Too often the protection industry focuses on what it could do better. That is no bad thing in principle, of course: all markets should strive to improve everything they do and the protection industry is no exception.
But every now and then it’s nice to hear what people think the protection industry does well and how we innovate.
We asked a number of advisers who regularly write protection business to tell us what they find most impressive and rewarding. This are the arguments that advisers should be harnessing and using to ‘sell’ protection to clients.
From paid claims to simply doing the right thing, here are the best ten responses we had.
1. Supporting a client through a paid claim
Perhaps an obvious answer, but without doubt the most compelling.
Ensuring a client remains financially secure through an often devastating time is an incredible support. It enables the client to concentrate on their recovery or to lighten a grieving family’s burden, avoiding potentially catastrophic financial situations.
One adviser said: “It has to be the huge sense of wellbeing and the deep sense of satisfaction you get in knowing you have had a positive impact on someone’s life – especially when you know a client wouldn’t have taken a policy without your guidance.
“This feeling is massively heightened when you receive ‘that call’. There’s nothing more comforting or rewarding in financial services than knowing you’ve made a hugely difficult and painful experience just that little bit easier for someone.”
2. Add-on benefits
Protection has moved away from being an industry that just supplies a claimant with a cheque. It has become an industry that offers a service. To quote a very old phrase: “If you broke down on the M1 and the AA sent you a cheque you wouldn’t be too pleased.”
Of course people don’t want to get ill, but if they are they want to get better as quickly, painlessly and comfortably as possible.
We have seen providers strengthen their added services over the years to now offer some invaluable benefits. This includes dedicated in-house teams of counsellors, rehabilitation specialists and medical experts to support claimants. Others offer outsourced services such as Red Arc support services, or ‘best doctors’.
Red Arc states that a third of people who use their services are still benefitting from their support over a year later - and 90 per cent said services like Red Arc enhanced their view of the insurance provider. People are often surprised that insurers offer such support to them, in addition to paying their claim.
To quote an adviser: “We are genuinely helping people, families and businesses - not just funding them. That feels good.”
There are also many added benefits for protection clients not making a claim. Mutual insurers like LV= offer member benefits, including free advice on matters ranging from legal issues to relationship or bereavement counselling, and discounts on products such as car or home insurance.