Protection Insurance: 3 Steps to Fighting Against Confirmation Bias

It won’t happen to me. It’s too expensive. Life insurance companies will try to wriggle out of paying.

3 reasons repeatedly given by people why they won’t buy protection insurance (life cover, critical illness or income protection).

Protection Insurance

You’d think that with all the digital communications technology available, we’d be able to change these views. But they’ve endured for years despite evidence to the contrary.

Take the assertion that life companies will try anything they can to avoid paying out. Each year most companies publish their claims statistics showing this is clearly not true. Payouts are in the high 90 percents.

But look at the results of some recent research published by British Friendly.

They found only 2 per cent believe we pay income protection claims more than 90% of the time. And nearly 1 in 5 say we pay claims less than 20 per cent of the time.

Almost half believe we deliberately try not to pay them.

Why such a wide gap between what the public thinks and reality?

A Phenomenon called “Confirmation Bias”.

People seek information that confirms their view-point. If they believe that life companies deliberately wriggle out of paying, they can easily find articles, news reports and videos confirming they are correct. If they find any information proving they are wrong they’ll subconsciously ignore it.

The truth of the matter is there aren’t enough positive stories out there to balance out, or even override the negative.

Fighting against confirmation bias should be our number one marketing communications goal.

Here are three things we must do:

Stop believing the annual publication of claims stats, laudable as it is, reaches anything other than a few people, probably clients of advisers, outside of the industry. The public do not read Cover, FT Adviser or Money Marketing.

Start flooding the Internet with positive stories about paid claims and the families whose finances we’ve saved. The 7 Families campaign has the right idea, but 7 stories do not constitute a flood. Every provider and adviser must put out content, articles, videos, audio,  and interviews all building on the statistical truth that we pay claims with emotional stories showing the results.

Start using social media to drive Internet traffic to these positive stories so eventually, and it will take a long time, when people go looking for information to confirm their bias, they’ll find it harder to ignore the truth.

Digital communications technology means we can do this cheaply and efficiently. Come on. Let’s do it!

A question for you: What content would you like to see out there to help improve customer views about protection insurance? Click to share your thoughts on Twitter or Facebook or LinkedIn. And Google+ if you use it!

Peter Le Beau Bridget Greenwood and Steve Casey Live Update on 7 Families Initiative – MPAF44

On this special episode of the Marketing Protection and Finance Podcast, I’m reporting from a recent meeting of The Net Work.

It’s a group of like-minded financial services professionals who come together quarterly to discuss industry trends, products and innovations.

Although quite rightly conducted under Chatham House rules, the organisers kindly allowed me to interview some of the speakers to give you an overall update on the 7 Families Initiative.

Peter Le Beau, Bridget Greenwood and Steve Casey give their views on how the campaign’s gone so far, the response, and what the industry has learned from this multi-company project.

That’s all right here in episode 44 of the Marketing Protection and Finance Podcast.


Click on the picture to listen. Right Click to download the MP£ for later.

7 Families Contact links:

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Are you Supporting the Seven Families Income Protection Initiative?

The Seven Families campaign launched nationally at the start November 2014.

I’m confident as a result of the campaign, Income Protection will gain a higher profile in the public consciousness.  Whilst aiding seven in-need families.

7F Supporters-Badge_large (4)

So far the campaign has unveiled two families and the charity Disability Rights UK (DRUK) and the Seven Families (7F) Action Group are finalising their due diligence on the next recipients. Expect more announcements soon.

The aim is to raise awareness of the financial and emotional impact of being unable to work due to long-term health conditions or disability. And to strengthen the voice of disabled people.

To do this the Action Group asked DRUK  to find seven families where accident or illness has forced the main breadwinner out of work. The families also didn’t have insurance.

The families will then receive a monthly income for a year as if they had bought a short-term Income Protection plan, paid for by the group of insures supporting the campaign. They’re giving the money on a charitable basis.

A key element of the initiative is that the campaign will give the families vital rehabilitation which could help them get back to work.

The campaign is about people in need.  It has a simple message at its core – that Income Protection cover can make a huge difference to people’s lives when they really need it.

The key campaign aims are:

  • To raise awareness of people’s financial vulnerability after long-term ill-health or accident
  • To help real families who are facing financial meltdown
  • To show the impact of rehabilitation and counselling through trying to help get people back to work

Listen to Peter Le Beau of the Income Protection Taskforce talking about Seven Families on the MPAF Podcast:

Peter Le Beau on the Seven Families Initiative

Let’s hope that the Seven Families project will become one of the most significant industry initiatives of our generation.

Now it’s your turn: Check out the Seven Families Campaign and support them on Social Media.

Twitter: @7families
Just Giving:
Income Protection Taskforce Website: