Protection  

Can insurance reward customer loyalty?

Most people reading this will be able to dip into their wallet and pull out some form of reward or loyalty card.

If you’re anything like me you’ll have two or three; points for shopping at the same supermarket, bonuses for topping up at the right petrol station, discounts for staying with a particular chain of hotels. Put simply, giving something back to loyal customers encourages repeat business, referrals to friends and family and synergies with other business areas which might complement your own.

There remains one sector though which is yet to fully grasp the concept of customer rewards – protection Insurance. This is a puzzling anomaly, given the propensity for other insurance types to incentivise clients to remain loyal (no claims discounts being the most obvious example).

We broke the mould in this respect when we launched the Vitality programme in 2007. Vitality is our unique health and wellbeing programme designed to drive behaviour change based on the principles of behavioural economics and clinical evidence.

The programme itself is very straightforward; by engaging in healthy activities (such as exercise or giving up smoking) members can be rewarded in a variety of ways, from reducing premiums to discounted health screenings, half price gym membership and even free cinema tickets. Such benefits also provide advisers with something different to talk about when it comes to protection. Vitality means protection insurance is no longer a commodity product which is bought and then left in the drawer until it either expires or is claimed upon.

Amazingly, five years on we remain the only Protection provider in the UK to offer such a programme. But far from being complacent, we want to push the concept further still in the coming months and we are proud to announce that we will be the headline sponsor of Michael Vaughan’s “Chance to Ride” charity bike ride in September.

The 12 day ride sees the former England Cricket captain cycle 462 miles as he follows the England team’s One Day International series against Australia around the country.

Michael aims to raise money for two charities: Chance to Shine, which encourages youngsters to take part in sport keeping cricket alive in schools and educating over two million girls and boys through playing cricket; and the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation, which uses sport as the means to combat some of the world’s toughest social challenges facing young people today, such as: juvenile crime, gun and knife violence, HIV/AIDS, discrimination, social exclusion and health problems like obesity.

ADVISER COMPETITION
We also want to give Financial Adviser readers the chance to join Michael Vaughan and his celebrity friends on this high profile and challenging event, so if you think you can tackle one of the four ride stages and then watch England take on the Aussies in an exciting One Day game, watch this space! We’ll be giving away four places over the coming months.