Scottish Equitable Protect's latest IFA underwriting newsletter, 'Underwriting Today', addresses the...
Scottish Equitable Protect's latest IFA underwriting newsletter, 'Underwriting Today', addresses the issue of back pain in clients who are taking out protection products.
Annually there are 12 million GP visits and 1.6 million outpatient appointments for back problems. In 1998, there were 120 million days' sickness absence due to low back pain with 60% of all adults suffering back pain at least once a year.
Scottish Equitable Protect says IFAs need to be aware of how applications from people with a recent history of back pain are assessed by underwriters. The newsletter looks at areas IFAs and underwriters tend to consider when assessing an applicant with a history of back pain.
Scottish Equitable Protect head of underwriting Matt Rann commented: "Back disorders rarely affect life expectancy - but are a major cause of disability. This is an area where IFAs often have queries - particularly when the client is applying for income protection or total and permanent disability cover. In this instance, underwriters will look at areas such as the cause of the pain, the extent of the disorder and the nature of the occupation and assess these against the definitions of incapacity that the client has selected for their policy, especially the 'own occupation' definition.
"Different life offices have different attitudes to back pain. Some will impose a blanket exclusion of any claims for back problems if there is a history of back pain. Others will offer full cover, but with extra premium to cover the extra risk," added Rann.
Scottish Equitable Protect offers the choice of either an exclusion or a rating. In a few cases where the risk of future recurrence is minimal, the group said it may consider offering standard terms."
The group also offers an underwriting helpline for IFAs who wish to discuss their queries with an experienced underwriter before submitting an application.
For copies of Underwriting Today, IFAs should visit www.scottishequitable.co.uk/protect, or telephone: 0845 600 1402. The underwriting helpline is available on 0845 783 5473.
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