UK insurers, consultants produce de-risking guide as medical underwriting gains ground

first_imgThe sector needed to develop an atmosphere of trust, she said, by highlighting potential benefits and risks as well as setting out what companies, advisers, trustees and consumers could expect from the process.“We’re trying to make sure the document gives a fair and balanced view of medical underwriting compared to a conventional approach,” said Mike Edwards, head of product development at L&G in the bulk annuities business.  “In some cases it would be the right thing to do in other cases it wouldn’t,” he said.One of the potential advantages of medical underwriting is that it might result in a lower premium, he said.But trustees and sponsors had raised concerns that if they did opt to have individual scheme members’ health and lifestyles assessed in order to set annuity prices, the price could end up being higher as well as lower than it would otherwise have been, he said.And once a scheme had made a detailed enquiry about medical underwriting, if it then decided not to go ahead with the deal, other bulk annuity providers might take this as a sign that the membership was in better-than-average health and decline to quote. Other firms behind the Good Practice Guide are CMS Cameron McKenna, Just Retirement, Law Debenture and LCP. Insurers and advisers in the UK pensions sector are putting together a guide for trustees and sponsors to help them decide whether or not to use medical underwriting when buying bulk annuities.JLT Employee Benefits,  Partnership, Aviva, Hymans Robertson, Legal & General and others said they plan to produce a “robust guide for the industry”, which will aim to formalise and improve existing industry standards.The move has been prompted by the arrival of new insurers in the market, ready to look at the health and lifestyle characteristics of individual scheme members when setting premiums, the group said.Margaret Snowdon, director of JLT Employee Benefits, said: “With an increasing number of businesses keen to explore using medical underwriting as part of their de-risking strategy, now is the time for the industry to step up and develop a robust guide to ensure good practice.”last_img read more

Concept art revealed for the BioShock movie that will never happen

first_imgBefore BioShock Infinite’s Burial at Sea brought us back to the underwater dystopia of Rapture, a live-action movie produced by Universal was our only hope, despite most video game movies ending up subpar. If there ever were a video game that could translate well to the big screen, though, it’d be BioShock, so fans were excited nonetheless. The movie had some big names attached, as Gore Verbinski was set to direct, and John Logan (of The Last Samurai) was set to write the script. Eventually, the movie-runner was switched to someone else who Ken Levine felt wasn’t a good match, and Levine himself stepped in to axe the project, saying he’d only want it done if it were done right. The closest we’ll get to the movie for now is some recently released concept art from the film.Concept artist Tim Flattery released a handful of images that capture what the BioShock film would’ve looked like. It’s tough to say how the assets would translate to a live-action film, but the concept art definitely captures the tone and atmosphere of the original game. The bathysphere in particular looks phenomenal; the living room aesthetic stuffed into a small submersible with the underwater city of Rapture visible in the distance looks especially creepy.The Big Daddy also appears in true-to-game form, more or less, and it’s a shame we aren’t going to get to hear the Hollywood version of the ominous, reverberating whale calls the creatures make while aimlessly wandering around the sunken city. If you wanted to sit in a dark theater and experience that noise with movie-quality surround sound, don’t give up hope just yet, as Ken Levine is definitely tied to telling the stories of Rapture, which he showed with the two Burial at Sea episodes. Perhaps he’ll attempt a BioShock movie sometime after the second episode of BaS drops.For now, all we can do is look at pretty art of what might’ve been. VIEW PHOTO GALLERY Big DaddyBig DaddyBig Daddy, up close.Big Daddy fullBig Daddy, full shot.Big Daddy suitsBig Daddy suits.EveSyringe.Bathysphere insideBathysphere, equipped with a comfortable living area.Bathysphere carpetBathysphere, with a tasteful carpet.Bathysphere windowRapture in the distance.Bathysphere outsideOutside of the Bathysphere with an inside view.Bathysphere door closedOutside of the Bathysphere.Big Daddy, up close.last_img read more