Homedirect loanGuardian enhances mental health underwriting questions

Guardian enhances mental health underwriting questions

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Guardian has announced changes to its mental health underwriting question set, along with enhancements related to asthma, diabetes, hypertension, and cholesterol.

The underwriting changes published today (21 July) are designed to help support full disclosure and make it easier for clients with these conditions to get a decision.

The protection challenger said the changes form part of the upgrade to Protection Builder 2.0, its new quote and apply system, which is integrated with UnderwriteMe’s underwriting rules engine technology.

It expects the underwriting changes to speed up decisions for applicants who disclose lower risk mental and physical health conditions, further improving adviser and client experience.

Guardian’s underwriting enhancements include:

Mental health: Clearer question wording with conditions separated out in line with ABI guidelines, to differentiate between anxiety, depression, self-harm, and suicidal thoughts.

Asthma: Fewer requirements for medical evidence and reduced loadings for some smokers with mild asthma.

Diabetes: Fewer evidence requirements where associated conditions are present, for example, raised cholesterol or blood pressure.

Hypertension: No automatic postponement solely due to blood pressure checks having not taken place in the previous 18 months.

Cholesterol: No longer asked if cholesterol has been checked in the last 12 months.

The detail of these underwriting changes follows on from Guardian’s recent announcement about the upgrade to its quote and apply system, Protection Builder 2.0, as well as its pre-sales underwriting tool, Qi.

The self-serve tool, available to Guardian’s registered advisers via their adviser dashboard, now links to Guardian’s full underwriting question set, to give a quick and easy view of indicative terms at the touch of a button.

Guardian head of technical underwriting Caroline Froude said: “The world’s changed and people talk about mental health very differently now. Everyone is much more open to discussing issues, both mild and serious, and so it’s right to alter our question set to account for that.

“Our new mental health question set differentiates between anxiety, depression, self-harm, and suicidal thoughts, to reflect our current understanding of risk associated with the range of different mental health conditions, as well as ABI best practice.

“The questions help support advisers and their clients in making full and accurate disclosure, and means they’ll receive the appropriate underwriting outcome without compromising speed.”

UnderwriteMe business development director Simon Jacobs added: “We’re very proud that they have chosen to partner with us to provide their Underwriting Engine. We look forward to working with Guardian closely in the future to provide the best underwriting experience for customers and advisers.”

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