MorganAsh makes front page of FT's Pension Expert - Hogg Robinson mortality study slashes liabilities

MorganAsh makes the front page of Pension Expert, with another successful MUMS project

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MUMS saves £68M - Hogg Robinson announces £68.4M saving in financial accounts

Hogg Robinson announces a £68.4M saving due to the MUMS exercise with MorganAsh.

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“We took proactive measures in the year to improve the estimate of the Group’s pension liabilities. During the second half, in collaboration with the Trustees of the UK Scheme, we commissioned a Medically Underwritten Mortality Study (MUMS) to improve the quality of demographic assumptions relating to the UK Scheme’s members. This valuable exercise contributed to a £68.4m benefit to the year-end accounting deficit, which largely offset a £97.0m increase in the UK Scheme liabilities as a result of a reduced discount rate. As a result of this, as well as an increase in the value of plan assets, the overall Group pension deficit increased by £6.9m.” Michele Maher, Chief Financial Officer, Hogg Robinson Group Plc.


Winners - Life Insurance Innovation award - The Life Insurance International awards - 2016

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The Life Insurance International awards were announced on November 17th at a Gala dinner in London.  MorganAsh won the “Most Innovative Actuarial / Risk Consultancy Services Provider Of The Year” category.

The awards celebrate the best in life and health insurance innovation from around the world and act as a benchmark for excellence.

MorganAsh won the award for its impressive use of medical data in the new services in  the Defined Benefit (DB) pension market. Both use medical underwriting to improve the valuation of pension schemes.  The service comes in two disciplines:-  MUBA – Medical Underwriting Bulk Annuities and MUMS – Medical Underwriting Mortality Studies. Both services use data on the health of individuals to improve the granularity of data to estimate the mortality of individuals, and hence the overall longevity predictions of the scheme.

MorganAsh commenced the services in 2013 with a few small schemes and only two pension consultants.   To-date the services have improved the valuation of over 3 Billion of pension liabilities from over 50 pension schemes, saving up to 10% for each scheme.

Ronan McCaughey, Editor of Life Insurance International, said: “Any laggards in the global life and health insurance market who fail to fully embrace the digital revolution will quickly find themselves left behind as the market leaders invest in new technology from wearables to Blockchain and Big Data.”

Andrew Gething – Managing Director of MorganAsh “The Pension industry does take time to change, and we are delighted to be part of this change. I would like to thank all the MorganAsh staff and the many pension consultants who have worked with us to introduce these services. We are delighted to win this award.”

Royal London scooped the “Most Innovative Life Insurer of the year” and iPipeline won the Digital Innovation of the Year – Technology Firms.

 

 

 


Finalist - Life Insurance International Awards 2016 - Most Innovative Actuarial / Risk Consultancy Services Provider Of The Year

MorganAsh has been nominated for a Life Insurance International Awards 2016, within the category: - "Most Innovative Actuarial / Risk Consultancy Services Provider Of The Year".

Due to the innovation in Medical Underwriting Bulk Annuities (MUBA) and Medical Underwriting Mortality Studies (MUMS) over 2015 and 2016.  with over £3 Bn of pension liabilities assessed.

MorganAsh is a finalist along with:-

  • Capita Life and Pensions Ireland
  • Crowe Horwath Global Risk Consulting

 


Sneak preview - Secondary Annuity Market video - Starts in April 2017

The Secondary Annuity Market starts in April 2017.  We are working with major insurers and partners to deliver a service to ensure the safe selling of annuities.

As this market is now canceled we have removed these explanatory videos.

 


Guide for Trustees on Medically Underwritten Bulk Annuities - created by Industry Working Group

A Working Group of industry specialists has published an impartial Guide to help trustees and others understand the use of medical underwriting in bulk de-risking solutions for defined benefit schemes.

The Guide follows the publication of the 2016 report “the Good, the Bad and the Healthy” by the Pensions Institute, which called for a Code of Practice and reflects the growing interest in this area.

Margaret Snowdon OBE, Chairman of the Working Group, said: While it is vital that insurers and consultants are free to develop products ad approaches, it is essential that trusted and others understand enough of the concept and the process to be able to ask relevant questions. This Guide has been written to hep them to do. It is factual, practical and impartial. I am very grateful to the insurers, consultants, legal advisers, data collectors and trustees who freely gave their time to write the Guide and tot eh Society of Pensions professionals who volunteered to review it.”

The Working Group will decide on the ongoing maintenance of the Guide soon after its publication.

 


Launch of e-signature process to speed up GPR reports - MorganAsh press release

 

  • Introduction of e-signature process for protection processing
  • AMRA approval from client obtained electronically
  • Compliant with ABI and BMA guidance
  • 80% of consumers are happy to use, 20% prefer traditional paper method
  • 95% of GP accept e-signatures
  • Process reinforced by traditional manual wet signature process
  • Turnaround times significantly improved

MorganAsh introduced an e-Signature process for the consumer’s approval of the AMRA (Access to Medical Records Act) consent from, a process previously undertaken using paper and “wet signature”.

This is now an integral part of the MorganAsh underwriting service, and is also offered as a part of the stand alone GPR collection service.

The service conforms with recent publication of the ABI/BMA guidance: -“e-signature consent for obtaining information from medical records high level principles.”

Under the Access to Medical Records Act, a consumer must consent to their GP records being passed to an insurance company. This approval process, has up until now, required a paper “AMRA” form to be signed with a wet signature by the applicant. This is one of the last processes requiring a paper form and hence preventing moving to a complete electronic process.

“We have been working with a third party e-signature provider to create a suitable and compliant process. While the technology has been available for some years, it has taken some time to integrate it with the traditional wet signature processes, so we can be flexible on the wishes of the consumer and the GP.” Commented Andrew Gething, Managing Director of MorganAsh.

“Understanding the wishes of each GP surgery and optimizing how we communicate with them is an integral part of the roll-out.”

So far 80% of consumers accept the e-AMRA and most within seconds of submission, while 20% of consumers prefer a traditional paper process. As this becomes more common place we believe this will continue to improve, but having the facility to talk to the consumer and explain the requirements and implications of the data privacy is an important part of the process.

The response rates from GP surgeries has been far better than we hoped. 95% are accepting the e-AMRA, although we have needed to talk directly with some surgeries to help them introduce this process to achieve this figure.

“We started using this in protection and we are planning for it to be an integral part of our Secondary Annuity Process and going forward wherever we require signatures.”

“We delayed announcement until the ABI/BMA principles were announced” commented Andrew Gething, Managing Director of MorganAsh.

 

 

 

 


Presentation at IFoA - Medical Underwriting in DB pensions

MorganAsh were invited to present at the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries on February 11th 2016. To promote the use of Medical Underwriting for Bulk Annuities (MUBA) and valuations (MUMS). Download the presentation.


Finalist in the UK Pension Awards 2016 - Retirement Innovation of the Year

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MorganAsh has been nominated for the Professional Pensions - UK Pension Awards 2016.  Due to the innovation in Medical Underwriting Bulk Annuities (MUBA) and Medical Underwriting Mortality Studies (MUMS) the company has qualified in the "Retirement Innovation of the Year" category.


Johnston Press save £50M on pension deficit - 10% saving on £500M pension scheme

Johnston Press is one of the largest local and regional multimedia organisations in the UK. They provide news and information services to local and regional communities through their extensive portfolio of hundreds of publications and websites. Their titles span Scotland, the North East, West Yorkshire, the North West & Isle of Man, South Yorkshire, the South, Midlands and Northern Ireland - delivering extensive coverage of local news, events and information.

They are sponsor to their £500M pension scheme. Previous valuations had shown a deficit of around £100m. In 2015 MorganAsh undertook a MUMS analysis targeting 550 pensioners. The result of the revaluation for financial reporting was a reduction in the deficit of £50m around 10% of the total pension value. The revaluation figure has yet to be agreed with the trustees, this is ongoing.

As this was a material change to the company’s finances, it was announced to the stock market on 3rd February, and resulted in a 13% increase in the company’s share price, and coverage in the national media:- BBC,

Financial Times,

Guardian


BSW Timber MUMS project delivers £5M saving. - First to complete both MUBA and MUMS projects

  • BSW Timber probably the first company to complete both a MUMS and MUBA project.
  • MUMS – (Medical Underwriting Mortality Studies) are following the success of MUBA - (Medical Underwriting Bulk Annuities)

Case study – BSW Timber Limited

BSW Timber is the largest sawmilling company in the UK. It has 1200 employees, £300m turnover and 2 closed final salary (DB) pension schemes. We believe it is the first company to use medical underwriting for both an insurance transaction and for valuation purposes, a MUBA and a MUMS project.

