This week proved that despite the weather summer is over and we are back in full swing in the Protection Market with some major announcements.  

The really big news was  Vitality’s product simplification this link will tell you the key things you need to know about the product changes. You can watch the whole Vitality event at the bottom of this page

I also want to give a shout out about a new video case study Vitality have created for Children’s Critical Illness claims. We have added this to our The Stories Behind Critical Illness Claims case study page, you really should watch this. Also, while our site is not generally designed for consumers perhaps this is one link worth sharing with potential clients. 

While important as a welcome strategic change in direction for a company that does some things brilliantly, but historically frankly made them too complicated, is Vitality’s changes were not the only great example of innovation this week.  

Monday saw a major launch from The Exeter. Their Income First toolkit is the best example of such a service I have seen so far. You can read my detailed breakdown of the service here. I think advisers should run a report using their Income Risk calculator for every single client. There has been some really interesting discussion about the tool on social media and I do think there are more things they can do to enhance the tool. That said it should already be a key part of every adviser’s kit bag when encouraging clients to protect the income that is so vital to being able to afford everything else they have and do.  

So, what else happened on Protection Guru this week? We started the week looking at Small things insurers could do to make advisers lives easier, part of the output from our September Protection Guru Forum. Some great ideas were debated here and we actually finished the week by looking in more detail at How can underwriting be improved – everything we have learned so far .  

Events this year have had a dramatic effect on underwriting. It is taking longer to get cases processed in many instances. I’m hearing, from people who know what they are talking about on these subjects, that this is not an issue that is going to get fixed in the next six months, indeed I am hearing suggestions that it could still be with us as an issue in 2024. 

The outcome of the FCA court case against Business Interruption insurers can be expected to have a significant effect on reinsurance capacity. While primary insurers by have reinsured these liabilities, I am hearing talk of a potential 9-11 type impact on the reinsurance market. This will impact life and wider protection capacity. Look at the last time we saw a really significant dilution in Critical Illness wordings, 2002-2004.  

In this summary we consider lessons from COVID19look at advances in underwriting that could help advisersunderwriting challenges and how to handle themenabling meaningful underwriting conversations with clients as well as Monday’s study from the link above on how insurers could make advisers lives easier. 

On Tuesday Amanda Newman Smith explored the benefit of buy back options while on Wednesday Samantha Haffenden-Angear from Drewberry Insurance featured in our how to talk protection to different client series, highlighting young talent in our industry features.   

On Thursday the focus turned to Income Protection and looked at what different insurers do to support income protection clients returning to work.  

We have already had lots of positive coverage on this piece and further work is being done on follow up analysis looking at the impact of early intervention both in the individual protection and group risk. 

Elsewhere this week iPipeline also ran a series of webinars looking at how the Product Features report, based on Protection Guru data works. All of these can be found here. These show how in 60 seconds you can move the conversation with a client on from do they want cover to which plan do they want. In so doing the adviser can enhance the quality of advice given, achieve better customer outcome and reduce lapses. That must be worth one minute more in the process.    

On our sister site Benefits Guru this we looked at which workplace pension providers provide mobile apps to scheme members and also which firms are making pension statement available via interactive video. Both of these studies provide valuable lessons about customer engagement. Video is a concept more insurers should explore to reinforce the benefits of the services they offer to customers.  

Have a great weekend everyone.