It is dependent upon two factors: -
· Does the Insurance Company feel they require more information about you - this decision is based on the answers provided on your application form (which you will need to complete once you have accepted their initial quotation in principle)?
· Does the business processing your application (typically your Insurance Broker) have the systems to expedite your application?
About one third of all applications can be put on risk immediately. This is a computerised decision based upon the information provided on your application form.
All other applications will experience some degree of delay, from a week to several weeks. This is because the application and the risk involved have to be considered manually. It can also lead to the insurance company asking for more information about you, typically from your doctor. Until this additional information is received, a final decision cannot be made.
The most common information requested by the Insurance Companies, relates to medical details. This may involve them asking your doctor for information or asking you to attend a medical (which the Insurance Company pays for). Unfortunately, the most common cause of extended delay is slow replies from doctors; in this circumstance it is generally best to contact your doctor immediately.
Another common delay is where the applicant receives a request from the Insurance Company for additional information but is slow to respond, the insurance company will be unable to make a decision until you send the require information back to your broker.
A good Broker will monitor the application process with the Insurance Company and will endeavor to ensure that everything progresses quickly. If they have a good relationship with the Insurance Company they may even be able to progress the application faster! The best will even take on the role of reminding your GP to act quickly, although often they will only respond to a request from the client!
The most common need for speed is when a policy is required for mortgage purposes
and the purchase is imminent. Our advice is to tell your Broker if you are in a hurry,
they may well be able to expedite the application.