In 2013 we decided to go to market to insurance the current pension benefits of one of our schemes. MorganAsh was contracted to undertake the medical underwriting part of the tender. They interviewed sufficient pensioners and their spouses that made up over 85% of the pension liability. As a result we were able to insure all current pensions in payment WITHOUT additional contribution from either the company or the scheme above and beyond the technical provisions already existing in the scheme.

Following this success we have repeated the medical underwriting exercise in our other scheme for our high liability pensioners, but instead of attempting an insurance transaction we used medical underwriting to improve the valuation of our liabilities. This time MorganAsh achieved a 96% response rate! The outcome showed a reduction in liability due to mortality of some £5m compared to the scheme actuary’s assumptions for this £40m scheme.

In both cases MorganAsh carried out this delicate work with sensitivity and efficiency and the weekly progress reporting was excellent too. The payback on the investment in this project is tremendous.”H Jones Chief Financial Officer BSW Timber Limited.

“Using actual health data to understand the mortality of scheme members can improve the accuracy of predicting mortality for schemes and reduce the reliance on mortality assumptions.” Andrew Gething Managing Director of MorganAsh

“Using an evidence based approach to improve accuracy of data is just a logical stop from postcode analysis and solid step down the Big Data revolution.”

MUMS is just the next step from postcode valuation. Armed with more data, we can make better estimates of the longevity of individuals and hence for the whole scheme, reducing the need to make assumptions.

"Effectively, we're seeing medical underwriting of individuals start to be used in the insurance space and this is an example of it coming into pension scheme funding and valuations," McLellan said. "I think this will become much more standard with more schemes adopting this type of approach going forward with insurance transactions." Iain Mclellan KPMG

Typically, the medical underwriting is undertaken on a sample of the scheme members with the highest liabilities in the same manner as for MUBA transactions. Participation is good and advisers have remodeled their longevity models to accommodate the medical underwriting data.

Just as we saw a good deal of activity with postcode modeling, we are likely to see similar levels of activity to include medical underwriting data. There are discussions as to whether the medical data should be refreshed for each triennial evaluation.


MorganAsh assesses over £2Bn of pension assets -

  • MorganAsh medical underwriting reaches £2 Bn of pension liabilities
  • 50 schemes evaluated

Medical underwriting for evaluating DB pension schemes has taken off over the last few years. Insurers are assessing the scheme members’ health to medically underwrite the scheme members and predict their individual longevity and cumulatively the overall mortality for the scheme. The result has seen bulk annuity insurance transaction savings in the region of 5% - 10%.

MorganAsh have completed the vast majority of medically underwritten bulk annuities and are key facilitators in the growth of the market.

While the MUBA - insurance transactions have hit the headlines with over £1 billion on pension assets re-evaluated, MorganAsh have also been contracted by companies and trustees to assess a similar £1 billion of pension liabilities purely for valuation purposes. These MUMS with better data have delivered similar results, with valuations typically around 10% lower.

 


Next steps for medically underwriting in pensions -

The CASS business School in association with the The Pension Institute has just released its report on the progress of medical underwriting for bulk annuities. The majority of the report describes the development of medical underwriting in the market, whilst exploring ways in which it will continue to develop over the coming year.

Our experience shows that there are not only some key areas of evolution in the bulk annuity space, but a great deal of market development in the pension valuation space.

Here are some of the areas we expect the medical underwriting to evolve in the immediate future:

  1. Medical Underwriting will be used not only for MUBA transactions but also for mortality valuations – so called MUMS – (Medically Underwritten Mortality Studies).
  2. Longevity modelling will evolve to include medical health data, combining the best of both disciplines, and within the consultant’s models not just within a few insurers.
  3. Models will be created to predict when it is cost effective to use medical data.
  4. We will start to understand how much data is cost effective to collect for the amount and proportion of liabilities for each member, and hence profile the data collection and underwriting approaches depending on these factors. These may range from collecting doctors reports for the higher liabilities, to telephone interviews, filling in simple on-line forms to simply data cleaning for the smaller liabilities. We expect the range of data collection methods to evolve to match the liabilities.
  5. We will start to understand how often we need to refresh the data. This will depend on its use and importance to understand the benefits this could be for triennial valuations, or change of ownership with insurance via MUBA transactions. We will be working closely with our Consultant partners to continue to evolve the market.

James Mullins, Partner and Head of Buy-out Solutions at Hymans Robertson and panelist at the launch of the report said, “While at a macro level the Medically Underwritten Bulk Annuity Market is becoming more standard, there are still lots of room for innovations and evolution, and we continue to work closely with MorganAsh to bring these benefits to Schemes.”

Andrew Gething, Managing Director of MorganAsh commented, “The use of medical data is transforming many industries, and the pensions industry will take a leap forward using evidence based data to improve the precession in valuing schemes.” “We are humbled the CASS Business School report has recognised our small part in helping this market grow from inception. And we are looking forward to bringing further innovations to the market to continue its development.”

 


Speeding up the MUBA process - Reduction in GPRs reduces turn round time by weeks

One of the historical challenges with the fast-growing Medically Underwritten Bulk Annuity (MUBA) market has been the length of time the data collection process can add to the tendering process. We have been supporting insurers, advisors and Trustees in MUBA transactions for the past 3 years, and recently spoke with the leading Insurers to understand the impact of or nurse-led Tele-interviews. What was reported was a welcome level of quality, accuracy and reliability of data delivered to the Insures. This has led to Insurers having great confidence to price on our nurse Tele-Interview alone without having to wait for doctor’s reports. The quality and reliability of nurse Tele-interviews have proven to reduce reliance on GP reports thus reducing quotation turnaround times.

The reduction in GPR reports roughly cuts the duration of projects by 2 weeks, or around 20%.

“The receipt of high quality data is paramount in enabling us to understand the health of individuals and it ensures there is no bias in selection. The MorganAsh interview is of high quality and reliability and we are happy to price on this basis.” Phillip Beach, Head of Core Pension Risk Transfer Business for Legal and General

The appreciation in the accuracy of our nurse Tele-Interview has also reduced the reliance on costly doctor’s reports (GPR’s) reducing the overall costs.

Comparing 2015 to-date with 2014 the number of GPR’s per member across multiple projects has reduced by 28%.

“Trusted and consistently high quality data, particularly data collected using trained healthcare professionals as part of a medically underwritten bulk annuity tender, is essential in giving reassurance to the Trustees and scheme members – and also in obtaining a competitive price for the client”. David Stewart, a Partner at Lane Clark & Peacock

We have agreed with the insurers to continue to collect some GPR’s for the higher liabilities and will collect permission to obtain the GPRs from most scheme members so that insurers and reinsurers can cross check post pricing. This transparency helps to remove doubt and prudence so enabling sharper pricing.

When we started the bulk annuity work, we continued to use our quality processes honed in the life insurance and individual annuity markets. The advantage being this is understood by the Insurers and reinsurers over the last 10 years. There is an interesting question of what level of quality is required, and what level of quality gives the insurers sufficient comfort to reduce prudence on the risk of incorrect information. This is something we will no doubt review in the future.

We have agreed process with Aviva, Legal and General, Partnership and Just Retirement all of who reimburse our fees when transactions proceed. While the competitive landscape will change with the merger of Partnership and Just Retirement, from our conversations with LV= we do not expect these processes to radically change, similarly with other insurers if and when they enter the MUBA market.

 


MorganAsh speak at European Reinsurance conference -

MorganAsh MD Andrew Gething recently spoke at the European Reinsurance event Rendez-Vous RIVIERA on

14th September.  The talk covers the success and failures of Tele-underwriting and straight through processing in the protection industry and looks at how these two initiatives will merge going forward.

 View slides

 


MorganAsh speak at Rendez-Vous RIVIERA - European reinsurance conference

MorganAsh MD Andrew Gething will be speaking at Rendez-Vous RIVIERA

Rendez-Vous RIVIERA

 The Ultimate International Meeting of Life and A&H Insurers and Reinsurers

  • 13-15 September
  • Hyatt Regency Hotel
  • Nice (France)

September 13th, 14th & 15th in Nice, a new professional event for Life and A and H Insurers and Reinsurers will take place: Rendez-Vous Riviera. The “RVR” concept is simple: high quality exchanges in a friendly professional environment. Workshops and conferences will be provided by high-level speakers to cover domestic and international interest.

