Aviva unveils protection pipeline approach ahead of gender directive

Article date: 22 October 2012

Aviva has announced the steps advisers need to take to ensure protection pipeline cases benefit from gender-specific rates before the Gender Directive ruling comes into effect.
   
The approach relates to life insurance (with or without critical illness cover), guaranteed whole of life cover and income protection business. Advisers can expect to receive communications from today.

In order for gender-specific rates to be applied, advisers need to ensure that Aviva has received all of the following items before 21 December 2012:

  • A completed application
  • Any outstanding information that has been requested
  • Confirmation that the client(s) accept the terms offered
  • Payment method details e.g. Direct Debit – this does not mean that the payment has to be taken before 21 December 2012
  • A policy start date – this can be in the future and does not have to be before 21 December 2012

If Aviva has not received all of the above items by 21 December, applications will be processed on gender neutral rates.

Aviva will implement gender-neutral pricing for all new quotations with effect from the following dates:

  • Guaranteed whole of life – 25 November 2012.
  • All other products specified in the pipeline process – 17 December 2012.

The gender-neutral pricing will also incorporate the I-E taxation changes.

To help advisers prepare for the changes and make the most of opportunities in 2012, Aviva has developed written aids for advisers and their clients. These follow on from customer communications which have been underway for several weeks. Since August Aviva has included leaflets in all application confirmation letters and acceptance terms, to keep customers informed about the impact of the Gender Directive.

For advisers, a four-page brochure details why ‘now’ is the best time to discuss protection, focusing on the fact that premiums increase with age. A second consumer-facing leaflet about the importance of family protection and the implications of the Gender Directive has also been developed for advisers to share with their clients.

Aviva has also established a Gender Task Force to ensure cases are placed on risk promptly, to avoid disruption while applications go through the pipeline. The team will:

  • Obtain financial questionnaires over the telephone to speed up the process
  • Use alternative methods of medical evidence to improve efficiency
  • Proactively chase surgeries and third parties for the return of medical evidence
  • Chase up all outstanding information
  • Contact clients in the pipeline to obtain all outstanding evidence and information on advisers’ behalf
  • Get business on the books quickly

Richard Verdin, protection director for Aviva says: “We understand that there is a pressing need for advisers to have clients set up on gender-specific rates, so we wanted to make sure everything is as clear and straightforward as possible. Our checklist ensures advisers know exactly what they need to do before 21 December in order to benefit from the gender-specific rates.

“We’re also keen that customers understand the implications of any delays. This is why we have been communicating with them since August, to help people appreciate the impact if they wait. Together these measures will help put advisers in the best possible position to help protect their clients’ futures.”

Further information:
For applications that are still in underwriting Aviva will continue to obtain evidence to make a decision. Once this process is completed, acceptance terms will be sent to the adviser and their client(s) confirming the new gender neutral premium. If terms have already been offered, advisers and clients will receive written confirmation of the new terms, along with any changes to cover or premiums. Declarations do not have to be provided before 21 December but will still be required.

The pipeline arrangements apply to life insurance (with or without critical illness cover), income protection and guaranteed whole of life business only.

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If you are a journalist and would like further information, please contact:

Aviva Press Office
Sarah Poulter : 01904 452828 :  07800 691569 :  sarah.poulter@aviva.co.uk

Notes to editors:

About Aviva:

Aviva provides insurance, savings and investment products to 43 million customers worldwide.
  
We are the UK’s largest insurer with over 14 million customers and one of Europe’s leading providers of life and general insurance. We combine strong life insurance, general insurance and asset management businesses under one powerful brand. We are committed to serving our customers well in order to build a stronger, sustainable business, which makes a positive contribution to society, and for which our people are proud to work.
 
We are ranked as one of the UK’s top ten most valuable brands and Aviva Plc is in the top 10% of socially responsible companies globally in the Dow Jones Sustainability World Index.  In 2011 we invested £5.3m into our UK communities. One in three of our employees were involved in community investment activities which included giving nearly 33,000 hours.
 
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