Critical illness comparison site CIExpert has rolled out a Personalised Predictive Analysis (PPA) tool for advisers who subscribe to the service.
The free upgrade, a result of user feedback, will be ‘personalised' in the sense it will take into account a client's exact family information. The firm also said it would be ‘predictive' because that information would be used to assess the likelihood of a future claim and payment level and all of it was calculated through ‘analysis' to interpret the value of a plan, taking into account every condition.
CIExpert director Alan Lakey said: "While user feedback has always been positive, we decided that to combat the growing complexity of plans we needed to advance to another level of precision together with new tools to make it even easier for advisers to interpret the value for their clients."
Critical illness plans now use more than 140 conditions and more are continually being added, however according to CIExpert, no two insurers can agree on which conditions should be included or agree on claim wording.
CIExpert has been designed to help advisers compare plans, make quicker decisions and provide proof of value to clients.
Level or Decreasing
Users can now choose between level and decreasing term plans. When decreasing term is selected they can input the required interest rate.
The Plan Term
The value of a plan and the underlying conditions will vary as client's become older. Therefore, the actual term of the plan is integral when calculating the value. The new system enables advisers to input the term which, in combination with the sum insured and the type of plan, determines the overall value.
With many mortgages and also share-protection/keyman plans running to age 70 or beyond, the system can now analyse adult age ranges from 17 through to 85. This enables the client's exact age and term of policy to be input which is fundamental when determining the overall values of competing plans.
Valuing Children's Cover
CIExpert now enables advisers to comprehensively value the impact of children's cover by incorporating the age of children and parents plans for children while using the same depth of analysis as utilised for adult cover.
Breakdown of Key Elements
CIExpert has broken down scores into three components - 100% payment conditions, additional payment conditions and children's conditions - to aid adviser and client understanding.
Understanding the Values of Conditions
Some conditions can have an important impact on the overall scores. Gold, silver and bronze ‘thumbs-up' icons have been added. Gold denotes an important impact, silver means a moderate impact whilst bronze is minimal.
Advisers now have the choice of producing a summary report or a comprehensive version. According to both the FCA and the FOS have commented that lengthy reports are far less likely to be read. The summary report is designed for client use whilst the comprehensive version can be retained for compliance purposes. Both reports are interactive enabling advisers to quickly pull out key elements when discussing with clients.
David Mead, joint head of protection at St James Place Protection Planning said: "Our adviser team has just completed a pilot period with the advanced version of CIExpert and have nothing but good things to say about it. The breakdown of conditions covered is easier to read, it helps make the client report more bespoke, it's more user friendly and the video tutorials are also really useful for new advisers. We've been CIExpert users for several years now and can't imagine how anyone could provide critical illness advice without this amazing tool at their fingertips. CIExpert forms an integral part of our advice process."
Lucy Brown, head of protection at L&C Mortgages added: "CIExpert remains the go-to tool for the comparison of critical illness and stands head and shoulders above its competition. The efficiencies it provides to our advisers and business are enormous.
"It adds peace of mind that we're ensuring customers have the most comprehensive cover with the provider that's most likely to provide the best outcome for them."
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