Why there has never been a better time to be in Life Insurance & Protection market
It was great to see a new study reveal consumers are three times more likely to insure against loss of income or illness post COVID-19 confirming the increasing mood of optimism there has been in the adviser market in recent weeks. This compares starkly with the mood amongst many investment advisers which is increasingly downcast, with Money Marketing reporting that COVID-19 could trigger a greater IFA exodus than RDR.
In recent years a growing number of networks have been training mortgage and protection advisers to obtain investment permissions, perhaps it is time for some reskilling the other way. If there is a growing demand for protection it must be time for more wealth managers and financial planners to start making protection a core part of their services.
Personally, I can’t understand how someone can call themselves a “financial planner” and not include protection in their recommendations. Similarly saying you manage wealth, without protecting an individual’s health and income seems a less than comprehensive service. Now advisers who do not want to upgrade their protection skills, can now signpost clients to adviser who will help.
This also offers huge potential for advisers who want to help more clients. Johnny Timpson, Cabinet Office Disability and access champion for insurance, insists signposting is not a closed shop and that more advisers are welcome to join the process. He will be explaining how to do so at our Forum next week as well as many other subjects (see the full agenda below).
You can read and hear highlights from our June 2020 Forum from this link. As well as the many key figures in the protection market who are long term participants in our forums, as the event was online we were able to open it up to many more people and we had many contribution from less well know faces, a number of whom are clearly the future stars of our industry. I would urge you to listen to what they say. More content from the June forum will be going online next week so watch out for that.
The full agenda for the Wednesday 22nd July Forum covers:
- What do advice firms need to do to be part of the signposting initiative?
- How can firms receive signposted enquiries?
- How can firms refer leads to signposting firms?
- The role of specialists in certain illnesses/conditions in signposting
- Advances in underwriting that would help advisers?
- What underwriting processes would advisers like to see change and why?
- How can insurers help advisers understand and communicate underwriting decisions in the post COVID-19 world?
We anticipate this session will be particularly valuable for any firms who recognise the need for their clients to receive protection advice but do not wish to provide that advice themselves. Also, for protection advisers who want to become firms that leads can be signposted to as part of this initiative.
The Protection Guru Product Features report that is now part of the iPipeline Solution Builder multi quote comparison is becoming increasingly popular with advisers. In just 60 seconds advisers can produce a one-page comparison of both price and quality to facilitate a conversation about what represents best values for the client. As a biproduct of this we can now examine in significant detail which different product features are preferred by advisers and clients when choosing protection products.
On Monday Adam Higgs showed some highlights of what can be learned from this data in his analysis What are the most popular income protection product features? The more I look at this data the more fascinating it is, especially when you drill down into how feature preference changes based on various demographics such as the age of the client. If anyone would like to discuss having access to this data in more detail please drop me a message.
It was also great to see Adam Higgs first contribution to Professional Paraplanner go online the same day, when Adam explored key issues around the differences between Life and Critical Illness options
On Wednesday we added Legal & General, Royal London and Vitality added to our operational reports. These are proving very popular accounting for around 10% of all visits to Protection Guru this month. We think this analysis can play an important part in helping firms wanting to conduct panel review processes to understand who is easy for advisers to do business with. The heat map now shows a very clear picture of where different life companies need to improve their offerings.
Given the exhaustive data we now hold on protection providers from both a product and operational perspective we can carry our detailed due diligence for firms on panel reviews very quickly so if this is a service you need help with again please drop me a message.
It was great to be able to publish detailed analysis on Guardian via their overall showcase page plus two further pages covering the Guardian Life Protection products and Guardian Critical Illness products. Again these pages appear to have been well received by advisers and I am grateful to Mathew Chapman from Plus Protect, Amanda Wilson from Right Mortgage and Steve Berry from PRIMIS Mortgage Network for their positive comments on social media. Showcase pages are a process where insurers commission Protection Guru to cast our critical eye over their proposition and produce an analysis which highlights their strengths while at the same time, we always look at how they can do better. More and more insurers are now engaging with this process so look out for similar analysis for others next week.
Finally, as a result of COVID-19 we dramatically increased the level of content we produce for Protection Guru. For the most part that has been met with an overwhelmingly positive response but if we are sending you too much information it is really easy to change your email preferences via the link at the bottom of the mail we sent you if you would like to hear from us less frequently.
Have a great weekend everyone.