In Focus: When Clients' Plans Change  

Covid-19 has changed how Brits think about cover


Insurance has changed from being something abstract to something "very real" and relevant to Britons, a senior insurance director has said.

Mark Till, the chief executive of Unum UK, said Covid-19 had reshaped conversations around protection. 

Speaking to FTAdviser In Focus, the newly-appointed chief executive said: "People's perceptions of insurance have changed.

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"For the first time in a long while we have had a mass realisation that bad things you insure for actually happen.

"People have had time off sick; the spectre of Long Covid hangs over us and we have had significant increases in death in the country.

"Also, the things that insurance is typically bought for - but which you hope never happen to you - have been daily reported that they are happening to people like you."

He added: "Therefore, their view of insurance as something that is abstract has become something that is very real in people's lives."

Till also believes people have come to understand protection as something more than just a policy to claim on, with companies promoting the support services and wellbeing services that come with both individual and corporate policies. 

"Absolutely the health and wellbeing conversations in the workplace have picked up significantly", he added.

Unum provides Help@Hand, a service that provides insured employees with quick access to five key health and wellbeing services through one easy-to-use app, for policyholders with group life, critical illness or income protection cover.

He said this had registered 15,000 discrete remote GP consultations in the past year, in addition to the mental health and other consultations.

"I use the physiotherapy service", Till said. "I didn't have to actually go and see a physical therapist", and said across the UK, many people had been using the support services provided by apps such as Help@Hand during the pandemic, which marked a sea-change in the way people interact with their protection policies.

He also lauded Unum as an employer. Till told FTAdviser In Focus: "We have to remember, fundamentally, we are one of the few places in financial services where you come to work and you know that what you do is good for society. 

"We are a group risk, workplace benefits business and that means we can be really focused on doing the right thing and demonstrating our professionalism. 

"And that's why it's a lovely place to work as a consequence."

To watch the full Fireside Chat, click on the image above.