More sector innovation needed post-pandemic

This article is part of
Guide to introducing clients to protection

With an abundance of data collated by the platform, detailed analysis of each insurer’s claims process provides advisers with a clear and accessible way of contextualising conversations around protection.

Robert Harvey, protection product specialist at Protection Guru, says: “As the market aims for ever greater transparency on claims and claims data, advisers can find themselves inundated with reports, marketing emails and infographics, which inevitably often get lost or forgotten about.

“Our claims hub brings everything together in a single resource, including claims statistics, processes and stories. By providing advisers with detailed claims data, from the headline payout rates through to age of claimants, average payout amounts, length of claims and reasons for claim rejection, we ultimately hope to drive better protection conversations.” 

Product development

Products that can improve efficiency and make advisers’ lives easier are welcome, but the impact of the pandemic on developments within the sector presents a mixed bag of results.

On one hand, the pandemic, lockdowns, and a move away from the office has stifled innovation, as products and services tailored for pre-pandemic life found themselves outdated before coming to market.

Yet for others, the pandemic acted as a catalyst for change – and not simply for new products. Existing solutions have been used in new ways, as have the services available to both advisers and clients, often venturing into unprecedented territory.

During the Covid-19 crisis, several protection providers chose to offer the same type of payment holidays as mortgage lenders, which Primis' Jefferies says was a “really encouraging and remarkable step for the insurance industry”.

She adds: “By introducing payment and premium holidays, providers were able to help thousands of struggling borrowers relieve some of their financial burden during the pandemic while keeping their much-needed cover in place, something which has been no mean feat for the protection market.” 

Jefferies says that Covid-19 accelerated the pace of innovation in the protection market enormously. Now, though, the challenge will be to maintain this momentum, with certain sectors needing more attention than others. 

“IP is one product that can be developed further to appeal to the modern-day borrower,” she says. “Simplifying IP is one way that providers can make this product more accessible to the masses and encourage greater take-up among consumers.” 

This is where solutions such as short-term income protection can play a huge part, particularly for those families on lower incomes or that have suffered financially as a result of the pandemic. 

These types of policies allow the family or person requiring the insurance to dictate the period of cover, which is typically two years, which means there is no long-term commitment and it can be reviewed more frequently and adjusted as changes are made to lifestyles and careers.