AXA has written a non-contestability option into its life cover policies to test demand among consumers.
The two-year clause, which has been available since the end of 2007, means AXA is unable to throw out a valid claim after that period except in the case of fraud.
Life insurance broker LifeSearch is piloting the option, which comes as standard in the US, to clients in partnership with AXA to test its popularity.
The issue has sparked controversy after the Law Commission proposed last July to introduce a five-year option into protection policies.
The Commission says the proposal could help remove accidental non-disclosure and boost consumer trust in protection.
But critics argue the move could cause insurers to be more selective about which clients they put on their books.
Graham Harvey, managing director protection, at AXA, says: “We are testing non contestability, an option they have as standard in the US.
“It puts the emphasis on the insurer to make sure they get all the information they require when the claim is arranged.
“We’re just posting this as an idea at the moment with LifeSearch. We’re trying to find out whether the market would find it attractive to have guaranteed non-contestability.
“Would the consumer be prepared to pay a premium for that? Would they be prepared to go for more medicals?”
In the US, insurers have a two-year non-contestability period after which they cannot throw out a valid claim on any basis other than fraud. They also split standard cases into categories such as standard, standard plus, preferred and preferred plus.
Some commentators say the introduction of a non-contestability clause will strengthen the argument for the arrival of preferred life underwriting in the UK.
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