Providers launch protection awareness campaign

Providers launch protection awareness campaign

Aviva and Friends Life have launched a joint campaign to help advisers demonstrate to clients just how important income protection cover is.

Branded ‘Income Protection Matters’, the new online hub for advisers will host regularly updated content to help advisers overcome objections and start conversations with clients, along with a range of useful tools and calculators.

The awareness campaign will complement the two firms’ sponsorship of the 7 Families initiative, a charity-led project to show the value of income protection by paying families a tax-free income for one year.

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Claims data from Aviva showed that over £12.5m was paid out to individual income protection customers in 2014, with average monthly benefits paid being £1,015.

With the average length of claim on Aviva Income Protection policies being nine and a half years, this level of benefit would amount to more than £115,000 in this period.

The campaign will also focus on the most common conditions that can affect a client’s inability to work. These include mental health conditions which in 2014 accounted for 30 per cent of income protection claims paid out by Aviva, along with orthopaedic conditions such as back pain which is the second most common cause for claims at 20 per cent.

Louise Colley, managing director for protection at Aviva, said that making people aware of the real risk of not having any protection in place if they were to lose a main household income is an absolute priority.

“The figures are stark: the average UK household spends £1,503 a month and any Employment Support Allowance would only provide up to £125.05 a week. With the average saving pot being £1,7703, this would not provide financial security for very long if an income was lost through illness or injury.”

Separately, Aegon announced today it will introduce manual underwriting where an online decision cannot be given with its digital life insurance solution Simply Life, to ensure more acceptances from a wider number of clients.

The life only protection product is aimed at young healthy lives, with just nine core questions that offers cover up to £500,000 for clients aged between 18 and 49. Those customers who require manual underwriting will be provided with accidental death benefit while they are being underwritten.

Simply Life also offers joint life cover, which is important for the mortgage market where clients are applying for joint life mortgages.

Dougy Grant, protection director at Aegon UK, added: “It would seem that MMR has meant that time consuming application forms have reduced the time available for client discussions. So much so that although 90 per cent of consumers getting mortgage advice expect protection cover to be discussed, only 25 per cent go on to buy a product.