Norwich Union launches pilot to tackle non-disclosure on existing customer policies

Article date: 2 July 2007

  • Customers asked to review life insurance and critical illness policies

Norwich Union is taking a groundbreaking approach to drive down the number of critical illness and life insurance claims rejected due to "non-disclosure*".

In an industry-first scheme which launches today, the insurer is contacting 5,000 of its existing protection policyholders, inviting them to review their initial applications and notify the company of any medical details which they may have missed off their original forms.

The aim of the pilot is to allow customers to correct any mistakes or omissions made on application, which could therefore have invalidated any future claims.

Any information provided by customers as a result of the pilot will be used to establish whether changes need to be made to their current policies - such as a change in premiums or re-rating. By giving customers the opportunity to revisit their application form and declare any omissions now, this should prevent a claim being declined at a later date due to non disclosure.

Norwich Union is leading the market in tackling the industry-wide problem in this way.

Willie Mowatt, director of risk products for Norwich Union, says: "While the majority of valid life insurance and critical illness claims are straightforward and paid out in full, unfortunately a percentage are rejected because customers have not disclosed their full medical history and as a result their policies are actually invalid.

"We want to be able to clearly advise people who think they may have non-disclosed how to proceed if they believe they may have missed something off their application form. We feel this is the right approach to try to help customers prevent non disclosure in the event of a claim.

"Life insurance and critical illness payouts offer great peace of mind at a time of great need. Having a policy declined due to non-disclosure just adds to the stress at what is a very difficult time."

The pilot will target 5,000 customers throughout the UK. Customers who are not contacted in relation to the pilot can rest assured that they do not need to do anything and their policies will continue as before.

The scheme launches on 2 July 2007. Following the pilot, Norwich Union will analyse the results and consider whether to roll-out the pilot to more of its customers. A copy of the letter being sent to customers is attached.

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Press office contacts:                     

Norwich Union
Sarah Horner 01904 452828 Out of hours 07800 691569

Notes to editors:
*The term "non-disclosure" is used when a person has not provided full details of their medical history and as a result their policy has been made invalid.

The pilot will contact 5,000 randomly selected customers, covering a range of ages, geographical locations and sums assured. Customers who are not contacted in relation to the pilot do not need to contact Norwich Union.

According to the Association of British Insurers (ABI), up to one in five critical illness claims throughout the UK are declined every year as a result of non-disclosure by customers of their medical information and policy conditions not met.

About Norwich Union
Norwich Union is the UK's largest insurer. It is a leading provider of life, pensions and investment products and one of the largest Financial Adviser (FA) providers.  FAs provide over 70% of the company's long-term savings business in the UK.

Norwich Union is the UK's largest general insurer with a market share of around 14%, with a focus on insurance for individuals and small businesses.

Norwich Union's news releases and a selection of images are available from Aviva's internet press centre at www.aviva.com/media.

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