NU Income Protection is automated

Intermediaries can now use a new short electronic application to capture and submit the financial and occupational details for all new customers. The customer will then receive a follow-up call to help them complete a medical interview capturing medical and lifestyle details. This allows intermediaries to focus on their client's financial needs without needing to interpret and capture medical details at point of sale. It also provides protection to the intermediary as all teleinterviewing calls will be recorded.

The teleinterview will be conducted by a team of interviewers (including nurses), trained in communication skills and equipped with the medical knowledge to lead the customer through the questionnaire. The customer is sent a copy of the report to verify the medical information, before the policy starts.

This approach enables customers to ask any questions, ensuring they understand what is being asked of them and provide data at a time and place convenient to them, where they can have relevant information to hand. It may also avoid them feeling embarrassed as they will not be giving sensitive data face to face.

In addition to noticeably speeding up the enrolment process, the teleinterviewing approach has proven to significantly reduce non-disclosure - particularly around sensitive issues such as drug use and psychiatric problems. The interview also helps control the need for additional medical information once the application is received.

The application process will be supported by a dedicated telephone line for intermediaries with customer quotes and applications initially available through The Exchange, and Webline.

Rebecca Freebody, head of propositions management & market development at Norwich Union Healthcare said: "These changes to Income Protection Solutions have significantly improved the service we offer to both intermediaries and our customers. The new approach not only speeds the application process, but also helps ensure that all appropriate medical information is captured at the point of application. This has proven to significantly reduce non-disclosure, giving our customer greater reassurance that should they need to claim everything should run smoothly."