I know you’re not particularly bothered about income protection. But I have had a look, we could we could potentially protect this much. I think it’s going to cost around this much. Just let me know, it’s an extra sentence needs demands and needs report, or huge recommendation report suitability letter, whatever you want to call it. And it gives you that tick box for consumer duty to say, I’ve told them that they can have this and they know the potential pricing. And then also, you know, in terms of the signposting aspects, I have had a look, and I can’t do it. But I’ve not been assumed that no one can. So I’ve spoken to a specialist firm. And they’ve said, you know, they can I can’t do it. I spoke to somebody the other day, and there was two clients that they were chatting to me about. And straightaway it that they were really, the clients were very, very high risk. And some of it was to do with health. Some of it was lifestyle choices. And it was a case of No, you’ve come to me, you’ve got your consumer duty tick box there, brilliant, well done. And I’m telling you as a specialist, it’s not happening yet. We can just move on from there in a sense, so it’s definitely worth it and just say, it also means as well, from a business point of view, it’s seeing some people get worried. So moldable people think that I’m not good enough, you know that I’m not smart enough. I’m not smart enough. Or, you know, I’m not the best that I am. And it’s just a case of, I always go to thing if I if you go to an accountant and they suggest a lawyer for you, you don’t then assume that the accountants not smart or not good enough. You go brilliant plan. So I’ll take the I’ll take that lawyer kind of thing. It’s the same with this. You know, just like I thinking out for pensions, investments, private medical, it’s just really important to try and make sure you’ve got that network of people that you feel really secure with that can give you that honest opinion.


Lee Robertson  1:04:58

Okay, Brent, thank you. Well, Luke, these hours just fly by I have to say. So. Brent, thank you. I guess we should unless there’s any final questions any more for any more before we wrap? Nope. So the thanks for coming in. So I think people are getting really disengaged. So listen to the usual thing. We’ve got another one next month. Thanks, everyone, for turning up. Thanks for your questions. Always great to see everyone on on line. Thanks, Kathryn. Great session, and we’ll see you next month. Thanks for coming, everyone. Thanks, everybody.



Thank you. Thank you. Bye

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