Workshop  - A3

The use of tele-underwriting for optimizing the medical underwriting process in protection insurance: a successful experience in European markets.


Secondary Annuity Bureau - Press comment - By Andrew Gething

We received good support in the press for our proposals for a bureau service. Although the service has now been delayed until 2017. links to the articles here.

 FT Adviser

Professional Advisor

Professional Pensions

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Blog - understanding customer journeys for the Secondary Annuity Market - by MorganAsh MD Andrew Gething

We have been looking at the potential customer motivations and hence potential customer journeys for the secondary annuity market.

A recent You Gov survey reports 33% of consumers are interested in cashing in their annuity, with a further 12% in the don’t know camp. We have devised several customer profiles to assist our thinking:-

The financially better off and GARs

There will be customers who received an annuity rate at a relatively high rate compared to today’s returners; some of these maybe enjoying guaranteed annuity rates or GAR policies. For this cohort, if they are healthy, they could now receive a single amount that could be more than they invested originally.

The chance of these people transacting is high, and their expectations, subject to their health, are likely to be exceeded. A straight forward process should suffice.

Never wanted an annuity

Some people never wanted to take an annuity, and may have felt pressured into doing so. They hence may be motivated to sell out, regardless of the consequences. For these customers, understanding and managing their expectations will be difficult, and if they transact or not will depend as much on the advice and management of these expectations.

Opportunists

Some people will read the headlines in the press and opportunistically look to see if they can getter a better deal. All else being equal, this may turn into a debate about having a guaranteed income for life and short term cash.

Traditional advice, or at least risk warning, will be an essential component, to inform consumers about the issues of longevity and the eroding effects of inflation. It is likely that most of these will not transact, but they will need advice and prices to come to this decision.

Frustrated with low income

Clearly there are retirees whose income is lower than they would like, and just want more money. They may feel aggrieved at the banks, governments, companies and feel that they should be receiving more income.

All else being equal, a single cash payment is going to be no better for them than a regular income. However, they will need a lot of help and discussion to placate their frustrations and to enable them to make the right decisions.

Ill-configured annuities – change in circumstances

For some they will have a single life annuity, instead of a joint. It may be an annuity that has no escalation component, and, due to changes in their personal circumstances, they may want to re-configure their annuity.

All else being equal,they could cash in their existing annuity and buy a new one in the new configuration.

The issue here will be the cost of administration over the benefits to the consumer. Moving from a single life to joint life, may well be worth the cost of change.

Ill configured annuity – poor purchase

For some people, they did not shop around and purchased directly off their pension provider, often without advice of due consideration. Maybe they took a single life policy without escalation.

When presented with a price to purchase their income, they may well be disappointed, and hence motivated to look for blame and compensation with regard to the original purchase. This is going to be problematic for all concerned.

Poor health

Around 70% of consumers qualify for an enhanced annuity due to their health issues, although far less received these benefits. Whether this was the fault of the consumer, the adviser or the provider does vary and is often a grey area. Clearly if someone in ill health received a standard annuity, then they are going to be disappointed by the fee they are offered for their income when their health is assessed.

This is going to be problematic for all parties, as the consumer may be looking for compensation from the original provider, adviser or both. While not the focus for the secondary market, how consumers’ expectations are managed for this, could make or break the reputation of the secondary market.

Cashing in small incomes

There are many small incomes, which quite frankly are a nuisance for the providers as well as the consumers, and the opportunity to commute this will be welcomed by many.

Clearly a low cost transaction is favourable. There is the possibility some providers may promote this route to reduce its administration of these small pots, even offering enhanced values to do so.

Managing consumer expectations

Clearly, for some consumer segments, their expectations will be rewarded with a transaction. However, for others this will not be the case, and they will be disappointed. The graphic below tries to demonstrate this.

SAM customer journeys.jpg

From the above we have come to the following views:-

  1. Advice/guidance will be needed for a large proportion
  2. The proportion who transact is likely to be far lower than those who request a price
  3. If remuneration for transacting is on a winning provider pays basis, this is likely to be proportionally high due to the low conversion rate. Hence, a fee for advice and a small fee for the transaction cost may well be appropriate.
  4. Managing expectations, by providing indicative prices, could well be an important part to manage consumer expectations and minimise the administration costs of full pricing
  5. How we manage consumers who did not purchase the appropriate annuity and feel disgruntled with their original purchase, be this mis-sold or mis-bought, is a major issue for the success of this market.

Renold completes £25m buy-in - by professional pensions

Renold’s defined benefit (DB) pension scheme has entered a buy-in to fully de-risk around 25% of its UK pensioner liabilities.  Article in Professional Pensions

MorganAsh undertook the project in 2014 with Barnett Waddingham. Read the full case study

 


Xafinity explains medically underwritten bulk annuites - by Xafinity

Xafinity provide advice

"A new market is developing for bulk annuity products (i.e. buy-ins and buy-outs) where
information is sought from members about their health status, to allow the price to
reflect members’ expected longevity more accurately. Before discussing this new market,
we start with a recap on “standard” bulk annuity products. This introduction is framed around pensioner buy-ins, although the same broad principles apply to deferred member buy-ins, and also to buy-outs."

 


Hymans Robertson and MorganAsh Partner - by Hymans Robertson

Hymans Robertson and MorganAsh have agreed to work closely together to help pension schemes achieve the most cost effective and efficient results during medically underwritten buy-in processes. Today they launch a refreshed data gathering process which will becom an integral part of Hymans Robertson’s existing medically underwritten buy-in service.

The success of a medically underwritten buy-in is critically dependent on a clear, efficient and well communicated process to gather medical information from a high proportion of the pensioners who will be covered by the insurance policy.

As market leaders in the medically underwritten buy-in market, Hymans Robertson and MorganAsh have worked together to refresh this process to allow them to deliver their pension scheme clients with a well-structured, efficient and cost effective process for gathering medical information.

James Mullins, Partner and Head of Buy-out Solutions at Hymans Robertson said: “Many of our pension scheme clients have already benefitted from significant early mover advantage in the medically underwritten buy-in market. As this part of the pension risk transfer market continues to grow at pace, it is great to be able to provide even more pension schemes with an easy and cost effective way to clearly assess the potential merits of a medically underwritten buy-in.”

“While medical underwriting can appear to be complex to some, the practices we have built with MorganAsh ensure all complexity is taken care of. These practices are a key reason why we currently have a 100% transaction completion rate.”

“Standardisation of the whole medical data gathering process enables medically underwritten buy-ins to be completed within 2-3 months, with no limit on the size of pension scheme suitable for this process.”

Andrew Gething, Managing Director of MorganAsh said: “Working with multiple providers to deliver a competitive and compliant medical underwriting process has had its challenges. However, working with Hymans Robertson we have fine tuned these procedures to provide a secure, efficient and quick operation that minimises risk for insurers and hence optimises medically underwritten buy-in prices for pension schemes.”

Hymans Robertson’s research (see medically underwritten buy-in report) shows that:

  • the popularity of medically underwritten buy-ins has grown to such an extent, that they represented over 10% of all bulk annuity transactions during the fourth quarter of 2014;
  • medically underwritten buy-in pricing is more than 5% cheaper than traditional buy-in pricing, often close to a pension scheme’s technical provisions reserve; and
  • we can expect to see between £500m and £1billion of medically underwritten buy-in deals completed during 2015, taking total market volumes to in excess of £1.5billion by the end of 2015.

 


Hymans Report on growth of Medically Underwritten Bulk annuities - by MorganAsh MD Andrew Gething

Hymans Robertson have provided a great report on the growth of Medically Underwritten Bulk Annuities.

Some highlights: -

Medically underwritten transactions

  • Represent around 10% of all transactions
  • Often over 5% cheaper than traditional buy-ins
  • 43 completed since 2013
  • Conversion rates at 100% for Hyman's and expected to be 75% overall

"MorganAsh are the market-leading company for gathering health information from members and providing this information to insurance companies to refine pricing."

Predictions to 2015

  • Expect total market to reach £1.5 billion by the end of 2015
  • Higher demand in 2016 will see hardening of prices
  • Average deal size tripled in 2014 from (7m) to (27m) and this increase is expected to continue.

