The recent upgrade by Legal & General to its case management system, Online Protection Connect, means that clients will now be told the reasons for being declined or postponed.
This is very timely as a frequently publicised frustration among advisers is the lack of communication from most insurers when the underwriting decision is not good news.
We realise that not all clients will have standard underwriting terms, but if the insurer explained why, we would be able to manage expectations and explain and translate.
Rather than ‘give up’ on the insurance process, being able to explain decisions will in many cases result in those terms being acceptable or revisited in a positive manner at a later date.
The missing piece of this cog has always been to explain clearly to independent financial advisers why a decision has been made.
This can also aid in a question that many of us are asked along the lines of: "Should I bother to appeal?"
Crucially, for new advocates of protection, if there is a greater understanding of why cover is sometimes non-standard, then there is more chance that they will stay engaged and retain faith in such a crucial piece of advice.
Postponement means exactly that, for example, but unfortunately because it is not explained properly many advisers and customers simply give up.
It is therefore a welcome move for Legal & General to introduce this level of communication, and I would implore others to follow its lead.
Utopia is that every person can have some form of protection where appropriate, and while this is a distant dream we can surely bridge the gap in many situations. Understanding underwriting decisions is crucial in this process.
Roy McLoughlin is associate director of Cavendish Ware