New Insurance Ireland Code of Practice for Underwriting Mortgage Protection Insurance for Cancer Survivors to take Effect from December 6th 2023
- Insurance Ireland announces new details around its recently announced Code of Practice for Underwriting Mortgage Insurance for Cancer Survivors. It worked with stakeholders to develop the Code over the last year in an effort to provide a faster, more streamlined process for those impacted.
- Codemeans insurers will disregard a cancer diagnosis where treatment ended more than 7 years prior to their application or more than 5 years if the applicant was under 18 at time of diagnosis.
- Cover of up to €500,000 per (cancer-surviving) applicant in connection with a mortgage on a principal private residence is available.
- The full text of the Code is available here. It will take effect from 6 December 2023, following a six-month implementation period for insurance firms
- External reviewer to monitor adherence to the Code. First review will take place in January 2025 to assess implementation, with the next in January 2028, and subsequent reviews every three years thereafter.
- Insurance Ireland has worked with a number of stakeholders both here and across Europe to design a framework that appropriately balances the needs of cancer survivors without causing a reduction in availability of cover for other consumers.
Wednesday, June 7th 2023 - Insurance Ireland and its life members have today announced full details of its new Code of Practice for Underwriting Mortgage Insurance for Cancer Survivors.
The Code means that insurers will disregard a cancer diagnosis where treatment ended more than 7 years prior to their application or more than 5 years if the applicant was under 18 at the time of diagnosis. Cover of up to €500,000 per (cancer-surviving) applicant in connection with a mortgage on a principal private residence is available. It follows discussions with the Irish Cancer Society last summer regarding its 2021 report, highlighting that many cancer survivors do not feel that they can access the necessary life cover in order to be obtain a mortgage.
The details published today include:
- The full text of the Code, which can be accessed here.
- An implementation date of 6 December 2023.
- Definitions of two technical terms within the Code - ‘complete remission’ and ‘active treatment’ - as defined by an independent oncologist and an independent actuary.
- Details on oversight:
- In order to promote confidence in the application of the Code, Insurance Ireland will appoint an external reviewer to ensure that the provisions of the Code have been implemented and are being adhered to. A report on this will be made available to relevant stakeholders.
- The first review will take place in January 2025, in order to review implementation, with the next review due in 2028 and subsequent reviews every three years thereafter.
- The Code of Practice itself will also be revisited in line with every review, which will include the definitions set out within the document.
The below list of signatories comes from within Insurance Ireland’s membership. Insurance Ireland devised the Code with both members and non-members. It is open to non-members to sign up to the Code.
- Acorn Life
- Aviva Life & Pensions
- Irish Life
- Laya Healthcare
- New Ireland Assurance
- Royal London
- Zurich Life Assurance plc.
Insurance Ireland and its members believe that the Code will lead to a faster, more streamlined process for those impacted. They see the approach as a pragmatic solution that appropriately balances the needs of cancer survivors without causing a reduction in availability of cover for other consumers.
Insurance Ireland and its members also want to reassure those affected that, as things currently stand, it is not the case that all applicants who disclose a cancer diagnosis are automatically declined cover. Many mortgage protection applications of this nature are accepted at either standard rates or with an additional cost. In order to support affected applicants, we are delighted to see that Brokers Ireland has published a list of specialised Brokers on its webpage, to assist consumers who have had difficulty acquiring Life Cover due to a pre-existing illness.
Insurance Ireland members are mindful, however, of the impact that a declined application can have on a cancer survivor, who has already faced a hugely challenging experience. As such, insurers were keen to play their part in developing an improved outcome for these customers, while also keeping in mind the needs and expectations of the entire customer base.