 

 

 

 

 


Annuity Mis-selling - need to keep medical information on file - by MorganAsh MD Andrew Gething

Aviva case should be a wake-up call to many

On Saturday 28th March, the Telegraph ran a story “Is this the worst pension mis-selling case ever? Aviva knew this customer was ill”.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/personalfinance/pensions/11499715/Is-this-the-worst-pension-mis-selling-case-ever-Aviva-knew-this-customer-was-ill.html

The story by Katie Morley highlights the case of a nurse who was in ill health and did not receive the appropriate health enhancement for her annuity. She subsequently complained to Aviva, and ultimately with the Telegraph help has received compensation.

The compensation looks to be retrospective with additional income being paid for annuity income paid out so far and an increase for the future annuity income. The additional monies being based on the difference she should have received if her actual health had been taken into account at the time of the annuity sale.

Consumers not receiving the appropriate annuity, due to an inadequate health assessment, is of no surprise to many in the industry. What is, I think, a precedent, is that the claim was based on Aviva already having the health information on file. Further, that this information was held and collected for a different financial product 3 years previously to the annuity sale. This has massive implications and not only for annuities and providers but also for the annuity sale process.

We don’t know the exact details of the sale process, and I suspect that the sale process was not greatly different to that undertaken by many others at the time. My suspicion is that although Aviva are the party in this case, it could have been many other providers or advisors. My suspicion would be that the attempt to obtain good medical information at the time was inadequate, and again this was not uncommon and indeed is unfortunately still on-going today. We know that around 70% of consumers qualify for an enhanced annuity when their health is properly assessed, and yet far less proportion of consumers are receiving the incomes they deserve.

Many sales processes rely on asking the consumer some health questions, and rely on the answers with no checking, validation, or cross checking against previous records. The information is simply passed onto the provider. This is in stark contrast to how we collect financial information. Typically we have trained advisors to explain the questions, validate the answers and in most advised cases to cross check against previous financial information on file.

What this case is highlighting is that if the seller has the information on file, or does not undertake a proper health assessment then it is deemed mis-selling. In this case the sales team were part of a provider, and the provider had material health information on file for a different financial product processed some 3 years previously. This will be typical across providers whose systems are organised around products, rather than consumers.

I doubt whether many advisors sales processes retain the health information on file, they may collect it, but they may pass it onto a provider for a Life insurance or other quote, but not retain it. In such circumstances not only are they not using this information for their customer but they will have no information on file to defend such a claim from a disgruntled annuitant.

Many advisors will cite that by sending the annuity application to a whole of market application process they ensure they receive the best price and that single sales from Providers do not do this. This was certainly true up until recent times, but the truth is, if the medical information is not supplied to any of the providers because it is not collected in the first place, then the price received from any provider will not reflect what the consumer could receive.

The negative publicity around annuities, and the potential secondary annuity market, is my opinion going to reveal more disgruntled annuitants, who received a poor deal. Further annuity rates are going to remain low in line with investment returns. Any annuity sales process should be concerned at this precedent. The conclusions are:

  • Ensure proper medical assessments are undertaken
  • Keep the medical assessment on file
  • Obtain the best annuity rates.

 


MorganAsh PLUS buy outs tops over £700 million of pension liabilities. - by MorganAsh MD Andrew Gething

The MorganAsh Pension Longevity Underwriting Service – for medically underwritten buy outs tops over £700 million of pension liabilities.

  • Over £700 million of liabilities evaluated
  • 6,000 scheme members covered to date
  • Higher scheme member participation than forecast

Download press release here.

In 2013 MorganAsh launched the Pension Longevity Underwriting Service (PLUS) to evaluate individual scheme members of defined benefit pension schemes to establish their health and expected mortality status for evaluation and use in pension buy-out transactions. The medically underwritten de-risking market is growing significantly and MorganAsh has just passed the £700 million mark.

MorganAsh has agreed processes with four participating insurers, Aviva, Just Retirement, Legal and General and Partnership.

MorganAsh operate an independent medical information collect and underwriting service and provide this on a secure portal, for the participating insurers to use in their tenders.

Participation by pension scheme members in the medical underwriting exercise has been higher than expected which has ensured there are material numbers of respondents to allow evaluations of the overall scheme liabilities. Over 6,000 scheme members have been assessed to date.

Commenting on the success of the service, Andrew Gething, MorganAsh Managing Director said: “We collect independent information on the individuals within a scheme, to enable insurance companies to determine improved mortality estimates. All the assignments we have undertaken have led to a completed transaction for the trustees, with savings around the 10% mark.”

James Mullins Head of Buy-in Solutions at Hymans Robertson said: "We have had great experience with the MorganAsh medical underwriting service and it is a vital component in growing the bulk annuity market."

 

 

Neil Rogers, bulk annuity consultant at Mercer Limited, added: “We are seeing increasing enthusiasm amongst trustees and sponsors of moderately sized pension schemes to integrate medical underwriting into their bulk annuity purchase exercises. A coordinated and consistent approach is therefore crucial and we welcome MorganAsh's efforts to develop and refine such an approach in conjunction with a number of insurers.”

Costas Yiasoumi from Partnership added “The overall growth in medically underwritten bulk annuity activity this year has been considerable, not surprising given the improved pricing this can bring. Effective data collation from pensioners is crucial - MorganAsh’s activity in this area can only help support further market growth.”

Tim Coulson, director of defined benefit solutions at specialist insurer Just Retirement said; “The MorganAsh PLUS service has created robust outputs that has accelerated confidence amongst consultants in the medically underwritten de-risking market. This has resulted in a significant rise in the number of consultants participating in the market during the last year.”


Blog - Future of underwriting - by MorganAsh MD Andrew Gething

Smart underwriting is better than no underwriting

Underwriting is out of favour at the moment, and we are seeing a trend towards simplified underwriting, simplified products, shorter questionnaires, and higher priced products taking on more risk. These initiatives are aimed at improving the customer journey and increasing sales by dropping the ‘cumbersome’ underwriting elements. However, there is little evidence to show this approach is working, for example, in the UK sales continues to fall. This article takes a contrary view and explores how we can use underwriting to increase sales.

The changes taking place within underwriting are well documented, including how the traditional underwriting process is no longer appropriate. However, there are several areas of the sales process that can be enhanced in order to make underwriting a positive part of the sales process rather than a negative. We take a look at each of these in detail below.

  1. The integration of the sales and underwriting process
  2. Providing a personalised sales and underwriting journey
  3. Promotion of underwriting as personalised assessment
  4. Improve customer expectations by giving rated prices up front rather than starting with a standard price and then increasing the price
  5. Engaging with the consumer

Integrating the sales and underwriting processes

In the UK on-line systems already provide ratings at the point of sale for around 60% of consumers for life and critical illness products, but there are still 40% of consumers (and all those that need disability products), that are not covered by these methods. To provide a positive customer journey, a process that integrates the manual and the automatic underwriting into the sales journey is required. While this could be instant, it is more likely to have a short delay while the manual underwriting takes place. This is not the end of the world, it can be an integral part of the sales process as we shall explain further below

Personalised underwriting

In the times when paper forms dominated, the process had to provide a standard set of questions to every applicant. But now as we have technology, every set of questions can be bespoke for the consumer. In on-line and tele-sales processes this is already done for gender and product with questions only asked if they are applicable. It is proposed that this can go a lot further. For example the information gathered can be made dynamic based on age and the distribution channel if it is the consumer, or, if an agent is asking the questions, the amount of insurance required, by duration and amount. Hence in effect we can dynamically move from a “simple underwriting” to a “full deep underwriting” approach depending on these many factors. In addition, the questions can be made conditional upon the questions already answered. If the consumer changes the answers, questions to validate this change can be triggered. The quality of the agent undertaking the interview, if the interview is voice recorded, can all trigger different risk profiles in line with the risk of anti-selection and non-disclosure. Not only can the questions flex for risk reasons, but also for the customer journey, making reference to the process so far, and predicting the next steps of the process, specifically for each consumer. Question sets and scripts have been built purely focused on collecting risk information. The next step is to start amending these scripts in line with custom engagement, both in design and dynamically.

Promoting underwriting as a personalised assessment

People like to be treated as an individual and don’t like to be treated as “standard”. The underwriting process is bespoke for each individual. Automated or manual, it is an assessment of the individual’s unique circumstances. Unfortunately this great value is hidden by a process that treats everyone the same. However, by using technology such as on-line, phone or live chat we can manage every consumer individually and give them feedback that is individual to them. The value of this individual assessment should be promoted, making the consumer feel they are being treated as an individual . Examples could be: “This will be individually underwritten and will be personal for you. It does mean that if you are unfortunate to claim, you will be covered, even though you have had some conditions before.” Because we are in the finance industry we like to talk to our customers about finance, and we avoid the medical issues as we are uncomfortable talking about them. However, most consumers are more at home talking about medical issues than finances. Culturally greeting across the globe to enquire about people’s health, for example “how are you”, and financial matters are often taboo. So in reality asking people about their health is perhaps not a big a barrier as one would expect.

