Fully underwritten protection comparison launches

Sarah Davidson

July 13, 2015

The long-awaited platform from UnderwriteMe compares insurers using technology that allows clients with health disclosures to compare quotes on an underwritten basis.

UnderwriteMe chief executive Martin Werth said: “It takes real leadership, commitment and vision to change the protection market; it also takes bravery.

“Today is the end of advisers having to second guess quick quotes for their clients. It is the end of thousands of calls to and from insurers checking, rechecking and checking quotes again.”

The system will pilot with protection advisers Lifesearch in August and will launch direct to consumers via Cavendish online in the Autumn.

Werth said he believed the comparison technology was the “start of the digital age in protection” and would cut unpredictable delays and inaccurate price information, boosting the likelihood of clients buying protection as well as cutting costs for insurers.

He confirmed that four insurers are ready to go live with the system in August and that a further three should be on board by the Autumn. Providers that have signed up include: Scottish Friendly, Exeter Family Friendly, Partnership, Canada Life, LV=, Royal London and Old Mutual Wealth.

Within 12 to 18 months he said he was “confident” that UnderwriteMe would have signed up all protection providers in the market, offering clients a whole of market comparison tool giving accurate protection quotes across life, critical illness and income protection products.

Tom Baigrie, founder of Lifesearch, said: “It has long been a source of frustration for all parties that unlike in motor or other general insurance markets, in life you simply can’t get a fairly priced underwritten quote there and then. It’s a distribution and insurer profit-destroying mess.

“To look at it from the consumer’s perspective, they will get from us the ability to seek out the right terms from outset, far fewer will drop out, far more will get cover straight away and they will not have to take and make endless calls for something they expect to be as simple as insuring their car.”

Baigrie said that it had taken the industry “far too long” to get to this point adding: “There is always business to be done if you serve consumers as they would be served.”

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