Is Online Life Insurance Safe?

There have been some discussions in the news recently. Is your online life insurance safe?

The Financial Services and Pensions Ombudsman released their Overview of Complaints and Digest of Decisions in March 2019. It’s a fantastic set of anecdotes and explanations of their decisions in 2018.

It also illustrates some of the problems being faced by insurance customers who have had their claims refused or policies voided due to non-disclosure when applying.

What are the biggest problems?

While some complaints are due to poor customer service, many relate to non-disclosure of material facts that may affect the likelihood of claim being paid. In some cases this may result in an insurance policy being voided, leaving the customer in a terrible position where they may not be able to get another policy.

A recent article in the Independent raised some excellent points about why you should be extra vigilant when making online applications, for all these reasons.

There is a rush in the online market-place towards speedy transactions above all else. At Greenway we built our site to walk a fine line between speed, and our due diligence to our customers.

How do we do this to make your online insurance safe?

  • Our site was built by a team with website developers and financial advisors. Fact-checking is built-in.
  • Our online forms are subject to oversight by a qualified financial advisor. Where we see the need for more information, we make sure to ask for it.
  • As lovely as seamless online transactions are, we’re very aware that buying insurance isn’t like an Amazon purchase. As financial advisors, we have an obligation to ensure that you have the correct information, and correct product to decide. This is why we’re involved in all aspects of the process, no matter how shiny our site looks!
  • Different insurers ask the same questions in different ways. Different underwriting teams have different priorities. It’s our job to know these differences, and ensure we get that information from you at the time. We check, and re-check, until the application is ready.
  • We know the forms are long. That’s why we’ve split them into easy-to-read sections, with questions in plain English as much as possible.
  • We also know your time is precious. You can stop in the middle of filling one of our forms and save your work for later. This is useful whether you need to check details, or just get on with a busy life.

Our ethos:

We’re about people. We want our customers to have access to protection products that fit their needs, and we’re willing to do the work to make sure that happens. The definition of an insurance intermediary (like us) is that we work for you, the client.

What can you do to check you’re getting the right advice?

  • Look past the quote. That’s just the price, you need to know what you’ll be paying for. Make sure you can see product details & an overview of the features.
  • Don’t leave anything out in your application form. Add everything you can think of, and ask us if you’re not sure.
  • Be honest about smoking! And obviously, try to quit ASAP.
  • Check the online broker’s Terms of Business. We keep ours here. Some online brokers are ‘Execution Only‘:

A service offered by Insurance Brokers & Agents whereby they arrange the policy on behalf of the customer, but without giving any advice. A service only counts as ‘Execution-Only’ if the customer specifies the product, the insurance company, AND has not received any assistance from the broker in choosing either the firm, or the product.

If you’ve got questions, about policies you think you need, or about your existing policies, contact Greenway. We will never advise you to cancel a policy that’s working for you. We’ll also never advise you to apply for a product through us that isn’t right for your needs.

Greenway Financial Advisors Limited is regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland. Registered No. C168372

Debbie Cheevers

Debbie Cheevers

Qualified Financial Advisor

Debbie was born in Dublin and graduated from NCAD with a degree in Visual Communication. She brings a strong customer services background to Greenway.

Debbie qualified as APA in 2017 and a fully qualified financial advisor (QFA) in 2018.

She believes that product knowledge is key to helping customers make the right choices.