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Consumer trust in protection advice and everything else we covered last week

Consumer trust in protection advice and everything else we covered last week

I suppose as is the British way I should start this week’s round-up by commenting on the weather. It’s certainly warm, so I hope everyone is coping okay.

I’d like to begin this week though by highlighting some recent research by The Association of Mortgage Intermediaries and an initiative on LinkedIn by adviser Scott Taylor-Barr. According to AMI’s November 2021 Viewpoint research ‘Protection: Moving Forward’, almost half of consumers believe that the main motivation for their adviser recommending protection insurance was to increase the commission they earn. In other words, clients felt that the protection conversation was simply a sales pitch for the adviser to earn more money, rather than an sincere recommendation based on their needs.  

A worrying finding, this points to a number of potential issues, from consumer trust in protection and advice, to the way protection insurance is sometimes ‘sold’ (arguably to some extent because unlike other financial products many consumers still do not automatically see a need for it). Interestingly the topic came up on a recent Protection Forum, where we discussed the importance of advisers actually believing in the product and being genuinely passionate about it, rather than regarding protection advice as merely a transactional sales process.

In response to the research, Scott Taylor-Barr, himself an adviser and AMI board member, has kicked off a great initiative on LinkedIn, encouraging advisers to speak about their own protection. As Scott says, this will hopefully highlight to clients that the majority of advisers see real value in protection insurance and put their money where their mouth is when it comes to protecting themselves and their families.  

I purchased my own income protection, critical illness and life cover back in 2016 whilst working as an adviser and whilst I’ve fortunately had no cause to claim on it, certainly wouldn’t be without it (particularly as it actually gives me access to a lot of extras I do use on a fairly regular basis). So many initially sceptical clients I spoke to over the years changed their view, when they knew that the person they were speaking to had spent their own money on the product and was speaking with sincerity and a genuine belief in it’s value.  

You can watch Scott’s video here and of course get involved on LinkedIn, or anywhere else for that matter.

Turning to our regular Protection Guru content from last week, we kicked off the week on Monday with an insight examining which critical illness plans support parents when their child is hospitalised?

We continued with the children’s critical illness theme on Tuesday, but this time looking at a unique option from Guardian and Vitality, allowing clients to purchase children’s critical illness cover as a bolt-on to an adult life-only policy. An option that gives clients the possibility of protecting their children without having to pay a higher premium for adult critical illness, if they can’t afford it or don’t need it.

Wednesday’s insight focused on which insurers provide cover for overseas treatment for the client or their children, highlighting options from AIG, Aviva and Zurich.

Inflation and rising living costs is of course a hot topic at the moment, so on Thursday we published the first of two insights looking at index-linked protection insurance. Part 1 focused on why we believe index-linked cover is an essential policy benefit. Part 2, which will be published this week will examine some of the nuances in how each insurer offers index-linked cover.

We finished the week on Friday with a look at our upcoming 2022 Protection Guru Awards and a reminder of the various adviser and insurer categories. There’s still time to enter and cast your votes, so check out the insight or the dedicated awards page for all the details.

Have a great week everyone.  

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