Covering the complex

On the whole, our core client is asset rich enough that they can self-insur – essentially if they were to die or be struck down ill, their wealth would fund them and they don’t need insurance to cover them. Increasingly we are working with a younger generation of clients (often introduced by and paid for by the older generation) who do need this kind of insurance.

We are all unique human beings, with many foibles and so insuring people can sometimes be a real arm-wrestle. Clients tend to think that nothing is going to happen to them and that they are a ‘sure bet’. Insurance companies will tend more towards protecting their own risk and will sometimes be too cautious about a client’s situation. In these situations, having an advocate to act as the go-between from client to insurer can be hugely valuable.

Recently one of the insurance companies that we applied to on behalf of a married couple, timed out one person due to the company’s medical process taking more than six months and doubled the other person’s premium due to a hazardous pursuit. Several calls to said insurer resulted in cover for both individuals at near to normal rates. The underwriters were much more constructive in human to human conversation than they had been through the website form and it became clear that the pursuit was nowhere near as hazardous as they thought.

The worse case so far is a client of ours whose insurance is still not in place nearly a year later as a result of delays in the medical process. Covid19 has introduced some understandable delays in the processes used by these life insurers but it has also highlighted some really unacceptable processes. There are badly designed online forms, old fashioned medical screening process and ridiculous rekeying of client data.

Sometimes there are clients with health conditions that require a specialist protection broker. Anything that requires a deeper understanding of the medical conditions or a better relationship with insurers is best dealt with by a specialist broker who deals in this on a daily basis. We have referred clients in the past to Cura who do this and only this. Their podcast is worth dipping into, just to hear how it is possible to insure some people with extraordinary health complications.

Lastly there are some people who can’t be helped, we were recently approached by someone who was terminally ill (with a year to live) and wanted to get life insurance that would involve a large payout in the near future for a small amount of premiums. You might reasonably assume that no company would want to hand over a large sum of money in exchange for a small sum but she was hoping that we would know of a company that didn’t ask any health questions. Aside from whether this would constitute fraud, it wouldn’t be ethical to abuse the few remaining providers who have small policies that include life cover without underwriting.

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