Rated and standard prices

It is well documented and understood that the common practice of quoting “standard” prices and then increasing them with rating or exclusions leads to a reduced rates of sales for these rated cases. So much so that many processes just avoid the rated cases, either officially or probably in far greater numbers unofficially. Most research tells us that the consumer overestimates the price of insurance, and it is the belief of many that the process of giving a low price and then increasing it later is a major factor is turning these consumers away from their purchase. On-line automated underwriting systems have enabled the provision of rated prices up front in the sales process for a proportion of consumers and this is great progress. There are some new services that offer indicative underwriting to improve the process. These solutions are incremental improvements to the existing process to reduce the “standard price” sales detractor. While these are steps in the right direction it is proposed that in the future we can go further than this by integrating our underwriting and sales process completely . Underwriting processes can be undertaken in parallel with sales, rather than afterwards in series. For the “clean” cases this will have no impact, for those with conditions it will allow for automated and manual underwriting, at the time of a sale. It takes less time for an underwriter to make an underwriting decision, than for a consumer to complete an on-line form or a tele-interview to collect this over the phone. Underwriters could view this data in real time and give instant decisions, although probably allowing a short delay of a few hours is probably more practical for resourcing reasons. We underwrite early in the process and quote an indicative underwritten price, and hence never quote a “standard” price. We manage the affordability issue up front, thus managing expectations. While this may qualify out some consumers at the start of the process this is far more efficient and consumer friendly than qualifying them at the end of the process.

MorganAsh - example customer journey

Sample - customer journey - changing the process to improve engagement

Consumer engagement

Tele-interviewing and the automation of processes on-line have been two great improvements within underwriting over the last ten years as the industry has largely moved away from paper. Both approaches are dynamic, allowing changes in line with the inputs, whereas paper was a purely static one size fits all process. The main focus of these systems has been to reduce our transaction costs and speed up the process, and they have been very successful at both of these pursuits. However, the truth is sales are going down and the majority of transactions started on-line are in fact completed off-line. There are many reasons for this, some due to the awkwardness of the process but mostly due to the old adage that ‘products are sold and not bought’, and the human touch is still needed to make the consumer feel comfortable about their purchase. While some insurers still pursue increased automation using STP (straight through processing) rates it is proposed that we should turn our attention to increasing our engagement with the consumers. The STP fad is over and its time to focus on consumer engagement to make the process itself more enjoyable rather than simply try to eliminate it. Part solutions to the above already exist in various forms. For example, experienced protection advisers manage the consumers’ expectations through the process, treating them as individuals. However, these are in the minority and this is difficult to replicate in Direct to Consumer channels. Most on-line processes are handed off to a telephone sales team who talk the consumer through the process. The usage of Live Chat is encouraging and allows underwriters talk to consumers about their likely rating prior to proceeding with their application. Technology is also helping us, with the ability to merge tele-interviews and on-line applications so consumers can choose the way they want to buy. The increasing use of smart phones and tablets drives us to shorter more personal engagements using voice and text for now, and video in the near future.

At MorganAsh, we are using underwriting as part of our consumer engagement, and it works. While not for everyone, and far more complex than the “simple” approaches, it is not uncommon in other industries for simplicity to be presented from complex systems behind the scenes. Simple consumer engagement with full underwriting in the background will provide the best price solution, and hence over time I believe will rise in popularity.


Westminster & City conference presentation - by MorganAsh MD Andrew Gething

MorganAsh central medical underwriting service for bulk annuity buy out, Andrew Gething's presentation from the Westminster & City conference.


Less underwriting is not necessarily better - Cover Magazine

"An industry move towards less underwriting may reduce sales and may not improve the customer journey."


MorganAsh enters D2C arena - Cover Magazine

MorganAsh is now assisting on-line D2C protection sales, providing engagement services to assist consumers to purchase protection insurance.


Workplace health offerings are a confusing patchwork. - Money Marketing

"In the past 20 years, the number of people over 65 at work has doubled to 1m. Almost half the working population has a chronic condition, representing around two-thirds of the total spend on healthcare. Three-quarters of spend goes in managing conditions which were preventable. One in four will suffer a mental health related condition at some stage. Employers are seeing double digit PMI increases year on year. Most employers record absence, many fail to consistently manage."


Fees are set to remain a point of contention - Money Marketing

"We now use a service for all retirement cases where the enhanced annuity form is completed by a professional nurse; their skill with sequential questions provides a degree of protection that pays for the fee many times over."


MorganAsh in Just Retirement Webinar - Just Retirement

MorganAsh MD Andrew Gething explains the benefits of Tele-interviewing for annuities.


How to tackle rising longevity - Professional Pensions

Jack Jones talks about how to tackle rising longevity.


Offering the Ultimate Annuity Service to your Clients - An Underwriting Master Class - Just Retirement

In a recent survey of over 200 IFAs conducted by Just Retirement, 95% of IFAs said the MorganAsh annuity medical assessment service would be some benefit with 45% saying this would be a significant benefit or a 'must have'. The survey was part of a webinar held by Just Retirement which includes a Q&A session with Andrew Gething.


Protection sales figures prove G-day has no impact? - Cover Magazine

"There has been no change or bias in the proportion of protection sales so far in the run up to gender neutralisation, an underwriting firm has reported."


FSA confirms advisers responsible for medical underwriting - Cover Magazine

"With the Consumer Insurance act coming into force in March 2013, advisers should ensure their medical assessment approach is compliant and defensible, MorganAsh has warned."


Insurer works on cutting underwriting cost - Cover Magazine

"Foresters Life is working on cutting costs in its outsourced underwriting process. The insurer replaced its oursourced underwriting provider 3D Risk Solutions with MorganAsh earlier in October."


Newsletter Autumn 2012 - MorganAsh

Our newsletter includes articles on claims management, annuity services, latest system upgrades and our partnership in Sweden.


MorganAsh secure underwriting contract with Foresters - MorganAsh

MorganAsh has secured a contract with Foresters to provide full outsource underwriting and claims services.


MorganAsh integrates with AMS Annuity Exchange - MorganAsh

Enhanced annuity pioneer MorganAsh has extended its annuity service to include the processing of annuity quotations.

By integrating with the Annuity Exchange's AMS system, MorganAsh now sends and processes applications to annuity providers as well as the medical assessment.

Advisers can submit their client information to MorganAsh, who will carry out a full medical assessment then submit the case to the annuity providers.  MorganAsh will then return the annuity quotations to the adviser with a full quotation comparison.

Annuity providers report that over half of applications do not give sufficient medical information to ensure the best annuity rate available to an individual.  MorganAsh overcomes this by carrying out a thorough medical assessment using professional nurses.  The result is that 60% to 70% of consumers qualify for an enhanced annuity - at least twice the industry average.

Stuart Bayliss of AMS said: "Integrating with MorganAsh will help deliver a better service for both our clients.  Our service will have seamless access to MorganAsh's enhanced annuity service while MorganAsh can offer a faster and more efficient administrative process."

Leading IFA firm Helm Godfrey believes the tie-up between MorganAsh and the Annuity Exchange will enhance its already successful specialist retirement service iRetire.

Graham Cross, Helm Godfrey managing director said: "Since launching our innovative pre-retirement advisory service iRetire this year we have used MorganAsh to help secure better annuity rates for our clients.  The results have been very good and the link-up with Annuity Exchange should streamline the administrative side of the process, ensuring our clients lock-in the best annuity rate available to them as quickly as possible."


Medical info provider signs insurer for full underwriting service - Cover Magazine

"Medical information provider MorganAsh will provide full outsource underwriting and claims services for a small insurer."


Don't fudge your annuity form - Investors Chronicle

"For thousands of savers enhanced annuity rates are the silver lining to a dark cloud of rock-bottom retirement income projections."


Nationwide’s new annuity service success - MorganAsh

Specialist medical provider MorganAsh has completed hundreds of medical interviews as part of Nationwide’s new Annuity Service.


Nationwide launches annuity service - Banking Times

"Nationwide is claiming that people could earn an extra 20% a month during their retirement by using a new annuity service launched by the building society earlier this week."


