Typically, the point at which many people buy protection for the first time is when they take out a mortgage on their first home.
For many, this is also the beginning of establishing a relationship with their financial adviser.
Mark Cracknell, head of protection distribution at Aviva, observes: “There are key points at which people buy protection which is when they take a debt, so that’s normally a mortgage; when they have children, so they have liabilities; and to protect wealth; and against death, so inheritance tax.”
But for a lot of millennials, the prospect of ever being able to save enough to buy a property seems rather distant, yet they may already have dependents and decide they would like to take out some form of protection.
Without having a financial adviser, they may be confused about how to go about it.
Is it possible to research and buy the right protection plan online? Or should millennials go down the advice route?
There is often a perception that using an adviser will cost more and involve face-to-face advice, while millennials are likely to be more familiar with buying most things, including other types of insurance, online.
However, this is likely to be their first foray into protection and an online search may just confuse the matter.
Iona Bain, founder of the Young Money Blog, suggests: “You can keep costs down by buying in good health and using an online insurance broker to compare quotes.
“You might not need to use an adviser if you do your homework and suss out exactly what you need to buy, but it could be useful to consult an adviser who specialises in protection, as they can take you through various policies and help you pick the right one.”
Cheap and not so cheerful
Emma Thomson, life office relationship director at LifeSearch, says: “There are lots of ways to compare prices but it’s mainly life and critical illness cover that’s available to buy online.
“Like with most things in life, you get what you pay for, so we recommend you speak to an independent adviser to find the best cover for your circumstances and budget, as cheap cover is not necessarily good value cover.”
She acknowledges: “Speaking to an adviser doesn’t haven’t to be daunting or onerous, and some firms are available in evenings and weekends too.”
For advisers with a client in the millennial age bracket, often defined as those born between the early 1980s and early 1990s, how should they approach finding the best protection plan for their clients?
Craig Brown, director, intermediary at Legal & General, notes that recent market and technological developments mean there are numerous ways to find the right protection for clients.