Product specific underwriting

Underwriting and cover types

Underwriting outcomes vary depending on several things, including your client’s health, lifestyle, job and level of cover.

But the type of cover they choose also affects the underwriting decision. For each of our protection products we look at things like, what is the maximum rating applicable? Can we exclude a risk?

This section outlines the factors we take in to consideration for our range of protection products.

Life Cover underwriting criteria

We never offer an exclusion on life cover unless it has been specifically requested by your client, as we prefer to offer the most comprehensive cover available in the first instance.

  • If we apply an additional premium for a hazardous activity, your client can request to have the risk excluded from the plan rather than pay the additional premium.
  • Exclusions under life cover can only be applied for hazardous activity risks but not medical risks.
  • We can offer an exclusion on all life cover products even if the policy is required to protect a loan.
  • The maximum rating we will normally apply is 400% extra mortality loading.

Critical Illness Cover (CIC) underwriting criteria

  • We can apply a full cancer exclusion with a reduction in premium of up to 15% for new policies.
  • The maximum rating is 100% extra mortality loading and/or a maximum of two exclusions per policy - not per life.

Income Protection Benefit (IPB) underwriting criteria

  • Financial underwriting is undertaken at claim stage.
  • We can apply an exclusion for mental illness with a reduction in premium of 5% for a full exclusion and 3% for a partial exclusion. 
  • We can apply an exclusion for spine injury with a reduction in premium of 5% for a full exclusion and 3% for a partial exclusion. 
  • Special terms available for NHS doctors, nurses and surgeons.

Overseas travel and residency

The policy remains in force if your client resides in or travels to any part of the European Union, United States of America (USA), Canada, Australia, New Zealand, the Isle of Man or the Channel Islands after the policy has been issued.

The monthly benefit will be paid for up to 6 months if your client is residing or travelling for up to 12 consecutive months outside of the above countries.

We would not normally offer IPB to anyone who is residing overseas at the start of the policy.

Family and Personal Income Plan (FPIP) underwriting criteria

Per mille ratings on FPIP cases

Per mille ratings affect the premium differently on FPIP cases compared to normal term assurance contracts. If a pre-sales enquiry for a FPIP contract indicates a per mille rating, we recommend that an indicative rated quote is prepared by Protection Customer Services (PCS).

Immediate Cover

Immediate cover applies when we assume risk before the life insured has been fully underwritten and while the necessary evidence is being obtained. It's suitable when protection is required urgently, but there must be a legitimate business or personal need.

To request immediate cover, please contact your dedicated service team. You will need to have completed the application, a direct debit mandate and an immediate cover request form. Financial evidence must also be sent if the amount of cover is £2m or more.

Acceptance of immediate cover is not automatic or guaranteed and the request for immediate cover may be refused. If granted, immediate cover is provided for up to 60 days.

Immediate Cover cannot exceed;

  • Life Cover - £3,000,0000, or
  • Critical Illness Cover - £1,500,000.

We won’t pay out if your client dies due to:

  • suicide, intentional and serious self-injury or, an event where, in our reasonable opinion, the life insured took their own life,
  • hazardous activities, or
  • whilst they are outside the UK.

In the event of a claim we’ll only pay out on one of the following, Accidental Death Benefit, Immediate Cover or Free Life Cover on the policy applied for, not on all three.

Once the application has been fully underwritten it will have a policy start date of the same day that Immediate Cover was accepted.

Total and Permanent Disability (TPD)

Pays out the sum insured if the client becomes totally and permanently incapacitated with no prospect of improvement at any time.

One of two definitions of disability can apply, either Own Occupation or Specified Work Tasks. The policy booklet specifies which definition applies.

Our PDF file: Product Profiles PDF size: 961.79  document explains the definitions.

For joint life plans, only one definition of disability will apply to both lives if both clients are in gainful employment. This will be shown on their personal quote.