Industry responsible for inaccurate insurance applications

Nia Williams

November 18, 2010

This is according to avantia, provider of the online platform for non-standard household insurance, www.homeprotect.co.uk.

avantia chief executive, David Walker said, “The industry itself must shoulder a large proportion of the responsibility. Insurance companies themselves are often to blame for assuming too much knowledge of their customers or asking unreasonable questions.

“Buying insurance can be a minefield, particularly for those who do not fall into the standard risk category. Education is paramount and can help limit the number of consumers that innocently fail to declare key information that impacts the validity of their insurance. Most honest citizens do not understand how insurance works – and who can blame them?

“Insurers can help ease the process by asking the right questions at the time of application. As it stands the questioning typically used by most insurers can be ambiguous and fails to take into account the varying interpretations of the consumer.

“What we are seeing is more and more customers approaching us for a quote who have had their insurance cancelled or refused for non-disclosure of material facts; typically their view is that their previous insurer did not ask the right questions to elicit the facts in question.

“For example, some insurers do not explicitly ask if a property has been previously flooded or if the policyholder has ever had a criminal conviction, often relying on stated assumptions up front. It’s not always apparent to the customer what elements they don’t cover; particularly the large number that buy online, having first come through a price comparison site, as they are often taken directly to the ‘buy page’ and therefore never see the stated assumptions.”

Having launched a non-standard version of homeprotect earlier this year following a successful pilot, avantia has been inviting intermediaries and underwriters to access the homeprotect platform through a variety of means including direct web access, systems integration via web services and telephone transfers to the company’s call centre. Intelligent use of technology enables the homeprotect platform to ask the right set of questions for a whole variety of non-standard circumstances and provides an automatic, online underwriting service for even the most obscure non-standard circumstances.

The homeprotect platform provided by avantia helps home insurance providers to extend their underwriting and brand footprint and make the experience of buying home insurance as simple and painless as possible.

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