UK general insurer Norwich Union has launched an industry-first scheme that aims to drive down the number of critical illness and life insurance claims rejected as a result of non-disclosure.

As part of the scheme, the insurer will contact 5,000 of its existing protection policyholders in the UK, inviting them to review their initial applications and notify the company of any medical details they may have omitted in their original forms.

The aim of the initiative is to allow customers to correct any mistakes or omissions made on an application that could have invalidated any future claims.

Any information provided by customers as a result of the pilot will be used to establish whether changes need to be made to their current policies, such as a change in premiums or re-rating. By giving customers the opportunity to revisit their application form and declare any omissions now, the insurer hopes to prevent a claim being declined at a later date due to non-disclosure.

Willie Mowatt, director of risk products for Norwich Union, said: While the majority of valid life insurance and critical illness claims are straightforward and paid out in full, unfortunately a percentage are rejected because customers have not disclosed their full medical history and as a result their policies are actually invalid.

We want to be able to clearly advise people who think they may have non-disclosed how to proceed if they believe they may have missed something off their application form. We feel this is the right approach to try to help customers prevent non-disclosure in the event of a claim, Mr Mowatt added.

Following the pilot, Norwich Union will analyze the results and consider whether to roll out the pilot to more of its customers.