How to start the children's protection conversation

This article is part of
Guide to family protection

How to start the children's protection conversation

Most people do understand the value of insurance – but not necessarily for when it comes to their own health and wealth.

While they agree having help paying vets’ bills or fixing a car after an accident is crucial, they will need a steer towards getting themselves covered.

A survey in September 2017 from Zurich found the compulsory insurance policies were far higher up a consumer’s understanding than any other form of insurance.

The most popular types of insurance policies purchased: 
1.    Home contents insurance – 70 per cent
2.    Motor insurance – 68 per cent
3.    Home buildings insurance – 57 per cent
4.    Travel insurance – 38 per cent
5.    Life Insurance – 30 per cent
6.    Pet insurance – 18 per cent
7.    Critical illness cover – 11 per cent
8.    Income protection (individual policy) – 6 per cent
9.    Income protection (via employer) – 5 per cent

This is why intermediaries are so vital to helping get Britons covered against the possibility their income dries up, they are unable to work, or they have to leave work to look after a child.

But having a conversation with clients about critical illness can seem intrusive, especially so when it concerns their children.

Paul Dalgliesh, head of protection propositions at Aviva UK, says: “For intermediaries, having the conversation isn’t easy but the financial and emotional support offered through children’s critical illness cover can make a huge difference to a family.” 

However, according to Chris McNab, head of protection proposition for LV=, it does not help to be coy about raising the issue with clients.

He says: “No-one wants to imagine their child suffering a serious accident or becoming critically ill, but protection policies can give parents peace of mind they will receive support if this were to happen.”

He believes it is important advisers speak with clients to educate them about the benefits of taking out protection, which will not only cover them but also their children.

Getting to know the client

Rob Harvey, independent protection specialist for Drewberry Insurance, comments: “For parents who are seriously concerned – and no doubt there are many young parents now in this position, following the publicity around the recent tragic case of Charlie Gard – we would encourage them to think carefully about what they are really trying to protect.”

Garry Webb, head of compliance for financial advisory firm Roxburgh Financial Management, believes assessing protection is a vital part of the fact find.

“This comes down to the fact-find process and the demands and needs of the client,” he says. “Putting the client in an informed position on what is available, and in what circumstances, is paramount.”

Mr Webb also advocates regular reviews of the client and their circumstances, which he says is “important to ensure the adviser can give the client clear and relevant advice as the client’s family situation changes, and the protection market develops”.

Sell the add-ons

Most modern insurance policies come with added benefits, such as wellness apps to help maintain a healthy lifestyle, Best Doctors or RedArc services, telephone counselling or free second opinion referral services.