Aviva, one of the UK’s largest insurers, has released plans to increase the level of flexibility with its mortgage life insurance products. Under the new plans consumers who have taken out cover with the insurer will be able to increase or ‘top-up’ their level of protection within the first 12 months of their plan starting with only one additional question. The plan is currently going through a trial stage with three financial advisers / insurance brokers.
Currently any individual or family who want to increase the amount of life cover for their mortgage would have to go through full medical underwriting again, which means another set of health and lifestyle questions. Under the new plan from Aviva, those who would like to increase the amount of cover would just have to answer one additional question relating to any changes in their current situation relative to when they made their initial application. Individuals would be eligible to increase their cover if their medical situation is unchanged and the additional cover is for the same policyholder(s) and for the same term length.
The new plan is for mortgage-linked life policies only, whether they include mortgage critical illness cover or not. The maximum amount of cover is £1,000,000 for life insurance and £500,000 for critical illness policies. Although additional cover can only be taken out within the first 12 months of the policy starting currently there are plans to expend this to the first 24 months if the trial goes well.
There are some concerns as to what would be considered a change in circumstances. To avoid any confusion financial advisors and insurance brokers will need to ensure that they mention all of the factors that may constitute a change in circumstances. For example, any appointment with a health practitioner would constitute a change in medical circumstances, whether that appointment has taken place yet or not. Aviva need to make any necessary disclosures as clear as possible.
Drewberry Mortgage Insurance welcome Aviva’s attempts to increase policy flexibility in the mortgage protection life insurance market. It is a positive move to accept that personal circumstances can change that lead to the need for additional cover. For example, many policies already include family flexibility options that allow the policyholder to increase their level of cover as a result of home improvements or the birth of a child.
More information on these news plans can be found on ifaonline.co.uk.