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Product innovation abounds as Legal & General and The Exeter introduce genuinely unique features.

Product innovation abounds as Legal & General and The Exeter introduce genuinely unique features.

When product updates get announced in the protection world all too often there is a healthy dose of hype with marketing departments talking up relatively minor changes. This week was different; on Monday and Tuesday we saw genuine innovation of the kind the market really needs.

The Exeter kicked off first thing Monday morning by addressing two really important issues. First they extended the range of occupations their plan can support by adding sick pay matching for NHS medical professionals and teachers. In addition, they have taken a step towards addressing one of the biggest shortcomings in the income protection market, the ability to adapt to change. Regular attendees to our Protection Guru Forums will know this is an issue that has been raised regularly by advisers and it’s great to see The Exeter getting stuck in and creating more flexibility in their plan.

Adam Higgs was quick off the mark producing the first detailed analysis of this launch and all it has to offer. This should be essential reading for every adviser.   We also updated The Exeter’s showcase page to reflect these changes and provide a concise objective summary of the key issues advisers need to evaluate when considering these products. 

On Tuesday it was Legal & General’s turn to innovate as they unveiled new unique support benefit. This time Rob Harvey provided the analysis of the real detail advisers need to understand and again later the same day we updated Legal & General’s showcase page to provide a concise summary of their overall proposition.

Claims case studies can play an invaluable role in helping demonstrate to consumers that insurers really do pay out so on Wednesday it was good to be able to add two new claims videos from Aviva to our  The stories behind critical illness claims. Many advisers tell us they find this page helpful when dealing with objections from potential clients so these new videos should further strengthen their case.

In our other studies this week on Tuesday, Adam looked at Who provides more relevant income protection cover for teachers?  Wednesday’s insight from Amanda Newman Smith asked What are the age limits for income protection insurance?

Fracture cover has become an increasingly popular benefit so on Thursday, Rob looked at how the landscape has changed now  comparing Legal & General  with the other insurers who provide this option.

We wrapped the week up with Rob’s Protection insurance support benefits – 5 things you should read insight, which covered:

  • New Legal & General benefits
  • Fracture cover
  • Health screenings
  • Mental health support
  • Guardian’s GP service for advisers announcement

We also had some big changes on our advisersoftware.com site this week as each day we started publishing an analysis of different software suppliers propositions. We currently have around 100 different advice tech propositions examined in detail in our advice tech hub, and we will be providing this analysis on a daily basis to help advisers understand the full range of technology options that can help them improve their businesses.

Each of these studies are produced by my colleague Adam Flowers who leads content creation for both AdviserSoftware.com and particularly our Adviser Tech Hub. From time to time, we will produce more detailed pieces of propositions and key market issues and these will all be wrapped up in my end of week summary

On Monday  we started with a look at  AdviceObjects who provide both wealth practice management, client portal and financial planning, cashflow modelling & retirement planning tools. On Tuesday we explored Prestwood’s Truth cashflow modelling tool.

Wednesday was the turn of Sprint Enterprise, with their Fastrak Client Portal and Fastrak Portfolio Rebalancing Software. On Thursday we showcased Adviser Cloud’s practice management system and client portal. We wrapped up the week today with a look at the portfolio analysis tools from CleverAdviser and CleverAdviser Model Portfolio Service.

If you are a technology supplier that already has an entry in our Adviser Tech Hub your proposition will be promoted over the coming months, but any firm not already included in our analysis should contact Adam Flowers.

On Benefits Guru this Tuesday, Jason Green provided a Ratings Recap, examining which providers scored best in our inaugural Financial Wellness Ratings?  The full medals tables can be found on Benefits Guru under the following links:

On Thursday Jason looked at Understanding the different provider approaches to scheme establishment.

If the weather forcasts are to be believed most of the country is in for a great weekend so I hope you all have a chance to enjoy it.

About The Author

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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.

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