Nationwide enters annuities market - IFA Online

"Nationwide Building Society is set to announce today it is entering the pensions market by selling annuities for the first time through its branch network."


Nationwide launches new annuity advice service - FT Adviser

"Nationwide Building Society aims to help customers shop around for annuities with the launch of a new annuity service today."


Jeff Prestridge: Now it's even more vital for savers to search for a top deal - This is Money

Though it may be saving the economy from toppling into a double-dip recession, quantitative easing is doing nothing to ease the burden for hard-pressed savers and those approaching retirement.


Helm Godfrey launches retirement advice service - IFA Online

Wealth manager Helm Godfrey has launched iRetire, a retirement advice service. MorganAsh will provide enhanced annuity tele-underwriting as part of iRetire.


iRetire aims to make pension process easier - FT Adviser

Helm Godfrey has launched a service to help people to maximise the return and income potential of their retirement assets.


Helm Godfrey launches small pots annuity service - Money Marketing

"Helm Godfrey has launched an annuity advice service for people with small pension pots. The adviser firm’s iRetire service offers customers with pension pots of £20,000 or more advice on their retirement options."


Helm Godfrey launches retirement product - Employee Benefits

"Pensions provider Helm Godfrey has created a retirement product, iRetire."


Newsletter spring 2012 - MorganAsh

Our newsletter covers claims management, declarations of health, annuity services, improved MI and announcement of our partnership with Belivia in Sweden.


MM No 54 – Annuities II - Health Expert News

"More detail now about the factors that determine how much income you get from your annuity. It’s important to get it right because once you have chosen, you can’t change your mind!"


MorganAsh launches impaired annuities - IFA Online

"MorganAsh has officially launched Tele-Interviewing service for impaired annuities and is considering long term care market entry."


MorganAsh impaired annuities - MorganAsh

MorganAsh are delighted to announce the launch of their unique Tele-Interviewing service for Impaired Annuities. The service has been in operation since February 2010, and has been a great success.


MorganAsh - Belivia strategic alliance - MorganAsh

In August 2011 MorganAsh formed a strategic alliance with Belivia for Nordic markets. MorganAsh signed a 5 year agreement with Belivia.


Canada Life Group Insurance Reports On Customer Survey - MorganAsh

In September 2010 Canada Life Group Insurance introduced telephone interviewing for all products with the aim of improving the customer service, speeding up the underwriting decision process and reducing non-disclosure.


MorganAsh launches Supplementary Tele-Interviews - MorganAsh

MorganAsh have launched a Supplementary Tele-Interview service. The service allows any underwriter who needs further evidence on a case to obtain it quickly in a secure manner.


Welcome to our first Newsletter for 2011 - MorganAsh

For some time we have been trying to realise the huge value within the data and management information we have gathered. We believe that the information within can really help us improve not only our interviewing but also provide better understanding of the data we have and hence we can improve the underwriting and risk management.


Rediscovering the telephone - FT Adviser

"Ask anyone involved in underwriting or new business processing what the single most innovative change there has been in the insurance industry in the last few years and you will almost certainly get one answer, tele-interviewing.

It may seem strange that in a world dominated by social networking and touch screen technology that it is the telephone that has revolutionised the way insurers can assess risk but, in a historically paper-obsessed industry this is a significant leap forward."


The Wire - FT Adviser

"Recordings from tele-interviews make sure that no claims are ever brought in dispute."


Canada Life announces telephone interviewing for all products - MorganAsh

Canada Life Group Insurance announces the introduction of telephone interviewing for all products, a move that will improve customer service, speed up the underwriting decision process and reduce non-disclosure.


Canada Life announces telephone interviewing for all products - IFA Online

"Canada Life Group Insurance announces the introduction of telephone interviewing for all products, a move that will improve customer service, speed up the underwriting decision process and reduce non-disclosure."


Welcome to this winter edition of our Newsletter - MorganAsh

We publically announce our co-operation with Hannover Life Re (UK) in analysing Tele-interview data. This is producing great results, and will benefit our clients significantly.


Face up to reality - FT Adviser

"Tele-interviewing was hailed as the biggest change in underwriting in the past 20 years. Six years after its introduction to the UK, how is it faring?"


Just Retirement launches tele-underwriting on Openwork - IFA Online

"Just Retirement, the enhanced annuity provider, today launches a tele-underwiting service available via the Openwork multi-tie network."


Cirencester Friendly launches tele-interviewing with Morganash - MorganAsh

Cirencester friendly is the latest company to use tele-interviews in a bid to improve service to IFAs. The service is provided by the leading tele-interview specialist in Europe, MorganAsh.


Cirencester adds tele-interviewing service - Healthcare News

"Cirencester Friendly has launched a tele-interviewing service for its income protection policy Income Assured Plus."


Cirencester friendly launches tele-interviewing - Health Insurance & Protection

"Income protection provider Cirencester friendly has launched a tele-interviewing service to improve the application process of its flagship product 'Income Assured Plus'. The new service will be provided by MorganAsh, which conducts interviews for a number of insurers including Aviva, Bupa and Friends Provident."


Cirencester Friendly offers tele-interviewing service - Money Marketing

“We are delighted to have partnered with MorganAsh to provide an improved service both to our clients and to IFAs.” Cirencester Friendly chief executive Paul Hudson


Cirencester Friendly offers tele-interviewing service - FT Adviser

"Cirencester Friendly has launched a tele-interviewing service for its flagship income protection product Income Assured Plus. The tele-interviewing service has been launched in partnership with MorganAsh, a tele-interviewing provider in Europe, for Income Assured Plus, which offers cover from the first day of illness or accidental injury, a career break option, terminal illness protection, and a profit participation option."


MorganAsh wins “Outstanding Achievement” award - MorganAsh

MorganAsh based in Daresbury Park, Cheshire has won a prestigious award for its innovative work in the Life Assurance industry. Andrew Gething the founder and Managing Director of MorganAsh accepted the award at the Emirates Stadium, London UK on Thursday 8th October, presented by the BBC’s Bill Turnbull.


Continuing Success Of MorganAsh Tele-Interviewing Service - MorganAsh

MorganAsh is pleased to report the signing of ongoing contracts with Aviva Health to continue providing a dedicated Tele-interviewing service for their income protection customers.


Welcome to this summer edition of our Newsletter - MorganAsh

We announce our on-line calendar appointment system which enables advisers to book their Tele-Interview appointment on-line, within the next hour, further speeding up the process and empowering the adviser and hence increasing sales.


MorganAsh launches on-line calendar booking for Tele-Interviews - MorganAsh

Tele-Interviewing takes another step faster with the launch of MorganAsh on-line calendar booking system for appointments. MorganAsh has launched an interactive appointment booking system, so that IFA’s and consumers can book their Tele-Interview appointments on-line.


MorganAsh calls for Providers to publish their non-disclosure figures - MorganAsh

Financial Advisers are confused by the varying descriptions of Tele-Interviewing being undertaken, and find it difficult to compare the new business methods being used. Not only are there differences between Big T and little t, but Big T can vary between just filling in forms over the phone, to a full nurse interview that replaces many of the GPRs.


MorganAsh Supports Pioneer with New Product Launch - MorganAsh

Pioneer has launched a short-term income protection product aimed specifically at offering cover for essential payments called “Bills and Things”. The policy offers cover in £100 increments from £500 to £1,000 a month, allowing the customer to choose how much cover they receive over a one or two year period.


Totally Insured Group and MorganAsh launch Impaired Risk Service - MorganAsh

Totally Insured Group (TIG) and MorganAsh have launched a new service for protection business for impaired lives. Called TIG-Impaired Risk Service, the service speeds up the application process considerably and greatly reduces the cost of sale risk for the Provider.


While 2009 is going to be a slow year for the majority of the financial services, we are continuing to innovate and expand our services - MorganAsh

We start this newsletter reporting our performance over 2008. Our mean turn round time for 2008 was 5 days, and as yet we still have Zero contested claims on the 65,000 interviews completed to-date. We believe in transparency, and that in the long term this is best for our customers and advisers and we encourage other practitioners to publish their figures.


MorganAsh launches e-Signatures to speed application process - MorganAsh

MorganAsh have introduced an e-Signature process for the on-line approval of Tele-Interview reports after the interview. It is quick convenient, and should overcome the delay waiting for “wet signatures”.


