Direct Life and Aviva have launched what they claims to be the UK’s first fully comparable ‘buy now’ life insurance policy.
The new service will be launched simultaneously for both intermediated sales through Direct Life’s LifeQuote service and direct to customers via the aggregator site Confused.com.
Advisers and direct customers will be able to compare term products from multiple providers using a brief and standardised underwriting question set, and then opt for a ‘buy-now’ life insurance policy with Aviva.
Advisers will be able to undertake pricing comparisons across providers and then offer a client who has been quoted the choice of an immediate ‘buy-now’ life cover with Aviva, or the completion of a full application with another provider.
Direct Life says it is expecting to extend the ‘buy now’ facility to other providers and product classes following the launch and is currently liaising with providers to determine the logistics for future roll out.
Direct Life has been striving to offer a ‘buy now’ facility as advisers and direct customers often feel frustrated that they cannot be placed on cover immediately, which is considered a normal facility when buying most other insurance-based products.
Following early testing, an advised or direct customer looking for immediate cover can complete the transaction in less than 10 minutes. Initial testing also shows that up to 35% of clients will be able to take advantage of the facility.
Rob Quayle, managing director, Direct Life, said: “Launching a fully comparable ‘buy now’ life insurance policy will allow more customers in the UK to conveniently access immediate protection cover. For too long the industry has been criticised for its intransigence in terms of adopting practices that are now accepted as the norm by consumers who transact with other insurance-based financial services providers.
“Aviva must be commended for this decision as, in the fullness of time, it will help ensure that more people have adequate protection cover, whether they choose to transact through an adviser or direct.”
Robert Morrison, chief underwriter, Aviva, said: “Protection is a critical component of most people’s financial needs and as an industry we need to reduce the complexity that allows customers to purchase life insurance quickly and easily. The ability to compare products and providers and ‘buy-now’ is viewed as essential for most customers, whether they are choosing to use an aggregator, such as Confused.com, or seek advice from an intermediary.
“Direct Life and their intermediated and direct offerings of LifeQuote and Confused.com have enabled us to fulfil these needs; and while it’s just one step, it is a very significant one.”