"To be able to realise this without further burden on the NHS and continue to build on digital innovation is a testament to how the world of underwriting is evolving"
HSBC Life UK has expanded its critical Illness cover to Type 2 diabetic customers without the need for NHS records.
Customers will have the opportunity to obtain critical illness cover by attending an independent nurse medical screening, the results of which will be assessed digitally in a three-day turnaround time.
Currently, the availability of critical illness cover for diabetics is sporadic across the UK protection industry with many insurers unable to consider diabetics, despite data from Diabetes UK showing 4.3 million people are living with the condition.
HSBC Life UK is able to extend cover to diabetics due to its enhanced digital underwriting process, which is applicable to customers applying for cover through external adviser distribution partners. Enhanced digital underwriting enables medical screening requests to be sent and received back automatically from HSBC Life's medical screening provider Square Health. The digital underwriting engine instantly provides an eligibility decision and then provides real time updates on the progress of the screening.
HSBC Life (UK) has been evolving its systems to support diabetics for more than a year and has developed a specially designed test with Square Health whereby nurses discuss with applicants their diabetic history, check the foot pulse, and take a blood test.
The process will give certainty to the customer of their disclosure by providing the opportunity to discuss their diabetic history with a medical professional, taking away the onus from the adviser.
Diabetic customers successfully applying for HSBC Life UK’s critical illness cover will need to be non-smokers with no diabetic complications who are managing their condition and the premiums can be loaded up to a maximum of 150%.
Successful critical illness cover applicants will also benefit from the expansion of HSBC Life UK’s value added benefits proposition, which includes prescription services, second medical opinions, unlimited remote GP appointments, physiotherapy, mental health support and an annual health MOT which includes a Diabetes HbA1c risk assessment.
Jen Carhart, head of underwriting and claims at HSBC Life UK, has said:
“We are really proud to have worked with our partners, UnderwriteMe and Square Health, to introduce this unique approach and open up such a vital protection product for a group of customers historically excluded by the industry from critical illness. To be able to realise this without further burden on the NHS and continue to build on digital innovation is a testament to how the world of underwriting is evolving to support customers and their needs.”