Protection 

CI Expert unveils plans for upgrades

CI Expert unveils plans for upgrades

Financial adviser and director of CI Expert, Alan Lakey, said he has a number of “worthwhile upgrades” in the pipeline for 2017.

For example CI Expert intends to create new software features on children's cover in policies.

According to Mr Lakey, currently it is not easy to understand which of the adult conditions are covered for children and where additional child specific conditions are added. 

“In addition to this the age range specified for children can make a significant difference to the likelihood of a claim, the difference between cover from birth or 30 days can make a large impact,” he said. 

“With new software features we aim to make these differences more readily understood for both the adviser and client alike.”

Mr Lakey said the changes will enable advisers to “dig even further below the surface to find the most appropriate plan for their clients’ needs”.

CI Expert provides a detailed critical illness product ranking system based on incidence statistics to help advisers match policies to individual needs.

Advisers using the service also have access to a detailed knowledge base of both current and historical policies.

Mr Lakey said the planned changes to the online tool will better tailor the detailed comparisons to clients’ individual needs. 

They will also “add further clarity and confidence for advisers that will support the industries efforts to remove the ever-widening protection gap”.

During 2016 CI Expert boosted business considerably through partnerships with adviser networks St James’s Place and Sesame. 

Also, following a trial period, London & Country extended the use of the system to all advisers for both new and replacement business. 

Mr Lakey said these deals came after the companies used CI Expert to review clients existing policies and then found using it for new clients generated a significant uplift in protection business.

“[They] moved away from a purely cost driven decisions by their clients,” he said.

Reviewing 2016, Mr Lakey pointed to the introduction by Aviva of a critical illness option within its Relevant Life plan as “this year’s most encouraging innovation, and also the most contentious”.

“This promised to invigorate the market whilst simultaneously assisting the Exchequer by reducing reliance on the benefits system – a win – win you’d think?”

However after Aviva announced the launch of the product, other insurers stated that their legal advice conflicted with Aviva’s, arguing the addition of critical illness to such a plan places it outside of HMRC’s rules.

“If true, this will be prove major disappointment as this launch has the potential to boost the market to everybody’s advantage,” Mr Lakey said.

laura.miller@ft.com

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