He says: “Many customers will psychologically tick the protection box with what they think are adequate policies. In the same way we review their other products, protection levels should be reviewed to ensure sum assureds are taking into account the ‘real’ cost of replacement.”
2. Know your client
This may seem obvious. But it's worth stating nevertheless.
Knowing your client is essential to being able to provide relevant advice, especially in protection because advisers are dealing with, not just the client and their family, but also their health, work, hobbies and lifestyle.
“A good adviser will be able to put themselves in their client’s shoes and be able to look at the world through their eyes, before providing them with advice,” says Mr Mead.
In doing so, it’s important to never make assumptions. Ensure there’s no room for that mistake by really understanding the family or individual looking for protection.
“What are the financial commitments they have? Who is covering the bills?” comments Emma Walker, chief marketing officer at LifeSearch.
“What safety net do they have so far? Do they have any cover in place? How would this help them? Are there any other gaps that you’ve spotted, that they’ve not thought about? This is how you shape and develop the advice you give with care and empathy at the forefront.”
It’s also vital to ensure all those directly impacted are involved from the start.
For example, if dealing with a couple, ensure they are both present at the discussion, says Peter Chadborn, principal at Plan Money.
If not, the adviser could be simply wasting their time.
“If the partner who is not present happens to be ‘anti-insurance’ then all the adviser’s hard work in positioning the protection need could be snuffed out and without the prospect of them being able to counter subsequent objections,” adds Mr Chadborn.
3. Take an educational approach
Individuals might think they know what they want, but their most important needs are often things they hadn’t even considered. So education is essential.
“Clients don’t usually wake up every day thinking that they must have all of their financial affairs in order just in case they get knocked off their bike,” adds Rob May, director of Risk Assured.
By helping clients to understand all of their potential financial shortfalls, a plan can be put together to best address them and within a budget that’s affordable, he notes.
Education also applies to practical aspects and processes. For example, understanding how cover works.