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Life & Pensions

Mind the gap! »
Swiss Re's latest Insurance Report, published in December 2009, offers a consumer-focused view of the long-term insurance market, with the emphasis on long-term protection business.  Writing exclusively for 'Financial Solutions', Ron Wheatcroft and Stephen Bale explain why the time is ripe for the life insurance industry to make a concerted effort to improve the penetration of protection covers...
Chronic pain »
Chronic pain? Surely a tediously dull subject. Well, no actually. Do read on ...
Assessing the occupation risk »
Life and disability underwriting, of course, is not all about medical conditions - although the likes of obesity, high blood pressure and diabetes, together with the occasional more exotic affliction, take up most of underwriters' time - sports and pastimes, foreign travel and financial risks need to be considered too, as does occupation.
CII Thinkpiece 21: Encouraging People to Save for Their Retirement »
As life expectancy increases so does the need for people to be well prepared for their retirement. However for many this will not be the case as the culture for saving in the UK has steadily eroded over time. To counter this and thus help those not saving enough (in particular those on lower incomes) the personal accounts scheme is being introduced and will be ready for the onset of employer duties in 2012. In this CII Thinkpiece, Tim Jones, Chief Executive of the National Employment Savings Trust (NEST) provides background to the scheme, outlines the role of employer contributions and considers the investment strategy.
India focus »
CII and LIC working to increase professionalism in Indian life market.
Total and permanent disability cover »
Total and permanent disability benefit (TPD) has been around for a long time, and not just in long-term insurance markets - it features in personal accident (PA) and sickness cover too.
Regulatory News June 2009 »
Regulatory news bulletin for June 2009
Definition of a life assurance contract »
What a life assurance contract is has been defined in a variety of ways. A definition is sometimes necessary in order to establish whether a particular contract is a policy of life assurance or not.
Evidence-based ratings »
One of the fundamental principles of the risk assessment process is that it should be fair and that the price should reflect the risk. In recent years there has been increasing pressure from consumers, pressure groups and regulators on insurers - and by implication reinsurers - to demonstrate that the basis of risk assessment is fair and that the ratings applied (and those recommended in underwriting manuals) are justified.
Outsourcing: be selective, be careful »
Over the last five years or more, outsourcing has been one of the big buzzwords of the commercial world. Outsourcing has been happening big-time, on the basis that an external provider can carry out a particular task or process at lower cost and/or better.
Income protection: the biopsychosocial effect »
Two men have recent-onset angina: same age, same anatomical location and severity of disease, same lifestyle, similar occupation. Both regard the onset of cardiovascular (CV) disease as a warning. One resolves to gradually exercise more in order to increase cardiac fitness, but otherwise to carry on as usual, albeit with due regard for CV risk factors. The other also pays attention to CV risk factors but decides he needs to slow down in order to avoid a more serious cardiac incident.
New opportunities in the retirement planning market »
Advisers and their clients will be wearily familiar with the "pensions crisis". They will have heard it all before about how the collapse of final salary defined-benefit schemes, a general lack of saving, stock market volatility and increased longevity mean that retirement is likely to be a miserable experience for many of us.
Income protection: has its time come? »
Income protection (IP) cover - also known in some markets as disability income - is, on the face of it, conceptually a rather attractive product. If you cannot work because of illness or accident, then, after a set period - the deferred period, and usually a minimum of four weeks - the policy pays you a monthly benefit to help replace lost income. It will keep on paying until you return to work, the policy expires (usually between ages 55 and 65) or you die, whichever occurs soonest. If you recover and get back to work, the policy will pay out again (and again!) in the event of further episodes of disabling illness, even if these are due to the original diagnosis, providing the claim criteria are met.
Senior management responsibilities: the FSA's new approach to pursuing enforcement action against approved persons »
It is now over six-and-a-half years since the FSA introduced the approved persons regime, with the express purpose of pinning individual members of senior management of FSA-authorised firms with personal responsibility for compliance with regulatory duties and standards.
CII Thinkpiece 1: Money Guidance and Retirement Savings Advice: A Critical View »
The Government's feasibility study into a national financial advice service was long awaited by both industry and consumer groups alike. However there are some practical issues still outstanding as the recommendations are taken forward as pathfinder projects over the next year. In this first article in the CII Thinkpiece series, accomplished pensions expert and commentator Dr Ros Altmann takes a critical view of Thoresen's proposals with respect to the new pensions accounts.

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