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Positive people – Why the next generation are the future

Positive people – Why the next generation are the future

Given we are still in the holiday period it was another busy week in the protection market. This began with Aviva’s moves to simplify critical illness wordings. Anything companies can do to simplify wordings is good and categorising conditions is a good move to help consumers better understand what they are covered for. Aviva have become the latest insurer to use a body image to illustrate this and it is well worth spending some time exploring.

This week we also we ran the first of a series of regular articles from dedicated protection advisers exploring their approach to giving advice to different types of clients the first is Nina’s top tips for advising twentysomethings. If you have not come across Nina Brown yet you really should start following her on social media. Nina is one of a growing army of protection advisers who are taking a fresh and direct approach to protection, making it simple for people to understand and relate to. Even those of us, like me who have 40 years’ experience in the industry have a lot we can learn from Nina and her peers.

I have a growing view that it is time for those of us who have long industry careers to spend more time listening to what the next generation of advisers can teach us. Fresh thinking can be invaluable, especially in a world where wider issues have rewritten consumer thinking and values.

The primary objective of Protection Guru is to grow the amount of families and businesses protecting their loved ones and their lives and their incomes. To do so I am a firm believer that life offices and reinsurers need to spend more time listening to the people who actually give advice.

I recently got ejected from an industry group because I was clearly not deferential enough to underwriters and reinsurers patronising views about how advisers should do things. I completely reject their arrogant belief that they should they dictate how advisers should work. The truth is most underwriters and reinsurers have never sat in front of a client in their lives.

Protection Guru is committed to giving a voice to all types of adviser to share their first-hand experience of what life is like in the real-world giving advice, so the whole industry can learn from their experience. Our regular online Forums are a key part of that process. One of the topics explored by our July forum was adviser views on advances in underwriting that-would-help them This should be essential reading for anyone working for a life company or reinsurer. You will not like some of what is said, but that does not make it any less true. Our next Forum is on Wednesday 2nd September and if you have not yet got a ticket you can request one from the bottom of the page linked to above. The meeting will continue you the theme of how to make life easier for the adviser, this time focusing on what are the little things insurers do that bug advisers. In addition the meeting will explore what the protection journey looks like from a customer perspective and how this could be improved.

Yesterday we looked at Which policies cover Critical Illness during Underwriting some very useful analysis for advisers trying to get this cover in place in a hurry. Probably worth adding to your favourites for those regularly in this situation.

Adam Higgs wrapped up our coverage at the end of the week with the latest of his Everything you need to know summaries, this time on when is medical evidence automatically requested. It links to underlying analysis on the approach to medical evidence for Life, Critical Illness, Income Protection and Family income benefit.

Elsewhere in the market Bankhall and PMS MS Ross Linton wrote what I think is an excellent article in Money Marketing asking Is protection part of your regular chats with clients? Julian Stevens however chose to counter with a suggestion that some advisers “just don’t want the hassle of it all. Who can blame them?” I think this is a very dangerous attitude for any wealth adviser to take from a regulatory perspective.

As Alan Knowles pointed out to me yesterday “I don’t remember seeing an exemption for “too much hassle” under duty of care. It does appear far too many wealth advisers and financial planners have not recognised the very clear regulatory obligations they have under MiFID and IDD. If they identify a protection need, and do not address it themselves, they need to make sure the client is directed to someone who can.

I am delighted to see a number of emerging protection industry champions including Matthew Chapman, Lee Flanagan and Bryan Chipchase, put robust alternative views to Julian. The article and the comments are really well worth a read.

Have a wonderful bank holiday weekend everyone. Having some insight into new things that are coming in September and October it is going to be a very busy couple of months ahead.

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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