Life Insurance  

Why the protection industry must embrace technology

Only this month providers accused advisers of focusing too much on price and terms when selling group income protection rather than the value added services and day-to-day benefits a product provided.

EY said life insurers could offer a service that may help prevent illness or death in the first place by using a combination of technologies such as wearables and advanced data tools.

Through this, life insurers could offer health updates and lifestyle advice, offering consumers a day-to-day service rather than just a single payout.

Another example the report gave was how technology could help post-claim client interactions, which would be particularly beneficial as nearly half of all claimants say they are not happy with the claims process.

Smart contracts and blockchain technology could help automate and speed up claims payments, according to EY, while digital passports could speed up beneficiary identification and verification, making claims simpler and helping to rebuild trust.

Mr Allison said: "While no one silver bullet exists, our research has revealed the need to better understand the customer and their relationship with protection products."

Tom Conner, director at advice firm Drewberry, agreed there was a public misperception of the issues surrounding protection.

He said: "The industry has a perception issue and far more work needs to be done to promote positive claims stories and the fact that protection is far more affordable than most people think it is.

"However, I do also agree that more needs to be done to engage clients ongoing via additional services."

Mr Conner quoted a survey conducted by Drewberry last year which showed consumers thought only 37 per cent of life insurance claims were paid successfully and that 48 per cent thought life insurance was too expensive.

imogen.tew@ft.com

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