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This shocking statistic comes from the recent HSE stress survey

Within the survey there is detail on the different levels of stress within different occupations – which generally lie in an inverse relationship to traditional IP occupation classes.

At the risk of drifting into consultancy heaven – here’s some questions that need answering:

Underwriters / Pricing actuaries – How have our occupation classes remained pretty much unmoved for long term policies since a time when most time off was for very different reasons? Is a doctor really still 3x less of a risk than a factory worker?

Underwriters – are you asking the right questions to try and identify these risks? As a rule of thumb – are 43% of your questions about this subject? Or is 1 of the 43 questions you ask about this?

Advisers / sales people – are you making clients aware of these numbers – and the fact that given CI won’t pay out in these instances IP is the most important product to buy if your life would be affected by an inability to work?

Product developers – are your products designed in an appropriate way to reflect that this is the one of the two most likely causes of claim (along with often linked joint pain)? Are the claims triggers and descriptions clear enough to help market the product and to make the claims process as straightforward as possible?

Product developers (again!) – can you introduce more benefits through the lifetime of the policy to help people stay mentally as well as physically healthy? Are there links with charities, apps you can highlight, services you can promote that may help these numbers reduce in society and in your customers?

Claims – Do you have enough tools from the business to help you deal with these claims appropriately and sensitively? Are you intervening early enough to help people get back to work in these cases? Maybe most relevantly – are you sharing what you know about these cases loudly enough with the rest of the business, IFAs and sales people?

I think that’s enough questions for now! I really believe this is an area which we need to improve across the board on in order to improve both the sales and the risk management of what should be a crucial product for us. By answering these questions I think we can come up with a more relevant and better managed product for our future.

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