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Sovereign launches a first

Sovereign's new underwriting guide is designed to speed up the insurance writing process.

Friday, December 6th 2002, 8:14AM

by Sue Allen

In a bid to help speed up and streamline the process of getting insurance, Sovereign has recently published what it thinks is the first financial underwriting guide to help advisers in New Zealand.

The guide, a "how to" manual in calculating appropriate levels of cover, was launched in September and chief underwriter, Stephen Potter, says feedback so far has been positive.

"The response from advisers has been that it’s answering a lot of questions which were out there. But there are always more questions and new products, so we may aim to update it early in the New Year."

The guide sets out the methodology used by underwriters in calculating cover for Sovereign’s range of products from life cover and disability income to locum cover, business overheads and key person protection.

But Potter says he is sure the principles will be used and applied by advisers working with other products from other companies.

"It sets out guidelines about what we, as underwriters, will and won’t cover and what information we need when doing that. It’s not a rulebook, it just states our methodology in valuing things and explains our thinking.

"There are some large sums out there people want written and as underwriters we need to know the justification for insuring that sum because insurance is only designed to re-establish the status quo. The bigger the sum, or the more complex the arrangement, for example in business cover, the more complex the issue becomes and the more information we need to have to work out the figure."

One of the guide’s main aims is to help speed up the process for clients and advisers.

Potter says as the industry and products become more complex, the levels of information needed also become more detailed.

"That level of detail and complexity in information we need can act as a barrier to getting policies issued. What we hope this will do is help advisers go in armed with the knowledge about what we will need so they can collect it more quickly and reduce delays."

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