How to start the children's protection conversation

This article is part of
Guide to family protection

Mr McNab calls these good selling points: “Advisers can use the added benefits on policies, such as free legal advice or a Doctor Services app, to demonstrate the value of protection products to their clients and their families, beyond just the financial support at the time of claim.”

Johnny Timpson, protection specialist for Scottish Widows, agrees these are important benefits: “While the menu of support available will vary by provider, typically it will provide the policyholder and their family with assistance that can be accessed at any time without having to make a claim on the protection policy.

“It’s also worth noting employee support services are increasingly becoming a feature of occupational life, critical illness and income protection provision.”

Sell the opportunity 

There are key milestones in a client’s life which provide the opportunity for advisers to talk about protection.

Peter Hamilton, head of strategic partnerships for Zurich, says: “Most advisers will want to understand a family’s changing personal and financial circumstances, and there are a range of events that could trigger the need for further discussions on protection needs.”

The Association of British Insurers provides a checklist for people when it comes to considering whether life cover is relevant to their needs, such as getting married or raising a family. 

These ‘milestones’ can also apply to other types of policy. 

Life cover is important if you are:

•    just married.
•    a young couple just starting out.
•    new parents raising a young family.
•    a mature family starting to think about the future.
•    a retiree who may survive their partner and need financial support.

Some reasons for taking out life cover:

•    getting married/civil partnership.
•    buying a house.
•    starting a new job.
•    applying for a mortgage or loan.
•    the birth of a child.
•    divorce.
•    receiving an inheritance.

Income protection

In addition to discussing cover for children’s illnesses, Mr Harvey believes advisers should discuss the impact on the parent if they have to give up work to become a primary care-giver.

He notes: “An adult with £50,000 of critical illness cover would usually get £12,500 of children’s cover as part of the package [and children’s CIC is capped at £25,000 in most cases, depending on how much CIC the parent has].

“In most cases this is no substitute for losing a year or more in salary. In reality, coping with a child’s serious illness is likely to mean one parent has to quit work to look after the child, and could mean selling the house or any other radical lifestyle change.

“From this perspective, £12,500 isn’t going to go very far, so for parents concerned about this sort of scenario, it makes sense for advisers to look at income protection for the parent that will cover them in the event they have to leave work.”