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Protection sector agrees to signpost consumers to advice

Protection sector agrees to signpost consumers to advice

The protection industry has united in a pledge to improve access to insurance for those with disabilities or medical conditions.

A signposting agreement, launched in parliament yesterday (January 21) by the British Insurance Brokers Association, will make it easier for consumers, consumer groups and charities to access protection advice.

Under the agreement, which has 26 signatories so far, the participants pledge they will signpost consumers they can't serve to specialist advisers or providers.

It aims to ensure no consumer who is rejected for a protection policy is left thinking they are unable to get cover because of a medical condition or disability.

The agreement was launched alongside Biba’s 2020 manifesto 'Access', which also called for a period of stability from regulators.

Current signatories include providers of insurance and supporting bodies, as well as specialist advice firms.

Graeme Trudgill, Biba executive director, said: “Biba is ideally positioned to help those with medical conditions find their way to a specialist provider to help them access the cover they need, and we committed in our manifesto to launch a signposting agreement.

“The fact we have been able to launch this signposting system today will make a difference to thousands of people that may previously have thought protection insurance was out of their reach.

“I’m tremendously grateful to everyone around the workstream for their commitment, input and determination to make this happen.”

Alan Knowles, managing director of Cura Financial Services and Chair of the Protection Distributors Group, said: “Specialised firms have the experience and expertise as well as the appetite to find solutions for those people who, because of a medical or disability, can find obtaining suitable protection insurance a challenge. 

“The launch of this agreement is great for customers and the insurance industry alike.”

Sian Fisher, chief executive of the Chartered Insurance Institute, said she supported the agreement’s aim to set up effective signposting to improve access to insurance for consumers.

She added: “Seeking to improve access to protection products, especially for people with disabilities and long term illnesses, is not just a social good but ethical and professional behaviour.”

imogen.tew@ft.com

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