How the cost of living crisis will impact the protection market and everything else we covered last week
As the current cost of living crisis intensifies we heard last week that inflation is expected to hit 11% by the autumn, the highest increase in over 40 years (we’ll have an indexation insight published shortly). Soaring price increases are exerting a major pressure on household incomes and likely to force many to make spending cutbacks. As far as our industry is concerned, there is of course a risk that all of this will have a negative impact, both for new business and existing business.
I want to start this weekly round-up therefore by highlighting our upcoming July Protection Forum, where we’ll be discussing protection insurance during the cost of living crisis. Specifically we’ll be examining what advisers and insurers can do to continue to grow the market and generate good volumes of new business, whilst at the same time ensuring clients continue to be protected and we don’t see an increase in policy lapses.
The forum will take place on Tuesday 5th July, between 12:00pm-2:00pm and advisers can register for their free ticket here.
Arguably, one of the ways advisers can ensure policies stick and clients are not tempted to lapse their cover is through placing a greater emphasis on the initial advice process and where possible, avoiding a cost/price driven transactional sales process. When clients fully understand the importance of both protection insurance itself, and also the quality of the product and it’s suitability to meet their specific needs, then hopefully they’ll be less included to view it as an unnecessary waste of money. This is one of the key things that has driven our development of ProtectionGuruPro, to support advisers with their protection recommendations.
We’ve had some great feedback so far from advisers who are using ProtectionGuruPro:
“I absolutely love the system though and it has been so helpful in selling the products and being able to support my suitability letters with the reports.”
“I’ve found it really, really useful. Not comparing on both [price and quality] has been a deliberate choice. I’m not looking to provide customers with the lowest price (unless that is their highest priority, in which case it will show on sourcing), but quality of product for their needs.”
For anyone who has not yet tried ProtectionGuruPro it’s completely free to access until the end of August, thanks to sponsorship from HSBC Life and can be easily accessed using your main Protection Guru website login details.
We’ve designed ProtectionGuruPro to be as simple to use as possible, but for anyone who wants to know more about how it works Adam Higgs published last week a round-up of all our training content and guides. These bitesize training resources provide an easy overview of each step of the process in creating a quality comparison report. You can also register for one of our training webinars here.
As you’re all hopefully aware of by now we also recently announced our 2022 Protection Guru Awards, which will be taking place on Friday 7th October. We’ve already had some fantastic entries from advisers and plenty of nominations, as well as lots of advisers voting in our insurer awards. Individual advisers, firms and networks have until 31st August to submit entries in our various categories, which you can find here.
Any advisers who have logged onto our site over the last week will have see the insurer award voting, which we’ll continue to run over the coming weeks. If you’d like to cast your votes in all of the insurer categories in one go, you can find all the details here.
Turning to our regular Protection Guru content, we started last week on Monday with an insight examining how critical illness plans cover prostate cancer. As with all of these critical illness condition insights, our panel of doctors (who support us with the benchmarking of critical illness plans that you see on ProtectionGuruPro) provide an expert medical overview of the condition itself and some of the nuances in coverage across different policies.
Tuesday’s insight covered the second session of output content from our recent June Protection Forum, this time covering the role that insurers can play in driving up industry advice standards. For anyone who missed it, this was a fascinating session where we heard from Mike Pritchard, Distribution Quality & Retention Commercial Manager at Legal & General and Andy Philo, Director of Strategic Partnerships at Vitality. Amongst other things, they touched on how data is used to both monitor the quality of submissions, but also support advisers with improving business quality and driving down lapses.
Finally, on Wednesday we focused on a detailed product analysis, this time Executive Income Protection Insurance. Whilst still only offered by a very small number of insurers, this sometimes overlooked product can provide an excellent income protection for small businesses and company directors, by having the business foot the cost of the policy. Our insight provided a comprehensive summary of how the product works and some of the differences between individual plans that advisers should be aware of.
Wishing all of our readers a successful week!