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My initial experiences when engaging with added value benefits

My initial experiences when engaging with added value benefits

At the start of the year, I announced on LinkedIn that I was officially training for my first ever Triathlon. Being a complete novice at the discipline and having not done any real training of note for probably 15 years, I was humbled and hugely motivated by the words of encouragement and support I received. It really did show, what a tight knit and supportive industry we work in. My reasons for taking on the challenge were mainly health based, however I did think that this was a perfect opportunity to actually use some of the added value benefits I have access to and provide real life feedback on them. a month and a half on, here is what I have learned so far.

What I have access to and getting started

So across the various employee benefits I am lucky enough to have access to and my own private plans, I have access to AIG Smart Health, Aviva DigiCare+, Guardian Anytime and Vitality. The first thing I wanted to do was to make sure I was registered and signed up to each. Having previously used SmartHealth for a virtual GP consultation and Vitality for a range of things there was no need for me to register. I was also registered for Guardian’s online services as I had used the Lifestyle promise in previous years. Aviva however, I was not registered for and as I was a member of my wife’s group scheme, I had to ask her to obtain the details.

This was an interesting discussion, because for all intents and purposes, my wife has a fantastic benefits package, which we have taken as much advantage of as we can. Life and CI with Aviva is one of the options, however when I mentioned DigiCare+ and wanting to have access to this, my wife looked at me puzzled. After explaining to her what it is, she loved the idea of having access but had no idea how to go about it. Currently we are speaking to the employee benefits people in her company who are looking to arrange access.

Now, I certainly do not think that this is the fault of Aviva in this scenario, but it is certainly their problem. The company my wife works for has a complete online benefits extranet (apologies, I am unsure who provides it), where every year she can go on and select what benefits she wants access to. Rather geekily, I look forward to the period when we can sit down and work out what is on offer and what we should select. Every year we max out the life and CI cover on offer, but one thing that occurs to me is that there is no mention of the benefits of the cover anywhere. No mention of why an employee should have cover and certainly no mention of the additional benefits available. If I didn’t do what I do, there is no way that my wife would have even selected life and CI cover, let alone known what it offers.

The main issue I have found

This brings me on to the main point that this exercise has shown me so far and it is a fairly obvious one and one we at Protection Guru have been shouting about for a long time. If we want people to use the benefits available to them, we cannot just tell them about it once at point of advice (or when the policy is put on risk) and think that they will remember. We need to keep in touch with customers and remind them of their benefits and this applies to BOTH insurers and advisers. I accessed both SmartHealth and Vitality straight away, not necessarily because they offer the better benefits for what I need (more coming on this in the future), but because I receive a steady (and not irritatingly too frequent) flow of communications from them pointing out the benefits they offer and why I should use them.

I checked all the communications I had received from Guardian, and I can count on one hand the number of unsolicited emails I have received from them since I took out my policy in 2019. I have received nothing from my adviser in this period about the plan. Indeed, when I did eventually log in to MyGuardian, the only Guardian Anytime benefits on show are GP24/7 and 2nd Medical Opinion. “Emotional Wellbeing Consultations” and “Aches and pains consultations” (which I am keen to use due to a calf issue when running) are seemingly yet to be added.

None the less, my Triathlon training continues and in the coming month I will make a decision on which charity I will aim to support and raise funds for. My swimming and bike times are coming down fast (as is my waisteline). The running is a bit of an issue due to what a physio called “two of the tightest calves I have worked with in a while”. Lets hope the physio services I have access to can loosen them up quick!

In the coming months I will be providing more feedback on how I have used the services along with what I like, don’t like and interestingly, what it has saved me from a monetary perspective. It has been fascinating thus far (apologies the geek in me coming out again) and I am sure will be entertaining for you!

If you want to follow my training progress, you can via Strava here Adam Higgs | Strava Triathlete Profile


Everything else we covered on Protection Guru last week

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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