The campaign for 'wet signatures' is gathering momentum after new research suggests more than a quarter of online applicants for protection cover will change their details if sent a hard copy.
Statistics from Bright Grey show 27% of applicants “made material changes” to the details they entered online when they were sent a copy to check in the last 12 months.
Bright Grey says the statistic highlights the potential significance of wet signatures in an industry-wide bid to cut non-disclosure rates.
“Without the signatured process, these clients could have run the risk of their policy being declined due to non-disclosure,” says John Deane, chief executive of the intermediary division of Royal London.
“We have invested a great deal in making sure that our application form is second to none, and that our signatured process provides a robust mechanism to protect both the client and their adviser, by helping ensure that online applications are completed accurately.”
Bright Grey revealed the findings as it announced claims statistics for life and critical illness cover (CIC) for both the last 12 months, and the five years since its inauguration.
It reveals that, since launch, it has paid £35m in claims - £20m plus in life cover and more than £14m in CIC.
It says it has paid 85% of life claims in the last 12 months and 82% of critical illness claims in the same period. It also says, since launch, it has paid 6% critical illness claims where unrelated non-disclosure has occurred.
The largest CIC the company paid was £260,000 and the largest life insurance claim paid was £1.65m.
The average size of CICs paid in the last 12 months was £77,000, but Bright Grey says it also paid out £98,000 on Children’s CIC, which is automatically included in CIC plans.
The average age of critical illness claimants was 43 for men and 40 for females and Bright Grey says the vast majority - 42% - of critical illness claims were made due to cancer.
Bright Grey also says more than 86% of its policyholders used its Helping Hand service over the last 12 months.
The free service, offered in conjunction with independent care advisory service RED ARC, enables policyholders to benefit from case management by a qualified nurse, home visits, counseling and therapies.
John Deane says: “We don’t just provide financial help, but practical help too. As a new business, we’re proud to have helped people by paying out £35m of claims since launch.
"And we supported the emotional and practical needs of plan owners through our Helping Hand service as soon as they submitted a claim.”
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