Opinion  

Fixing disconnect in protection market requires change in conversation

Steve Bryan

Steve Bryan

Our sector often uses technical terms or jargon which are not easily understood by customers.

If customers find insurance products difficult to understand they are less likely to engage with protection and understand the benefits of having cover.

Indeed, according to our new research, only half of working adults (52 per cent) think that the language used by insurers to explain insurance products is easy to understand.

It’s not just jargon which is holding the industry back. When asked to consider the word “protection” more widely, more than half (53 per cent) said they associated it with protecting themselves from physical harm, while 48 per cent would associate the word with legal protection.

Clearly, the term “protection” has several meanings attached to it in the minds of consumers, so is it time our industry reconsiders how it describes itself? 

Lasting change 

Advisers play a crucial role in engaging and educating consumers about insurance policies.

By working together with providers, we can reshape the industry and make the benefits of what we do easier to understand. Providers have a responsibility to lead the way and reassess how we create and market products.

We need to give advisers the tools and resources they need to educate clients on the need for income insurance. 

As we look ahead to 2021, The Exeter will be exploring ways to encourage change in the industry and help advisers to better understand the views and insurance habits of consumers. 

The Covid-19 crisis has made income security a much more pressing issue and should be an opportunity for advisers to discuss IP with consumers.

Let’s not lose this once-in-a-generation opportunity to close the protection gap in the UK.

Steve Bryan is director of distribution and marketing at The Exeter