Tom Baigrie from Lifesearch suggested a few years ago that providers should fund an industry advertising campaign about the life and money risks that protection can cover off. Is it time to revisit this and take up this unique opportunity?
Income protection is insurance to protect you if you cannot work. We all know that employment these days is not like it used to be, with a job for life. People are far more likely to move around and have several jobs over their working life. So why are income protection policies so rigid and inflexible? Maybe products need to be refreshed so they can more easily adapt to today’s lifestyles and working patterns.
So those are just some of my key takeaways from this year and what I hope we as an industry can work towards in 2022. Of course, we cannot end 2021 without mentioning:
- ABI Mental Health standards and Access to Insurance work. It would be great to see more of this in 2022, including widening access to insurance.
- Flexible underwriting. We have seen providers continue to flex underwriting to remove most of the Covid restrictions. Providers have shown just how agile and flexible we can be around adapting to changing circumstances with Covid and it would be great to see this being adopted to deliver faster, less intrusive underwriting to give more people access to cover.
- Volumes of claims have gone up hugely. This is the industry’s moment of truth, so let us keep delivering high claims paid rates and pushing for simplification of processes and quicker payment of claims.
Let us see how many of my hopes and dreams for 2022 get onto the resolutions for the New Year.
Jennifer Gilchrist is a protection specialist at Royal London