A better approach to trusts, more COVID19 support – What you really need to know from this week
I’m going to dive straight in this week and talk about a significant development as Royal London launched an alternative to trusts. It is widely recognised across the protection industry that nowhere near as many plans get put in trust as should do. Anything that can be done to address this situation must be welcome.
Guardian has pointed out that Royal London’s solution is remarkably like what they have been doing since their launch two years ago. This is true, but I think the important thing here is that the company is taking significant steps to make it easier for advisers and their clients to arrange their affairs effectively and particularly enable faster claim payments when they are needed.
To be honest my reaction when I heard of these changes was, if it’s that easy, why are not all insurers doing this? Overall, well done to Royal London and Guardian, and to everybody else, an example has been set that you would do well to follow.
Also yesterday, we had the launch of the first Royal London showcase page on Protection Guru. As usual our team has worked with the insurer to create an objective analysis of what advisers need to know, their strengths and where there could be improvements. We continue to get great feedback from advisers that these showcases pages are really useful, so if you haven’t visited yet please click on the link above. Look out for further showcase pages about Royal London’s protection offerings in the very near future.
Zurich-become the latest insurer to extend support for financially vulnerable clients including premium deferral, career break and benefit reduction options. Adam Higgs’s analysis includes a simple table which outlines the options at a glance. Well worth reviewing.
On Monday Sam Shaw published a great analysis of Fracture cover and who-offers what? Data on which features advisers are prioritising using our product features report in iPipeline Solution Builder tells us this is an increasingly popular feature. Sam’s analysis provides a comprehensive look at the differences between various companies fracture cover, including how much is paid for different types of fracture and the various exclusions. Comprehensive information in one place, something I would suggest advisers should add to their browser favourites so that you can review this when making any recommendation about fracture cover.
Tomorrow is World Diabetes Day so on Tuesday Adam Higgs looked at how is diabetes covered in critical illness plans?. Some valuable insight here from our independent medical panel which I would suggest is well worth adding to your weekend reading as background to understand when talking to clients who suffer with the condition.
On Wednesday Amanda Newman Smith explored which income protection providers offer the best support for terminally ill clients? Obviously a highly emotive subject, but it’s really valuable to understand how different insurers approach this.
We are very close to deploying a new authentication system on Protection Guru. This will mean we will be able to provide even more detailed information and analysis to help advisers, but as this is content designed for industry professionals, rather than consumers, you will need to login to our site to use it in the near future. To achieve the most seamless experience, if you have not already done so please pre-register now using this link.
Users can register based on their email address or a Unipass certificate. In the interests of data security, we are now restricting the ability to use a web mail account (e.g. Googlemail, Hotmail, Outlook.com etc). It is over a decade since the FSA said these accounts are not suitable for use by regulated individuals, so we think it’s important to follow their guidance. For anyone that hasn’t migrated away from these accounts, you will still be able to register, but will need to use a Unipass certificate from Origo because of the extra layer of security this provides.
This week I also had the privilege of presenting to just under 400 advisers and other industry colleagues at a webinar for the Personal Finance Society on Why Protection should be consideres as part of every financial plan if you weren’t able to watch the session you can view it from this link.
I’ve written before in my end of week summary about why I am so concerned by the disparity between claims statistics on group risk and individual protection products. My Money Marketing column this week explores why Group risk is protections sick man. Our Protection Guru Forum last week revealed that a growing number of advisers are using small group risk products as an alternative to individual plans because there are currently fewer underwriting requirements. If you are an adviser taking this approach you may want to read my column above, do you really want to arrange a contract for clients where there is a far higher chance that if you do the insurer won’t pay the claim?
Interestingly, within hours of this column appearing this week one industry tech provider emailed me to say they have an off-the-shelf solution for some of the issues I highlighted. This emphasises that we are talking about a problem that group risk insurers could fix, but they choose not to In my opinion this needs to change. You can request tickets for our next Protection Guru Forum on December 2nd here
On a more positive note about group products, on our sister Benefits Guru site this week Jason Green produced some really detailed analysis of how different workplace pension providers are approaching
Financial wellness which providers are supporting their members and how (part one of two/) . If you want to receive the second instalment of this direct to your email inbox when you register to access Protection Guru remember to also request regular updates from Benefits Guru. Earlier in the week Benefits Guru explored Workplace communications who does better than paper
Have a great weekend everyone. If there are any comments of feedback on any of our analysis, please respond below or send me a message via LinkedIn.