Telegraph article rebuttal

25 February 2014

In a front page story in the Daily Telegraph today it was alleged that NHS data has been sold to insurers, quoting SIAS as a ‘major organisation for UK insurers’; this is not the case. It also stated that the research recommended an increase in critical illness insurance premiums for individuals under 50 years; this is also not the case.

The Institute and Faculty of Actuaries (IFoA) said;

 “In a story published by the Daily Telegraph today research by the IFoA was represented as “NHS data sold to insurers”. This is not the case. The research referenced in this story considered critical illness in the UK and was presented to members of the Staple Inn Actuarial Society (SIAS) in December 2013 and was made publically available on our website.

 “The IFoA is a not for profit professional body. The research paper – Extending the Critical Path – offered actuaries, working in critical illness pricing, information that would help them to ask the right questions of their own data. The aim of providing context in this way is to help improve the accuracy of pricing. Accurate pricing is considered fairer by many consumers and leads to better reserving by insurance companies.

 “Nowhere in this paper does the IFoA recommend a change in insurance pricing.”

 Further information:

The research referenced in the Telegraph story was produced by the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries (IFoA), an independent, not for profit professional body.  It was published in December 2013 and in the same month was presented to SIAS members.

 SIAS is a non-commercial body with over 5,000 members around the world, representing and serving the interests of younger members of the actuarial profession, whilst also acting as the London region actuarial society. 

The research “Extending the critical path”, was produced to provide a clearer picture of critical illness in the UK. 

The research makes no pricing recommendations. It provides information for actuaries, enabling them to look at the broader experience of critical illness in the UK against their own data. It is a reference point rather than a tool used to set pricing. It is also available to any organisation or body interested in critical illness in the UK.

The research used anonymised data from the NHS that was available to organisations looking to further critical illness research.  Individuals cannot be recognised from this data.  The source data for this research was not made available by us to our membership or to other organisations, our analysis of this data is.

The IFoA research was particularly interested in better understanding new types of critical illness identified and included in insurance policies in the UK.

With this research the IFoA offered information to actuaries working in critical illness pricing that would help them to ask the right questions of their own data. The aim of providing context in this way is to help improve the accuracy of pricing. Accurate pricing is considered fairer by many consumers and leads to better reserving by insurance companies.

The IFoA is always happy to comment on the research that it produces. Our research is always openly published and available to all. It is often referenced by think tanks, Government, charities and other organisations to inform their decision making and policy. We use research to ensure that our members continue to provide professional services to the highest standards and to fulfil our Royal Charter obligations. 

For further details please contact Karen Wagg on 077 255 58 551 or 020 7632 1452