Irish Life’s Corporate Business division is the largest group provider in Ireland, with 50% market share, insuring just under 400,000 lives – which is around 19% of the Irish workforce. If the UK and Irish markets were combined, then Irish Life would be the fourth largest group insurer across the two territories.

Irish Life Corporate Business incorporates income-protection products for both corporate and voluntary risk schemes. Corporate risk is a traditional group scheme, paid by the employer – and where employees are automatically included in the scheme. Voluntary risk schemes are for employees who choose to join the scheme. These are predominantly public-sector employees – typically nurses and teachers.

In 2006, Irish Life faced several challenges. Collecting medical evidence, in the form of doctors’ reports, was both slow and expensive – and medical examinations were also costly and inconvenient for the employee. This resulted in poor take-up rates, and the brokers being ‘turned off’ from selling the schemes. To increase the volume of sales and the take-up rate, they needed to make selling the products easier – to reduce the emphasis on doctors and speed up the whole process.

Irish Life undertook tele-interview pilots with MorganAsh before adopting the MorganAsh Big T tele-interviewing service for the voluntary schemes.

“MorganAsh’s tele-interviewing has been a great success, removing the hassle and time delays of collecting medical evidence. Since Irish Life introduced it, our volumes have gone up by 25% on this piece of business.”– Ivan Ahern, director, Cornmarket Group Financial Services

Irish Life introduced a simple one-page application form with a few questions; if any employee answered ‘yes’ to any of these questions, they were passed to a full tele-interview with MorganAsh.

Starting with just one broker, the new process was rolled out to all participating brokers.

Although there was some early scepticism, the underwriters were able to underwrite 85% of the business from the tele-interview alone – and only 15% of cases required further evidence after the tele-interview.

The result has been an unqualified success.

  • Customer satisfaction has been impressive, with just one customer complaint after over four thousand tele-interviews.
  • The average turnaround time is five days – a vast improvement on the four weeks to gather doctors’ information.
  • Volumes of business have grown by 25%.
  • Irish Life calculates there is a saving of €50 per case, just in underwriting costs alone.
  • Customer complaints have been almost non-existent.

Irish Life extended the MorganAsh service to the Corporate Risk business, using the Little T tele-interviewing service. This has equally been a success and Irish Life will now move to full Big T for all cases in the corporate and voluntary schemes.

The adoption of MorganAsh tele-interviewing has been an unprecedented success. I have no hesitation in recommending them to anyone else.” – Ivor O’Shea, director of risk operations, Irish Life

Our clients say:

I would comment that I am extremely pleased with the handling of this application from submission to the confirmation of acceptance within a time span of ten days. It clearly demonstrated the efficiency of the telephone interview process which in this case took place within a few days of receipt of the application. I feel that particularly where the applicant is female it is more satisfactory for the client to discuss health and medical background issues as the client feels more comfortable talking to a ‘neutral’ person. Additionally, it takes the responsibility off the intermediary in the knowledge that any non-disclosure does not rest with him/her. I did ask my client in this particular case how she felt about the tele-interview and received a very positive response confirming her entire satisfaction with the process. Thanks, and ‘well done’.

An independent financial adviser