What use are great protection claims statistics if no one knows about them?

There have been some great headlines recently shouting about how many protection claims we paid last year.

Here’s one from Money Marketing Magazine.

“Protection industry paid out £3.1bn in 2013”

And another from Financial Adviser magazine.

“ABI: Insurers paid out 97% of protection claims”

Undoubtedly these are great protection claims statistics. As Dougie Grant from Aegon says in the Financial Adviser piece, “The figures released by the ABI today shatter the illusion that insurance companies don’t pay claims and demonstrate how important it is to have cover in place.”

You can’t argue with that.

Protection Claims Statistics

But as great as these figures are it’s like hundreds of trees falling in the forest. You won’t hear them fall unless you are there to see them. The public still think that protection providers actively try to avoid paying claims. In fact they think that we pay out less than 40%. And articles in the Daily Mail and features on BBC Watchdog fuel that perception.

Only a very few people will go looking for great claims statistics like this. Confirmation bias means that they’ll seek out the negative articles that confirm their belief that we don’t pay.

Articles like this are great for an adviser to whip out when a client  raises the question about a companies willingness to pay. But main stream audiences aren’t seeing them.

So what are we doing to promote these amazing claims statistics? Where are the case studies with claimants? Where are the video testimonials from clients? Where are the interviews with people holding their cheques?

Statistics alone will not change deeply rooted perceptions. We need to tell the stories of the people whose lives have been affected.

Or better still let them tell their stories themselves.

Do you agree? Leave a comment below and share your thoughts.

The Only Hope for Protection Market Growth is the “Social” Financial Adviser

Protection continues to struggle. According to Swiss Re’s Term and Health Watch report 2014, term insurance sales are down 17.4% year on year, critical illness cover is down 21% and income protection is down 24%.

We’ve talked for years about what we can do to make protection grow. Is it generic TV advertising? Or simpler products?

Whilst some companies are dabbling with new direct to consumer approaches, providers to the adviser sector seem content to add complexity to existing products to keep their slice of a shrinking cake.

I think it is up to the financial adviser to stimulate protection market growth – and I’m speaking about this at the Financial Liverpool May event.

Protection Market Growth

Here’s an outline of what I’m going to cover.

Protection is the cornerstone of anyone’s financial existence. And yet the market remains flat and consumers remain indifferent.

Providers are locked in a price and conditions war that layers more complexity onto products and processes. Complexity requires advice but complexity doesn’t engage clients or grow markets.

I believe that the only way we can grow the market now is through advisers using social media and content to find more customers. The “Social” Financial adviser is now key to future success.

In this presentation we’ll consider:

  • The current state of the protection market and its products. There’s no going back from complexity, but how can we better help clients understand what’s available

  • Will complexity in the adviser market drive clients to buy direct? Many providers seem to think that D2C is the way forward for protection. Is this true?

  • How can advisers grow the market using social media and content? For most consumers financial services are of no interest until suddenly it is the most important thing on their minds. How can we be there when it “gets urgent”?

To find out more about the event please click here.

If you can’t make it – I’ll post my script as another post in June.

Now it’s your turn: What do you think about growth in the protection market? Do we need TV advertising? Will more D2C products increase awareness and encourage more people to seek financial advice? Is the only hope for protection market growth the “Social” Financial Adviser?

Please leave a comment or a link to your own blog or article.

Avoiding Airline Check In Queues and Speeding Up Protection

Why does everything seem so complicated these days?

Especially with so much online technology which should speed up processes and make customer experiences better.

I asked this question in my latest Blog for Financial Reporter with specific reference to the time it can take to process a piece of protection business. In the article I draw a tangent to my trick for avoiding airline check in queues. Check it out. It’s guaranteed to mean you’ll never have to queue at check in again.

Click on the photo below to link to the article.

Speeding Up Protection

Now it’s your turn: What cheeses you off about complex modern processes? What would you like to see technology change? What can we do to go about speeding up protection? Do you think protection sales would benefit from a much quicker application process? And what “premium” could we charge for that?