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Who are the best of the best when it comes to protection products?

Who are the best of the best when it comes to protection products?

It is no surprise that our product ratings have become the most popular page on the whole Protection Guru website. Our service is all about helping advisers understand the quality and detail of protection products and the simple one-page summaries provide a quick but comprehensive analysis of who offers the best products in the market for each different product type that advisers can use to support recommendations, including printing or downloading them to keep on compliance files.

This week we published our ratings for 2021. Advisers can reach these either via the overall Product Ratings homepage or by clicking directly on the following links for each individual product category. I have summarised how many providers get gold in each category and how many we benchmark overall below:

In Life Protection only 5 out of 15 plans get our top gold rating, click the link to find out who they are.

For Income Protection Ratings only 9 out of 24 plans get our gold award, again click the link to find out who?

For stand-alone Mortgage Protection 6 out of 12 plans make the gold grade, by now you know how to find out who.

Looking at Mortgage Protection with Critical Illness we measure 32 different product combinations but only 12 get gold.

For Critical Illness without Children’s cover we look at 22 plans but only 9 get gold

For Critical Illness with Children’s cover 35 products are assessed with only 12 achieving gold standard.

Stand-alone Family Income Benefit sees 9 products assessed and 5 getting gold.

Family Income Benefits with Critical Illness looks at 20 products assessed but only 5 make gold.

For Business Protection Life Only we assess 9 products of which 5 get gold.

Business Protection with Critical Illness covers 12 products and eight get gold.

For some insurers, you can also obtain a one-page summary of their strengths in different areas of each product type. Examples can be found here for:

LV= Life Protection

Guardian Critical Illness with Children

Royal London Income Protection

We believe any adviser needing a quick way to assess product quality will find these pages really useful and while we would encourage the use of our various free tools like and the product features report in iPipeline Solution Builder for detailed analysis, if you are looking for a quick assessment our ratings can give advisers this in seconds.

A quick reminder that today is the last day you can vote for Protection Guru in the Health & Protection Awards. If you haven’t done so already and you could spare the time we would really appreciate it if you could vote for us in the following categories (11) Best Pandemic Response, (15) Best Marketing and Sales Support for Advisers, and (16) Company of the Year. The above link will take you to the full voting form so you will need to complete your other votes first, the categories we are asking for votes for are on the second page. Your support in this will be hugely appreciated.

Our next Protection Forum on 11th May will have a slightly different format to usual. This session looks at strategic issues around growing protection sales in the mortgage market and what we can learn from the pandemic. The agenda items are:

  • How can we help the mortgage industry achieve more protection sales?
  • What has the pandemic taught us about protection sales, and about closing those sales?

Every month these sessions become more and more popular with both advisers and insurers and if you’ve not got your ticket for the next event click here to book your place. See information below if you have not been before and want to review the content of a previous meeting.

Turning to our normal weekly output this week on Protection Guru, in addition to our ratings on Monday Adam Higgs highlighted an updated Showcase Page with his insight What does Aviva’s DigiCare+ provide to clients? Again, our showcase pages are proving hugely popular with advisers as they give concise but granular analysis of the strengths of providers different propositions, while at the same time calling out any areas where possibly there is room for improvement. Also they should be a really valuable guide for supporting suitability and recommendations.

On Tuesday we produced two insight studies. The first came from Amanda Newman Smith who looked at Which insurers help clients with life limiting illnesses? This was followed by Adam’s coverage of Johnny Timpson’s Purple Tuesday initiative around Why improving inclusivity and accessibility should be a priority for all. I have been involved in a lot of conversations around claims this week and what we can do as an industry to improve the claim service we provide to consumers, after all this is what they really pay their money for. I think a great example of this is highlighted in Adam’s look at Project Teddy – how Aviva have been supporting the children of clients but I would also want to direct people to the analysis Adam produced a couple of weeks ago on Zürich and how they have paid fracture cover claims in the last year. Reviewing this study may well change the way you think about fracture cover and the clients it is suitable for.

In addition to announcing our ratings as outlined above on Thursday we published the summary of our March Protection Forum event which looked at Making income protection more relevant – highlights from our Protection Forum. This is a goldmine for anyone involved with the designing income protection products and considering how to grow income protection sales in the future. Advisers on the call explained the challenges they face when recommending income protection and the areas they would like to see improved to make these products better for modern consumers. It highlights that while income protection is a good product there is a lot to do to make it as good as it could be. This session provides the evidence to support real innovation from insurers.

We wrapped up the week with our Added Value Benefits for businesses – everything you need to know which pulled together insights comparing:

  • Legal support to businesses
  • Scottish Widows ‘Clinic in a Pocket’
  • Second Medical Opinion Services
  • Health checks
  • Mental health support

Over on Benefits Guru, Jason Green began the week with the next in his series on Payroll Integrations – which providers integrate with Workday. On Thursday Jason turned to Understanding fund factsheets and examined the formats offered by pension providers, what is included and how they are managed.

There is a lot of exciting new content coming on Adviser over the next few months as we start to publish a growing body of research on advice technology and how it can help firms. Adam Flowers published an analysis on Thursday which examined How the Opal planning tool helps achieve client goals. Ortec Finance, the company behind Opal, are a key partner in the new St James’s Place wealth management technology offering so anyone wanting to understand SJP up-coming tech really should read this study.

Finally, our May Investment Forum Meeting will take place on 25th May. A small panel of advisers will be discussing lessons that have been learned from working during the pandemic, and particularly which changes it is important for platforms and insurers to continue to adopt once normal life resumes. To book your place click here.

Have a great weekend.

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.

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