Critical Illness 

Phoenix contacts clients over protection claims

Phoenix contacts clients over protection claims

Phoenix Life has contacted one million of its life and protection customers to remind them of their cover, prompted by a low level period of claims.

The insurer and consolidator has written to customers detailing an explanation of their chosen cover saying it hoped this would serve as a reminder of their entitlements.

Phoenix adopted the system of reminding customers of their benefits in 2015 but a spokesman said the company has been reaching out more frequently in recent months, motivated by low levels of claims during times of critical illness.

David Woollett, customer director at Phoenix Life said: "Often when taking out insurance policies, customers will opt for additional protection such as critical illness cover, income protection or a death benefit.  

"However, as time passes, customers can forget exactly what their entitlements are. When they do, they risk losing out on much needed funds, often at times when they need the money the most."

A Phoenix spokesperson said the company has seen a surge in customer contact as a result of the renewed communication, with some submitting successful claims whilst others chose to cancel policies no longer needed.

Rob Harvey, head of protection advice at Drewberry, said he welcomes any changes to the system which increase client awareness of their protection and ultimately result in better outcomes for the client overall. 

He said: "With long-term policies such as life and critical illness cover and long-term (until retirement) income protection lasting for years or even decades, it's easy to see why some clients may forget they have this cover in place.

"Life never stands still, which is why it's important to not only remind clients that they have protection but also to periodically review their cover to ensure it's still fit for purpose at regular intervals." 

Mr Harvey said moving house, having children, getting married or the end of relationships are all life events which could mean existing protection is no longer fit for purpose and more or less cover is needed accordingly.

He said: "Many protection policies have guaranteed insurability options that allow a client to increase their cover on such life events without having to re-enter medical underwriting.

"We believe it's essential to not only make clients aware their policies are still in force but continually monitor their circumstances to make sure the cover they took out on day one still suits them much further down the line."

rachel.addison@ft.com 

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