People with pre-existing medical conditions and disabilities will have improved access to protection insurance as a result of a collaboration between BIBA,Grid, insurers, protection insurance groups and brokers, charities and other stakeholders.
The new signposting agreement was launched yesterday. There are 26 signatories to theAgreement on access to protection insurance for people with pre-existing medical conditions and disabilities, made up of both regulated providers of insurance and supporting bodies. The latter will encourage support of the ethos of the agreement and promote its benefits, while providers will signpost customers that they cannot help because of their medical condition or disability towards a firm that can help.
The initiative’s Workplace Workstream led by Katharine Moxham and Ron Wheatcroft is designed to facilitate greater UK business engagement with group risk to make a significant difference to the financial resilience of all employees and especially those with disabilities and health conditions both visible and invisible.
In October 2018, BIBA along with other industry bodies, firms and charities came together at the Department of Work and Pensions’ Caxton House offices and committed to theAccess to Insurance Working Group Caxton House Statement,which aimed to improve access to protection insurance.
A cross-sector working party on access to insurance, chaired by BIBA was convened to develop a signposting system for consumers, supporting consumer groups and charities to enable easier access guidance and advice about protection insurance from protection specialists. The group also sought buy-in from the wider insurance sector, to encourage greater signposting support and promotion.
BIBA executive director Graeme Trudgill says: “BIBA is ideally positioned to help those with medical conditions find their way to a specialist provider to help them access the cover they need, and we committed in our manifesto to launch a signposting agreement. This is the culmination of a year of discussion and collaboration across different stakeholders; all with a strong desire to help those most in need. The fact that we have been able to launch this signposting system today will make a difference to thousands of people that may previously have thought protection insurance was out of their reach.
“I’m tremendously grateful to everyone around the workstream for their commitment, input and determination to make this happen.”
Johnny Timpson, Insurance Disability Champion, says: “This is absolutely the right thing to do and will not only make a positive impact on many lives but will raise levels of trust in the insurance sector. It is important that all UK consumers have access to the appropriate advice and solutions that they require, especially those with disabilities and/or health conditions. Now the work has started to educate those in the sector and its customers on the existence of the agreement and to get as many firms as possible on-board.Alan Knowles, managing director of Cura Financial Services and chair of the Protection Distributors Group concluded: Specialised firms have the experience and expertise as well as the appetite to find solutions for those people who, because of a medical condition or disability can find obtaining suitable protection insurance a challenge. The launch of this agreement is great for customers and the insurance industry alike.”
The Agreement on access to protection insurance is voluntary. More information about it and how to access protection insurance can be foundhere