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Scared of Needles? - Convenience and Expectations
Using Quotemonster you can develop some great information for your insurance report. Each part of our insurance data is designed to help you connect to the customer somehow. For example - price comparison, because customers like to see you quote the market. They want to see that you have checked out the policy differences so they don’t have to. If you tell them they have 25% risk that one of them will suffer a critical illness that helps them decide whether or not to buy.
You might not think the underwriting requirements report helps you sell, but it does. Some people love surprises, but discovering that you need to have blood drawn is unlikely to be a favourite. Some people just don’t like needles, but feel embarrassed, and won’t tell you. There’s a customer that will leave wanting the product, but may not buy, and may not even tell you why. Of course, most people are perfectly happy with whatever the process is, so long as they aren’t sprung with a whole series of extra demands which take up their valuable time.
So preparing the underwriting report is about helping the client understand what needs to happen to put the cover in place. Sometimes they may make choices to reduce the scope of tests required, and that’s okay, most of the time they will be happy with what you recommend and glad to know that you are going to take care of the whole process for them, and glad that you have shown them what the process is going to require.
On Quotemonster, to find underwriting requirements you need to prepare a quote just like usual. This is vital as underwriting requirements vary according to client data, the policies and sums insured selected. Set up the client, or open an existing client, choose your benefits, and then hit next to move to the price comparison chart.
When you are at the comparison page you will notice a row of tabs. The first lets you download brochures and policy documents. The price comparison you will be familiar with. The research tab shows a comparison of up to fourteen products at once. Next is head to head. Then you see the underwriting tab.
If you know the client’s body mass index (BMI) then you can enter it here. If you don’t, then leave it with the default (which is set to the upper end of ‘normal’). If you want to know how to calculate BMI click on the button next to the field. It’s straightforward.
When you have entered these details click this button to get your report. You can view this on screen and later you can add it to your Quotemonster report. The requirements are split into groups. For example, there is a group for blood tests, another for a physical exam, and a different group again for a fasting test. Each of these represents an ‘activity’ for the client, and should therefore be mentioned in your implementation plan. Also, it is worth noting that the requirements can vary considerably for high sums insured. This is especially common for cases involving business insurance and higher income protection amounts.
Insurer Commission Records a Poor Guide to Actual Advice Giving
Insurer commission records are a poor guide to actual financial adviser behaviour - but they remain the best place to start. The FMA is following up its research based on lapse rates and new business records with requests directly to advisers with higher lapse rates. This is a valuable exercise and it is already exposing some interesting findings. Take these two:
The fact that a policy lapsed while the computer records at a life company showed a given person as the servicing adviser does not necessarily mean that adviser gave an advice on termination. That adviser may not have been receiving any commission, may never have received the initial commission, and may not in fact own the right to communicate with that client. They may not even own the client records. Although many will, these situations do occur, and cast a sharp light on the structure of the current Financial Advisers Act. The Act makes the individual adviser responsible for their advice, and yet a company may have so much control over the process - and the remuneration for the business - and yet have little or no responsibility for the advice. Ideally this anomaly will be addressed in the drafting work for the new law and subsequent regulations.
On the other hand there will be some advisers that may find the request for information hard to answer. Poor records will be exposed. Although as RFAs they do not have an explicit record keeping responsibility it will be interesting to see how the FMA and RFAs approach the question of a lack of records. In a no-advice sales context records can be thin, but in a situation where a person was supposed to be giving advice it does seem a failure of the design of the law that there is no requirement to keep records. The new law appears set to address this gap.
Fixing those issues looks like a worthwhile task.
670 Percent Increase in Premiums Over 15 years
Gisborne man Teira Pokai has had Life Insurance for 15 years - over that period he has had a 670% increase in premiums going from $22.70 a month to $175.06.
Of course he has. He has also had an increase in sum insured, which has grown by about 40%. So his rate increase has been a lot less. But still, this is a simple fact of a rate-for-age product compared to a situation where most consumer goods get cheaper or better value over time. This is the bitter consumer harvest of resentment that is being reaped now as a result of two or three decades of selling rate-for-age product. The consumerist argument was 'buy term and invest the rest' the result of the actual behavioural experiment has been... they only managed the first part.
Click here to read his story.