Select Page

How the protection industry is playing a bigger part in consumers everyday lives (and everything else from Protection Guru this week)

How the protection industry is playing a bigger part in consumers everyday lives (and everything else from Protection Guru this week)

In reading this article you will understand:

  • How the provision of Added Value Benefits can significantly change consumer behaviour across the market
  • How our Quality Analyser service can support your recommendations
  • Granular level detail of 4 key protection topic areas Protection Guru has analysed this week
  • How cancer is covered in critical illness plans, through a detailed piece from our panel of medical professionals
  • Adviser opinions on how insurers can better support them and serve consumers
  • Some of the options to consider if you are upgrading the technology in your firm

I believe one of the most positive developments in the protection market in recent years has been the addition of services which bring value to consumers in their day to day lives. This moves how consumers think about the protection. It becomes something they engage with regularly, rather than only when they are facing a catastrophe.

Credit must be given to Vitality who clearly initiated this change and still managed to touch their customers far more frequently than any other insurer. At one conference I attended in America the CEO of another insurer suggested this could be as much as 1,000 times a year, when historically other insurers might have managed at best one customer engagement a year. Added value benefits like virtual GP services, mental health support and even blood test based medical screening as offered by Aviva are significantly changing consumer behaviour across the market.

This week The Exeter published their Healthwise Report which you can download from here. This highlights how their customers are using the various added value medical services and how they have grown. It is really worth reading. I think it is great to see an insurer make such information readily available and I’d like to see more companies follow their lead, indeed I think there is a lot more information it would also be helpful to make public, demonstrating the level of use is a great way to show how the industry is really making a difference, especially during the pandemic.

Consumers have become increasingly used to accessing remote healthcare during the pandemic, something I expect to continue even after we emerge from the present emergency. It should also bring real benefits to the NHS in relieving the burden on surgeries, so that they can concentrate resources on the patients that need it most. My understanding is that as many as one in three people who use remote GP services avoid visiting their surgeries.

These new services do however bring a challenge. Advisers need to have a far more detailed understanding of which product and services are offered by which insurers and make recommendations accordingly. These features can vary significantly from insurer to insurer. Advisers can already generate detailed analysis of what is on offer in these areas using our free service and we are currently building some new tools to further help with this need. These will be going into beta test shortly and any advisers who are interested in having early access should drop me a line via here via LinkedIn.

On Thursday Adam Higgs looked at how different insurers are providing easier and faster access to GPs  for advisers clients and it is also worth reading our previous Everything you need to know  study on Value Added services.

Other subjects we explored this week included which income protection plans pay a lump sum on death and Income Protection how do minimum benefit guarantees measure up?

Recognising World Cancer Day how is cancer covered in critical illness plans Adam Higgs also worked with our medical panel to provide an explanation of some key issues around cancer that advisers should find helpful.

To wrap up the week we produced a new Everything You Need to Know study, this time looking at Age limits for various plans.

This includes:

Life cover for older clients, who offers what?

Who has the broadest age criteria for critical illness cover

What are the limits for children’s critical illness cover?

Which income protection plans offer cover to older clients?


Age limits on business protection Critical Illness how insurers compare

I would like to make a special call out today for our Protection Forum next Tuesday. These meetings really have been going from strength to strength since we moved to the online environment as a result of lockdown. The last meeting had 93 attendees from advisory firms large and small with a wide spectrum of advisers, both highly experienced and relative newcomers. Equally more and more people from insurers are attending and providing very positive feedback.

Each time we run a session more innovative ideas come forward about how we can better support advisers and serve consumers. Our December event was a great example of this when we asked advisers for ideas about how insurers could really transform services for advisers and their clients. Part one of this session can be found here  and this link goes to the second session.

Part one of the January meeting can be found here how can advisers be better supported in 2021 and part two on improving communication with clients is here. If you work in product design, technology or marketing for an insurer or any other organisation supporting advisers these are really worth a listen.

Regrettably, a few insurers are still not engaging with these meetings. I think they are really missing out on a great opportunity to engage with the vibrant adviser audience. I think reinsurers could also learn a huge amount from these events. Listening to the above session will highlight quite how much they are missing.

The agenda next Tuesday comprises a discussion on:

How can protection products better meet the needs of clients with changing income, this will be particularly valuable for anybody heavily involved in income protection


Which client demographics are we not meeting the needs of and what can we do to support them? Participation is free for advisers and supporting insurers, you can get tickets here.

I have been asked to highlight the Forum dates for the rest of the year so people can put them in their diaries. These are:

9th February at 11am

9th March at 11am

13th April at 11am

11th May at 11am

8th June at 11am

6th July at 11am

10th August at 11am

7th September at 1.30pm

5th October at 11am

9th November at 11am

7th December at 11am

Our site has updated the Ecosystem diagrams of all the players providing mortgage and protection technology to help advisers. This is really worth visiting if you are looking to upgrade the technology in your firm. There is a similar set of ecosystems for investment and pension advisers. These are, we believe, the most comprehensive list of advice technology in the UK market but if you know of a system we are not including or if you work for a company that provides one please let my colleague Adam Flowers know via LinkedIn.   

Over on Benefits Guru Jason Green produced an extended analysis of understanding auto enrolment postponement rules and how pension providers support them this is part-one and here is part two. This is a complex subject and Jason’s analysis should be really valuable to anyone trying to get their heads around the issues.

Have a great weekend everyone and I hope as many as possible of you can join us for Protection Forum next Tuesday morning.

Things to reflect on for CPD

  • What are the top three things you have learnt from this article and how can you apply them in your business?
  • How can you improve your knowledge of Added Value benefits to have better conversations with your customers?
  • Considering the cancer article, how will you use this to better portray the risks to your clients? Which clients from 2020 did not take critical illness cover and should be a priority for recontact? How will you do this?

About The Author


Ian McKenna is the founder of Protection Guru. A 40 year veteran of the financial advice and related technology markets. Having worked for insurance and financial advice firms in 1995 he set up Financial Technology Research Centre, which publishes Protection Guru over a decade before “fin tech“ was recognised as an industry term. He believes passionately that far more people can be protected by life insurance and related contracts if we can demystify these and make objective comparative information on policies more accessible.

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Contact Us


Protection Guru Awards

2024 Product Ratings

Cost of Living

Protection Forum

Provider Financial Strength Ratings

Claims facts & Figures

Visit our learning & development Hub


We use cookies to track usage of our website using Google Analytics. Click here to opt-out.
Share This