In what was generally a quiet week for news, certainly in our industry, one story really caught my attention news that a second HIV vaccine is going into testing in the US.

Notably this uses a variation of the mRNA technology that has been accelerated to meet the needs of COVID vaccination. Mercifully, HIV is no longer the death sentence it once was, and many insurers have now removed it from critical illness definitions. Looking at this issue in a wider context it becomes clear a far wider range of vaccines are in development that could have a massive impact on mortality. This article in Nature highlights the full range of conditions where mRNA vaccines are currently in development including cancer.

It is also worth reading this piece in National Geographic which explores an actual case an mRNA vaccine being used to cure a cancer patient. None of these treatments will be cheap which makes me wonder if health and critical illness plans may converge to cover the cost of emerging therapy.

Adam Flowers began the week with his analysis of Finametrica’s risk profiling tool which is of course now owned by Morningstar that’s providing them with a very significant upgrade to their risk profiling capability. Finametrica has long been known for the depths of its academic credentials.

The potential for combining the wider Morningstar product range and research with a risk profiling tool of the quality of Finametrica has huge potential although it will raise some interesting challenges on how the company assists advisers if they migrate from one risk profiling tool to another.

On Wednesday we turned our attention to FinCalc’s cash flow modelling proposition and related technology.

Protection Guru this week was dominated by analysis of how different insurers compare for different product features, this is at the core of what we do, and we pride ourselves on providing this information in more granular detail than anyone else.

Amanda Newman Smith began the week by examining Which insurers provide the best estate administration support. On Tuesday, Rob Harvey picked up the baton and looked at Waiver of premium – how insurers compare. Rob continued on Wednesday with an insight which asked Who provides the best life insurance terminal illness benefit?

After three days of multi provider analysis on Thursday it was time to it was time to look at a couple of providers in detail so first Rob investigated the the new LV= executive income protection plan. Then in a second insight of the day he highlighted updates to the showcase page on the key USPs of the Guardian proposition.

We wrapped up the week with a summary insight on claims processes – 6 things you should read.

Over on Benefits Guru, on Tuesday, Kat Mitchell’s insight focused on Understanding fund switches and redirections before on Thursday looking at Changing policy and personal details – who can do what online.

I am off to see the Hundreds final at Lords tomorrow, thank you Vitality and a fabulous lunch on Sunday with one a dear friend who was part of the Ziggy Stardust entourage during ‘72 & ’73, sure to involve some wonderful stories. Whatever you are doing over this weekend, have a marvellous time.