MorganAsh and RoadToHealth launch pharmacy screening service - MorganAsh

MorganAsh has partnered with RoadToHealth, the UK’s largest provider of pharmacy-based professional services, to launch a new service for the collection of medical information for underwriting through pharmacies across the UK.


Bupa Individual Protection launches its tele-interviewing proposition - MorganAsh

Bupa Individual Protection is delighted to announce the launch of a new tele-interviewing service. The announcement follows on from the success of a recent pilot scheme trialled with Morgan Ash.


Friends Provident unveils tele-interviewing for income protection to reduce non-disclosure - MorganAsh

Friends Provident, the income protection market leader, has linked up with MorganAsh to provide a tele-interviewing service to speed up income protection applications and reduce non-disclosure.


Welcome to this Summer’s edition of our newsletter - MorganAsh

To keep you up-to date on the progress of Tele-Interviewing /Tele-Underwriting in the UK & Ireland. While the volumes of protection sales in the market fell in the first half of 2008, I am pleased to report on significant progress of Tele-Interviewing in all areas.


Aegon Scottish Equitable introduce tele-interviewing with MorganAsh - MorganAsh

AEGON Scottish Equitable has enhanced its individual protection service by introducing MorganAsh Tele-Interviewing. The addition of the Tele-Interviewing service at point of application is for all AEGON Scottish Equitable individual protection products including Critical Illness, Income Protection, Business Protection and Life cover.


Tele-interview is better than a GPR - MorganAsh

A study by MorganAsh has shown that a full MorganAsh nurse Tele-Interview is better than a GPR in a like for like comparison. Both the Tele-Interview and the GPR were collected for protection cases in a direct comparison study.


Pioneer partners with MorganAsh for tele-interviewing - MorganAsh

Pioneer, winner of the “Individual Income Protection” category at the Cover Excellence Awards 2007 is one of the UK's leading income protection providers. One of the key innovators in the income protection market, Pioneer was highly active in 2007, launching a new product, Professional Income Protection, along with re-launching a new enhanced version of its Pure Protection policy.


Canada Life Ireland improves speed of turnaround with tele-interviewing - MorganAsh

Canada Life Ireland has reduced its turn around times for Life and Critical Illness Insurance. In many cases, instead of applying for doctors’ reports applicants are now interviewed over the phone by a trained nurse from MorganAsh. The process called Tele-interviewing is rapidly gaining acceptance across the industry.


Lincoln Launches Tele-interviewing - MorganAsh

New service will further improve turnaround for Financial Foundations. Lincoln Financial Group is set to launch tele-interviewing for its flexible menu-based protection product Financial Foundations following a successful pilot which delivered significant benefits for financial advisers and clients.


Wesleyan selects MorganAsh for tele-interviewing - MorganAsh

MorganAsh are please to announce the award of a contract by Wesleyan Assurance Society. MorganAsh will undertake Tele-Interviews for Wesleyan for most of its protection products. The contract was signed in 2007 and the service commenced in March 2008.


Hello again, and welcome to another newsletter to keep you up to date on the progress with Tele-Interviewing and MorganAsh - MorganAsh

2007 was a great year for us. We increased our interview rate and capacity by 250%, while improving our quality, and maintaining our turn round times. Turn round times were sub par in Q4 but this has now been rectified.


Canada Life Europe sign up MorganAsh for Tele-interviewing across Germany - MorganAsh

Canada Life Europe is one of the first life insurers to offer full Tele-interviewing for its applicants in Germany. After a successful pilot on the critical illness product in 2007, Canada Life Europe, based in Dublin, Ireland, will roll out full Tele-interviewing across all products and all distribution channels throughout 2008.


Pharmaceutical & General convert to tele-interviewing - MorganAsh

Pharmaceutical and General Provident Society (PG) are increasing their distribution through affiliate groups. To cater for the expansion, and to provide a simple way to purchase the product, they have adopted MorganAsh Tele-Interviewing.


MorganAsh Tele-interviewing service adopted by Bank of Ireland Life - MorganAsh

MorganAsh are delighted to announce their partnership with Bank of Ireland Life who has recently adopted their unique tele-interviewing service aimed at improving the application process for life assurance and critical illness cover.


Reader Survey: Protection - 3 - Can picking up the phone put an end to disclosure tangles - FT Adviser

An expected drop off in mortgage business could push advisers into selling more protection policies, but they should be aware of the insurance industry's current bugbear - non-disclosure.


TELE-INTERVIEWING: DOES IT MAKE SENSE TO WRITE IP WITHOUT IT? - Peter Maynard, Director, SelectX Ltd - Protecting My Income

Nowadays it’s pretty well accepted by underwriters and advisers that tele-interviewing (TI) is a very effective and practical tool for gathering risk information. Just to remind you, TI is a process in which trained personnel gather risk information from applicants over the telephone.


Great expectations , Non-disclosure, declined claims and society's attitude towards them were at the forefront of Scottish Re's latest research. Warren Copp examines the results - Cover Magazine

It is certainly possible to design processes that draw out more disclosures from applicants. In particular, tele-interviewing has shown that asking an applicant questions away from the point of sale does improve disclosure rates.


MorganAsh rolls out tele-claims service - Cover Magazine

MorganAsh has launched tele-claims, a process where trained nurses will interview claimants at the beginning of the claims process to speed up the claims procedure.


Tele-claim providers speak out over quality of provision - FT Adviser

Valid insurance claims are not paid quickly enough and potentially dubious claims lack a key area of input - the claimant's view - according to leading tele-claims providers.


MorganAsh and SCOR launch 'tele-claims' service - Health Insurance & Protection

Teleinterviewing provider MorganAsh and reinsurer SCOR Global Life UK have launched a tele-claims service that aims to speed up the income protection claims process.


Decent disclosure on phone - FT Adviser

Tele-underwriting dramatically reduces the chance of non-disclosure, according to Axa. After analysing data from more than 9500 protection product applications, the provider found non- disclosure occurred in only 1.23 per cent of those that were completed through tele-underwriting applications.


Non-disclosure five times higher for paper applications - IFA Online

Consumers are five times more likely not to disclose important medical and lifestyle information on paper applications than tele-underwritten forms, according to AXA.


Friends reveals new non-disclosure policy - Only Finance

In a development which could have a major impact on the life insurance industry, Friends Provident has announced that it will use a tele-interviewing service to speed up its applications.


Medical facts are not on the record - Money Marketing

MorganAsh managing director Andrew Gething has criticised the procedure of submitting medical records to insurers for protection applications to avoid non-disclosure and says the records are often incomplete.


Lifesearch teams up with MorganAsh for tele-interviews - Money Marketing

Lifesearch managing director Tom Baigrie says the onus is on providers. He says: “While this is a great step forward, our ultimate aim is for the product providers to procure the tele-interview service. We, as brokers, should not be taking the liability, or bearing the costs, for the medical interviews, and when product providers take control of the interviews, they can tune these to their underwriting philosophy and extend the interviews to collect all medical information, thus reducing GPRs and improving disclosure further.


LifeSearch MD tells providers to lead on tele-interviews - IFA Online

LifeSearch managing director Tom Baigrie has called on providers to take an active role in providing Tele-interviews for clients completing the medical part of an application.


LifeSearch MD tells providers to lead on tele-interviews - Money Marketing

Friends Provident has linked up with insurance information providers MorganAsh to run a tele-interviewing service for income protection applications.


Friends takes to phones to speed up applications - FT Adviser

Friends Provident has linked up with MorganAsh to provide a tele-interviewing service to speed up income protection applications and reduce non-disclosure.


Friends to offer tele-interviews - Money Marketing

Friends Provident is to offer tele-interviewing as part of its income protection application process, bringing it in line with other providers, such as Progress by Royal Liver and LV=.


MorganAsh LifeSearch - MorganAsh

As part of LifeSearch's constant drive to improve services to customers , LifeSearch has contracted MorganAsh to undertake Tele-Interviewing on LifeSearch Customers.


Friends Prov adds teleinterviewing service to IP - Health Insurance & Protection

Friends Provident has linked up with MorganAsh to provide a tele-interviewing service to speed up income protection applications and reduce non-disclosure.


Friends Provident Unveils Tele-interviewing - MorganAsh

Friends Provident, the income protection market leader, has linked up with MorganAsh to provide a tele-interviewing service to speed up income protection application and reduce non-disclosure.


Friends Provident launches telephone interviews - Mortgage Solutions

Friends Provident has linked up with MorganAsh to provide a telephone interviewing service which speeds up income protection applications and reduces non-disclosure.


