Protection is a daft name for personal insurances.
I’ve always known that but inertia means we all stick to using it. But maybe it’s about time we did change it to something that means more to our customers.
Google “protection” and you won’t find links to financial products like life insurance and critical illness cover on the first few pages.
You’ll find insect repellant, condoms, airbags, and warm clothing. To the man on the street, it’s fairly obvious what these products provide protection against.
- Insect repellent protects you from getting eaten alive by mosquitos when you go to the Caribbean. Or by midges if you go to Scotland.
- Condoms protect against unwanted pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases.
- Airbags protect car drivers and their passengers against injury in an accident.
- Warm clothes protect you against the cold.
So, following the same logic from those bleeding obvious statements, it’s easy to work out what protection insurance is for. Isn’t it?
- Life insurance protects you from dying.
- Critical illness insurance protects you from getting a critical illness.
But of course they don’t, do they?
- Life insurance protects your family or business against the financial consequences of dying.
- Critical illness cover protects you, your family or business against the financial consequences of getting a critical illness.
So it’s not immediately obvious what our type of protection does. We need to explain it. And we don’t engage people, as a result.
So what could we call it as an alternative?
I recently took out a week’s trial on a software package called Grammarly. For writers, it checks grammar, spelling and points out when you overdose on passive language. My son was finding English difficult at school and I thought it would help. I forgot about the seven-day deadline and soon had a year’s subscription. I started using it to check my work.
First of all it shouted at me.
I was using the word “protection” too often it screamed.
Helpfully it provided some alternatives. “Security” was its favourite. But “security” is just as inappropriate as “protection”. So no help from Grammarly just a reminder that I overuse a term no one understands.
Then I was listening to Alan Newman speaking at the Protect Association meeting in London on the 16 January.
He suggested we should rename protection as, “Financial Rescue”.
I like that.
Then the geek in me started thinking about International Financial Rescue and I started humming the Thunderbirds theme tune.
In my head, I could already see the TV advert (and the size of the budget I’d need to pay the royalties to Gerry Anderson’s estate).
- Thunderbird One is life insurance.
- Thunderbird Two is critical illness cover.
- And Thunderbird Three is income protection.
Take out a subscription to International Financial Rescue and if you become ill or die they’ll send in the Financial Thunderbirds to sort you or your family out.
Now it’s Your Turn:
Okay International Financial Rescue exposes me as a Sci-Fi Fanboy. But that a better way of describing protection insurance? What do you think? What other alternatives could we use? Please post your ideas as a comment below. Or post a link to your own articles.