ProtectionJan 16 2013

Understanding the value of protection insurance

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At least that is the plan until the apathy sets in and the gym membership, the diet and all those other New Year’s resolutions are abandoned by the wayside. Personal resolutions might only last a month or two but in business it’s vital to keep the momentum going throughout the year. Certainly in the protection industry we need to build on the success achieved at the end of 2012 when applications for protection soared as advisers raced to get clients on risk ahead of gender neutral rates.

We ended the year on a high. But as we enter 2013 we will be doing so with the first major price increases the protection industry has seen for a very long time. The early part of the year will see a flurry of activity around gender pricing as no one knows where the new equilibrium price will settle. That could take days or weeks. RDR will also cause upheaval to the market and it could be a slow start as everyone gets used to the changes and fees become part of the advice proposition. So we will need to use all the means we have at our disposal to encourage people to buy protection and ensure sales remain constant.

Providers are constantly reinforcing the need for financial protection. They produce leaflets and sales aids, write blogs, articles and tweet about it. This is all valuable stuff. But sometimes it is those real life case studies that create the most impact. Reading about someone whose payout has been a real life saver. How it has enabled a family to pay off all or part of the mortgage and how it has helped them to retain their lifestyle after suffering a critical illness really hits the message home.

But equally as hard hitting are the stories of those who did not have protection in place and who found themselves struggling to manage financially following a critical illness or the death of a loved one. Those stories are particularly tragic. And the message is further reinforced by looking at the websites of cancer charities. Among the statistics showing the number of people suffering from cancer, there is always reference to the financial impact a cancer diagnosis can have on an individual or family.