Friends Provident introduces income protection tele-interviewing - FT Adviser

Friends Provident has linked with information firm MorganAsh to provide a tele-interviewing service to speed up income protection applications and reduce non-disclosure.


Friends Provident to use tele-interviewing for income protection applications - Money Marketing

Friends Provident has announced it will now offer Tele-Interviewing for income protection applications in a bid to speed up processing and reduce non-disclosure. Experienced nurses from MorganAsh will conduct the interviews, asking applicants about their medical history and specific disclosures, at a time convenient to the consumer.


Nurses to carry out Friends Prov tele-interviewing - IFA Online

Qualified nurses will carry out the first stage of tele-interviewing for income protection provider Friends Provident as part of a shake-up of the firm’s applications process. The firm says the new method, in partnership with MorganAsh, will reduce non-disclosure, speed up the applications process and sharpen all underwriting decisions, as well as being signature-free.


Audit trails 'will end non-disclosure disputes' - IFA Online

Compulsory audit trails are the key to stamping out non-disclosure disputes on protection policies, according to tele-underwriting specialists MorganAsh.


Friends Provident unveils new income protection model - Private Health

Friends Provident, the income protection market leader, has linked up with MorganAsh to provide a tele-interviewing service to speed up income protection applications and reduce non-disclosure.


Reclaiming trust, Full disclosure - Cover Magazine

Fay Goddard: Tele-underwriting has to be a better way than relying on recall, particularly if we are getting something like 60% or 70% going through without anything other than clients’ memories.


Industry heeds FOS warning - Cover Magazine

At Legal & General, Russ Whitworth, claims and underwriting director said it had established a senior panel of claims advisers to review claims that are to be declined before a final decision is made. He added that tele-interviewing and tele-underwriting at application stage also takes the burden of capturing medical and lifestyle information away from brokers


ABI clarifies phone and online service initiative for members - FT Adviser

The Association of British Insurers (ABI) has launched the latest initiative in its drive to increase the proportion of successful protection insurance claims.


Shepherds Friendly : Shepherds Income Protection Plan - Private Health

A highly flexible plan that pays you a regular income if you are unable to work due to sickness or accident. MorganAsh nurses will tele-interview all potential customers for their health and occupational details.


Happy third birthday Tele-interviewing in the UK - IFA Online

This summer marks the third birthday of Tele-interviewing in the UK, and even the most negative diehards must acknowledge it is now part of the protection landscape.


Bill Clinton & Non-Disclosure - IFA Online

At the recent 4th Annual Insurance Forum in London one of the main topics, as you would expect, was the declining sales due to the lack of trust of the consumer caused by high rates of declined claims due to non-disclosure.


Smart Pete and Signatures - IFA Online

In my youth, when I would hang around wine bars trying to look cool and being totally ignored by the fairer sex, I knew a chap called Smart Pete.


Shepherds Income Protection Plan - Health Insurance & Protection

Shepherds Friendly Society is one of the world’s oldest friendlies, dating its ancestry back to 1826. Today, it has more than 17,000 members and is based in Cheadle, Cheshire. Shepherds Friendly’s new plan is a Holloway-type product, but with reducing benefits after the first year of claim.


Non-disclosure is like global warming - IFA Online

In the wake of the recent damning Watchdog report on non-disclosure I wonder if the industry is going to react. It knows the majority of disputed claims is due to non-disclosure and that this is too high.


Shepherds spares IFAs 'embarassing' calls - IFA Online

Shepherds Friendly Society has begun tele-interviewing all clients interested in its new income protection product. The mutual insurer says the move should help stem declining sales which it says are caused when consumers believe insurers try to avoid claims because of medical conditions.


Shepherds Friendly Society launches IP product - Health Insurance & Protection

Shepherds Friendly Society has launched an IP product aimed primarily at self-employed people between the ages of 30 and 45.


ABI criticised for ignoring signature debate - IFA Online

A leaked consultation paper from the Association of British Insurers on telephone and online applications for protection insurance has been criticised for ignoring the issue of customer signatures.


Shepherds Friendly Society launch new income protection product with MorganAsh - MorganAsh

Shepherds Friendly Society launched its new income protection product in March through IFA distribution. The product will be completely Tele-interviewed with MorganAsh nurses interviewing all clients for their health and occupational details.


NU and Bright Grey speed up underwriting - IFA Online

Norwich Union has introduced a teleinterviewing service staffed by nurses to remove the necessity of acquiring GP reports for protection applications.


Dentists Provident launches teleinterviewing - Health Insurance & Protection

Dentists Provident (DPS) has designed a telephone interviewing service to enhance the process of collecting occupation, medical history and pastime information from individual applicants.


UK insurers win reprieve over multi-million VAT costs - Post

UK Insurers have obtained a £25m reprieve after HM Revenue and Customs announced that medical reports will continue to be VAT-exempt. However, the industry will incur these costs eventually according to experts.


Do advisers have responsibility for non-disclosure? - IFA Online

Conversations about reducing the risk of non-disclosure in protection applications usually focus on the need for insurers to improve their application forms and the propensity of consumers to lie in order to get cover.


Quick on the draw - Health Insurance & Protection

Sam Barrett reports on how protection providers are looking towards technology to speed up the application process – and assesses some of the potential pitfalls.


GP report case to save industry £100m a year. - IFA Online

Tele-underwriting dramatically reduces the chance of non-disclosure, according to Axa. After analysing data from more than 9500 protection product applications, the provider found non- disclosure occurred in only 1.23 per cent of those that were completed through tele-underwriting applications.


Complex conditions will lead to increase in rejected claims - Financial Adviser

More claims will be turned down by insurers and terms and conditions will become more complex, according to a report on the state of the protection market.


Income protection change is a slow process - Financial Adviser

I read with consternation the article Income Protection Catch 22 Plight which is based on the observation that income protection sales are falling due to the difficulty in selling the product.


Teleinterviewing should be the 'norm' - Health Insurance & Protection

Teleinterviewing – the process whereby insurance applicants supply details to call staff and trained underwriters by telephone – must become more widespread if the protection industry is to address issues such as non-disclosure fully, research has revealed.


Tele-interviewing 'should become the norm' - IFA Online

A report analysing the UK protection market has called for tele-interviewing to become the norm, as it reveals advisers transcribe half their applications from paper to screen, but only 12% believe the data is always accurate.


Underwriting Utopia? - IFA Online

Living in a 24/7 society means most of us have high expectations that when we want something, from the latest blockbuster on DVD to life insurance, we can get it quickly and with the minimum of fuss. This has been a factor contributing to the rapid growth of online submission systems in the protection market and to other business processes such as tele-underwriting.


MorganAsh and Dentists' Provident roll out Tele-Interviewing service - MorganAsh

MorganAsh wins Tele-interview contract with Dentists’ Provident


Industry makes huge VAT savings - Cover Magazine

Product providers are set to escape paying VAT on their medical underwriting budgets over the next few years, saving the industry up to £100m.


Minimum standards needed for tele-underwriting - IFA Online

"Progress from Royal Liver is calling for the Association of British Insurers to introduce minimum standards for tele-underwriting which all providers must adhere to."


Insurers expecting VAT exemption - FT Adviser

"Insurance firms will be exempt from the proposed VAT charge on medical report fees according to the ABI, saving consumers millions."


MP Visits MorganAsh - MorganAsh

Mike Hall MP Visits MorganAsh and celebrates 100th employee


NU makes bold IP forecast - Health Insurance & Protection

NU makes bold IP forecast


We’ve got a file on you - FT Adviser

PROGRESS manifests itself in many ways. I still cannot conceive how anyone would have thought of putting a camera in a mobile phone. To be honest, I could no more understand why anyone should want such a thing. I was wrong – they do, and have lots of fun.


MorganAsh announces Partnership with RGA Technology Partners Inc - MorganAsh

MorganAsh, the UK’s leading Tele-underwriting supplier, has partnered with RGA Technology Partners, Inc. to provide a fully automated Tele-underwriting service. MorganAsh will use the AURA rules engine and the AURA Back Office software to power their Tele-interview and Tele-underwriting service.


Survey of IFA’s reveals positive uptake of Tele-underwriting - MorganAsh

A recent survey carried out by NMG for MorganAsh reveals that the majority of IFA’s are dissatisfied with the efficiency of the underwriting process when proposals require either GP reports or medical examinations


MorganAsh launch Tele-underwriting service - MorganAsh

MorganAsh launches in the UK providing outsourced Tele-underwriting to the life insurance industry.