On his appointment as DWP Disability Champion for the insurance industry, Johnny Timpson was charged by the then Minister of State for Disabled People, Health and Work, Sarah Newton MP, with improving consumer access to protection insurance, particularly for those with long-term health conditions and disabilities. This issue has also been the subject of a Financial Conduct Authority call for evidence, response and consultation which specifically relates to the travel industry, but there is read across to the protection industry.
The Access to Insurance Working Group was formed in September 2018 and now reports in to the Cabinet Office through Johnny. Briefly, there are four workstreams/aims agreed:
- To develop a signposting system for consumers, supporting consumer groups and charities so they can easily access guidance and advice about insurance from protection specialists (Signposting Workstream, chaired by Graeme Trudgill, BIBA)
- To improve the transparency of underwriting processes and practices around chronic health conditions and disabilities for consumers, supporting consumer groups and charities (Underwriting Workstream, chaired by Andrew Wibberley, Alea Risk)
- To improve standards across all who distribute protection products so that we create a framework for improving access to expert advice across financial, health and charitable sectors (Professionalism Workstream, chaired by Shayne Halfpenny-Ray, CII)
- To develop a proposal for greater accessibility to protection insurance through the workplace (Workplace Workstream, jointly chaired by Ron Wheatcroft, Swiss Re and Katharine Moxham, GRiD)
Each workstream is supported by a Charities and Consumer Body Reference Group, chaired by Leo Miles, Macmillan Cancer.