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Can added value benefits keep the north pole running?

Can added value benefits keep the north pole running?

Over the last couple of years “added value benefits” have become a core component of most protection plans. It seems that every insurer now offers wider benefits that can help consumers stay healthy both in mind and body as well as benefits that can improve recovery or lessen the effects of injury or ill health. With Christmas fast approaching we wondered how such benefits might be utilized in the hard-working machine that is the North Pole and which members of Santa’s team are most likely to use the different services available.

As we all know the scale of the North Pole’s operation is enormous. It is estimated that there are in excess of 2 billion children in the world and as such the preparation required for Christmas Day is no mean feat. Whilst Santa and his reindeer seem to take all the glory spare a thought for his team of elves that have been feverishly building and wrapping presents for that one night where the children of the world’s dreams come true.

Whilst the elves seem to be the forgotten heroes of the Christmas story, it must be them that suffer the stresses and strains of ensuring that the toys they create go to the right children and that no child is forgotten. Imagine being the elf that is in charge of the naughty or nice list and getting it wrong. On top of this I am sure that given the close proximity that the elves work in there must be budding romances, marriages and inevitably break ups. Such stresses will take a strain and as such providing a good counselling service that can give the elves someone to talk through their problems with would no doubt go a long way to ensuring the smooth running of the whole operation.

The North Pole is clearly a magical place, however if you check the weather conditions it is also a harsh place to live. Whilst Santa has his fair share of magic dust, it doesn’t to my knowledge stave off the affects of the weather and the North Pole must be a hot spot for colds, flu and viruses (yes elves can get sick!). The one thing that is not prevalent in the North Pole is GP surgeries. As such, providing 24-hour access to GPs should be a must as the last thing Santa wants is for one elf to turn up to work and infect the whole of the workforce which could bring present making to a halt. For those that need medication they will be able to benefit from a direct prescription, however we may need to rely on the Christmas mail system to deliver the actual medication.

Outside of the elves, the next hardest working employees of the North Pole must be the reindeer. It is clear that magic is in play to help them fly, however pulling a sleigh with billions of presents, not to mention a slightly overweight Santa, cannot be good for their backs. Indeed, they must be glad that Christmas comes only once a year as they must spend the rest of the year recovering. To help with the recovery a few good sessions of rehabilitation must be required, and the physiotherapy offered by many insurers to those that are injured (or just fatigued) would do just the trick.

With the elves and reindeer somewhat looked after we turn to the big man himself. His “ho, ho, ho” is infamous, however so is his fondness for mince pies and brandy! I have never seen Santa’s BMI stats however I would hasten a guess that it is worse on 26th December than it is when he sets off late on Christmas Eve. At some point old St Nic is going to have to work off those extra pounds and a good nutrition and fitness program could be just the thing he needs to ensure that he is fighting fit for next year’s shenanigans (he doesn’t strike me as someone that will follow Davina’s latest fitness DVD).

Perhaps the biggest problem currently facing the North Pole is global warming. There has been much press recently surrounding the deadly diseases that are being released as a result of melting ice caps and GPs may struggle to diagnose such conditions if a member of Santa’s crew was struck down. Accessing a specialist in rare diseases could be vital and the second medical opinion services offered by many insurers could save a poor elf’s life by not only helping diagnose the condition, but providing a suitable treatment plan to get them back on their feet.

Of course, prevention is better than the cure so all residents of the North Pole would hugely benefit from a health check to make sure that the risk of any serious illness is detected early and dealt with before it becomes a bigger issue. I am not sure there are many places in the North Pole for Santa’s motly crew to visit for a face to face physical so a finger prick test delivered by the Polar Express would be just the job. Just imagine santa and the all the elves frantically windmilling their arms trying to get that last bit of blood out to fill their vial. I just hope there is a measuring tap long enough to go around Santa’s waist. 

Being a part of the North Pole operation must be both physically and mentally demanding, it must also be one of the most rewarding roles in world (for one day a year at least). Keeping the different elements of the workforce in good health, both physically and mentally, must be difficult but as highlighted in this insight the protection industry provides many features that could help with this.

From all of us at Protection Guru, we hope you have a fantastic festive period!


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About The Author

Adam Higgs

Adam leads Protection Guru's detailed protection research and benchmarking of both product and operation features provided by insurers and has a vast knowledge of the protection market. He has been instrumental in building the protection comparison service Quality Analyser and maintaining the data to enable adviser to quickly and easily compare protection products based on qualitative measures. He also works with adviser firms to help in panel reviews and with insurers to help them understand the shape of the market, their strengths and the areas that could be improved in their products. In his spare time and when not spending time with his wife and two children, Adam is a keen Arsenal fan and enjoys hacking his way around a golf course.


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