It was at the Protection Review conference earlier this year that the insurance offering from Guardian Financial Services first really stood out to me, when I was on a panel with Katya MacLean, life insurance director at Guardian FS.
Since its full launch into the intermediary market, the company has promised a simpler claims process, with less documentation and faster payment times.
If someoneâ€™s doctor says they have had a heart attack, there is no delay when it comes to diagnosing the severity and the patient trusts the doctor. A heart attack is a heart attack, and the claim is paid.
I have been excited to see how this promise of a more pragmatic approach to claims definitions actually works. While it is not a critical illness payout, Guardian FS paid its first claim in October â€“ a cash benefit for a client that suffered a bone fracture. It was approved in 30 minutes and paid within the working week.
I will not lie: there is a part of me that wonders how Guardian FS is going to make its claims definitions work.Â
The promise to pay a claim based upon a doctorâ€™s say so sounds amazing, and is something I wholeheartedly support. But surely it means that there will be higher payouts for heart attacks with Guardian FS than with other providers?
As medical advances develop, heart attacks are becoming more easily diagnosed, and spotted when they are less severe, so will this approach be sustainable in the long term?
And if it is not cost effective to have this broad claim definition across the market, how will it work in practice?
I am rooting for Guardian FS â€“ its claims philosophy and offer to update existing clients to new critical illness contracts is market leading.
My verdict is that it gets a big thumbs up.
Kathryn Knowles is managing director of Cura Financial Services