Zurich lowers medical underwriting requirements

Wider use of nurse screenings in place of doctor reports

Zurich has made changes to the underwriting process for its protection products, lowering medical and financial information requirements with the aim of making the application process quicker and easier.

The insurer says it will be making wider use of nurse screenings in place of doctor reports in order to speed up the underwriting process.

Furthermore, for life cover, applicants aged 41 or over will need to supply less medical evidence in order to secure a greater sum assured than they would have done previously.

For instance, an applicant aged 40 with no known medical conditions applying for a sum assured below £500,000 will no longer need to submit any medical evidence.

Similar changes have been made for critical illness (CI) applications, so that a 43-year-old customer applying for cover over £250,000 would no longer need to supply a doctor’s report. Instead, they would just need a nurse screening if the cover exceeded £300,000.

Phil Brown, head of protection and underwriting at Zurich UK Life, said: "Our protection proposition is constantly evolving so that we can provide the best value and most comprehensive cover for our customers while streamlining the application process - making it easier for advisers to do business as well and enhancing the customer experience."

In addition, Zurich has raised the thresholds under which applicants need to supply additional information about their finances.

For life cover, applications will only be asked to complete a financial questionnaire – which asks for additional information around income, assets and liabilities – if applying for cover worth £1.5m or more, rather than the previous limit of £1m.

For CI, the same threshold has been raised from £500,000 to £750,000.

Zurich has also introduced a new ratings approach for Armed Forces business, which includes reducing loadings for deployable members of the forces and applying standard rates to most reservists who have not been mobilised within the last two years.   

The changes now apply to all customers taking out new Zurich policies.

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