Irish Life is the largest insurance company in Ireland and part of the Great Western group of companies. It markets a number of protection, pension and investment products. The company is the largest provider of income protection in Ireland, with a leading market share for both individual (retail) clients and group (corporate) schemes.

Irish Life had a traditional claims process. Claimants would complete a paper application form to be submitted to Irish Life. Irish Life would then assess the submitted form and request a four-page medical certification form to be completed by their doctor or surgeon. In addition, Irish Life provided an in-house claim assessor team who visited every claimant.  

In 2009, Irish Life undertook a review of their claims processes, during which notable problem areas were identified:

  • The quality of information provided on the application forms was poor and, in many cases, answers were insufficient, vague or even left blank.
  • The process for submitting claims took several months. Not only was this poor customer service, but because the first few months are vital for the treatment and rehabilitation of conditions, the delay in the claims process was excluding the opportunity for these services to be beneficial.

Irish Life has been using the MorganAsh tele-interview service for insurance applications since 2006 and this has been a great success. Irish Life started using the MorganAsh tele-claims service, initially on a pilot basis.

Initially, Irish Life ran the MorganAsh tele-interview in addition to receiving the claims form. This was so successful, that the service was extended, and the claims form is gradually being phased out.

The service has not only overcome the identified issues, but also provided some additional benefits not originally expected.

Tele-interview guarantees a 100% completed claim form; but, not only this, the MorganAsh tele-claim interview is an extensive interview, that goes far beyond just completing the application form, and examines circumstances, lifestyle and employment issues. Rather than just a one- or two-word answer, the claims manager receives an in-depth report of the condition, and all the relevant circumstances.

Irish Life underwriters are able to use this information to make decisions quickly, and to focus and minimise the medical confirmation required.

The MorganAsh interviewer is a professional and independent nurse who collects far more information than the previous approach. It has now become apparent that as claimants provided their claim form to their employer, they may have been withholding some information. This is overcome with the MorganAsh process.

The MorganAsh tele-claims interview is an interactive session, and although no decision is given to the claimant, in many occurrences the nature of the conversation and the topics covered give the claimant an indication of the claim’s success. As a result, a good proportion of initial claimants have withdrawn their claim, returned to work, or taken up redundancy programmes instead of pursuing the claim. This has resulted in a reduction of those claims Irish Life would otherwise have had to ‘decline’.  

Our clients say:

Given the often complex and technical nature of financial planning, we must do what we can to demonstrate and be seen as a trusted ‘safe pair of hands’. The current regulatory focus on vulnerability provides a timely opportunity to improve how we can recognise and address vulnerable circumstances, whilst also demonstrating individual care and empathy. Good practice principles and the use of fintech, such as the MorganAsh MARS tool, can greatly improve our ability to assess, store and communicate vulnerability across and between organisations.

Keith Richards, Chair of the Financial Vulnerability Task Force