Underwriting

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What makes us really stand out from the crowd is the practical support we offer you, from prospecting for clients through to claim…

Supportive underwriting team

With Zurich, you’ll have access to:

  • expert underwriters who treat each case individually - we’re not interested in what other providers say
  • a pre-application enquiry helpline for direct contact with our underwriters
  • a dedicated large case underwriting team for life or critical illness cases above £350,000 or income protection cases above £50,000
  • a 24-hour turnaround, pre-planning service, pre-application medicals, individual case management, and a choice of own doctor or flexible private medicals - for cases above £1 million sum assured or with monthly premiums of £250 or more.

Pre-Application service

Experienced underwriters - on the phone

Wouldn't you like to get the view and guidance of an experienced underwriter before an application is completed?

What can you expect?

Direct access to experienced underwriters. Talk to them about how they might treat the case - for example evidence requirements or potential decisions for all medical conditions, occupations, travel and pursuits and questions on cover levels or age eligibility.

Bear in mind what you tell us may be different to the details in the medical evidence, so the final underwriting decision could change.

If your enquiry is about your customer's Body Mass Index or whether any automatic evidence will be needed, why not try our Medical Evidence & BMI online calculator.

You will be required to provide your Zurich agent code for all pre-application enquiries.

Tools and calculators

Tools and calculators

  • Medical evidence and BMI calculator Work out what medical evidence is needed across a combination of benefits.
  • Our IHT and Business Protection Adviser tools can give you practical support on larger, more technical cases plus equip you to take advantage of the potential in the IHT and business protection markets.

Online underwriting system

Getting things done

The system will ask the questions required to gather the information needed to make more immediate decisions online, or by an underwriter using the application information.

Prior to completing the application, the system will give you 4 instant decisions enabling you to proceed quickly or identify exactly what you need to do to complete your clients’ protection case.

  1. Accept on standard terms
  2. Accept on revised terms (ratings and/or exclusions)
  3. Refer to underwriting or a request for more information
  4. Decline

You can either complete the interactive application online or capture your client’s answers on a paper Data Collection Form and enter the details later, on your client’s behalf and at a time that suits you.

Our online underwriting service incorporates the Association of British Insurer’s (ABI) guidance notes on non-disclosure by using clear, concise questions at the application stage. It means we - and you - will be meeting our expectations of these guidelines and that of the ABI’s guidance on treating customers fairly. Also you’ll be maximising the chances of your client (or their families) receiving a full pay-out should they have to make a claim.

Legislation

There are some rules we adhere to and support – to the letter.

ABI Genetics Code of Practice

We adhere to the ABI Genetics Code of Practice and the moratorium on the use of predictive genetic test results. Genetic testing is at a relatively early stage and very few tests have accurate prognostic value. Even with advances, predictive testing will be of limited value for diseases that have multiple factors. Currently, conventional underwriting information, including family and medical history, has much more value.

The Code is a comprehensive document that sets out how an insurer must deal with genetics and genetics related disclosures.

Two of the main requirements are as follows:

  • Insurers do not request or even suggest, directly or indirectly, that a genetic test be carried out
  • Insurers only use the results of predictive genetic tests deemed relevant and reliable.

The only test currently approved is for Huntington’s Disease for life insurance, and use of this test is further restricted by the moratorium.


Moratorium

The ABI and member offices have agreed with stakeholders to be bound by a moratorium that runs until 2019. Insurers must not ask for, or use, the results of predictive genetic tests for life insurance applications up to £500,000, critical illness up to £300,000 and Income Protection up to £30,000 a year. However, insurers are allowed to use negative genetic test results where it benefits the customer.

The full version of the Moratorium can be found at: 2014 Moratorium

The Equality Act 2010

The Equality Act 2010 protects individuals from discrimination in the workplace and in other areas, such as in the provision of goods, facilities or services.

It replaced previous anti-discrimination laws with a single Act, making the law easier to understand and strengthening protection in some situations. It sets out the different ways in which it's unlawful to treat someone.

One of the areas covered by the Act is that it is unlawful to discriminate against disabled people.

The legal definition of a disabled person is anyone who has a physical or mental impairment which has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on his/her ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities.


What is the impact at the point of sale?

You must not discourage anyone you think may be ‘disabled’ from applying for cover, whether it is a new application or a variation to an existing plan.


What is the impact on underwriting?

The Act has not changed the way we underwrite. Each customer whether disabled as defined by the Act or not, receives individual consideration and we will make an underwriting decision after considering all relevant facts. We only give non-standard terms where it is reasonable to do so and we can support the decision with information that is relevant to the assessment of the risk from a source upon which is reasonable to rely.

The full version of the Act can be found at:

2010 Act

Access to Medical Reports

The Access to Medical Reports Act 1988 or the Access to Personal Files and Medical Reports (Northern Ireland) Order 1991 is the legislation that cover how an insurer can request information from a health professional. It also details the rights of the patient to review the information before it's returned to us.

Financial underwriting

Most cases can be accepted without the need for financial evidence. However, we will require financial evidence where the:

  • Life cover amount with Zurich exceeds £2 million
  • Critical illness cover amount with Zurich exceeds £800,000
  • Income Protection or Payment Protection benefit with Zurich exceeds £30,000

Our Guide to Financial Underwriting and our Large Case Underwriting Service will explain the evidence we will need and how we will use this information to underwrite the level of cover that has been applied for.

Documents

Contact us

Contact your Zurich Business Account Manager or call us on