Archive: Sep 2017

Mortgage Intelligence update: Should landlords be encouraging tenants to take out more protection?

Craig Bryce explores the benefit of encouraging landlords to pass the protection conversation onto their tenants.

There is a common belief among landlords that aside from buildings insurance, they simply don’t need protection. They believe that should they become critically ill or die, they would either sell their property or it would become part of their estate.

Ok, I admit it’s not that simple. Of course landlords recognise the importance of a good protection plan. In fact, plenty of landlords take out protection to cover their rental payments.

But if it isn’t something they need directly from the adviser, should they be passing on the protection conversation to their tenants regardless? Tenants will likely be unprotected and certainly in need of some cover.

Of course the big question for landlords is: How can ensuring tenants are protected benefit me and my business?

Securing income

A large number of people renting are at a halfway point between living at home and moving into their own home. It is a common ambition in the UK to own your own home, for the security and confidence it delivers. But their hard work could all be undone if they were to fall ill and had to pay the rent with their savings.

The majority of landlords insist on a six month notice to end an agreement on a flat. If the tenant’s employer covers them for less, what would they do about the shortfall in income? This could affect the cash flow of landlords significantly.

So what is the alternative? Well, if their tenant has an income protection policy in place, it will cover most of their lost income. If the plan has a two year payment period, this would ensure that they have both the six months to cover the notice period and another 18 months grace period, in case the illness turned into a longer-term absence. Either way, they would now have two years of breathing space and steady income from the policy.

Affordable options

I am always surprised just how affordable an income protection policy can be. I ran a quick quote on iPipeline’s SolutionBuilder, and saw that a short term two-year payment income protection plan (to age 65 with a 4 week deferred period for £1,000 a month), can only cost between £15 and £20.

We have some great specialist income protection companies on our protection panel to go alongside the mainstream income protection providers. These include The Exeter and British Friendly, giving advisers a comprehensive selection to offer their landlords’ tenants.

With low housing supply and high deposits, many renters simply do not realise how important it is to protect their income. Landlords could be encouraging tenants to cover themselves, which is often in the financial interests of both landlords and tenants. This would also ensure what all landlords want: A long term tenant, to avoid the hassle of marketing the property out again.

If you would like to know more about how to join our award-winning Mortgage Network as an appointed representative or becoming a member of our Mortgage Club, call our Broker Support Team on 0845 130 7446, option 1.

Mortgage Intelligence compliance bulletin: Are you making plans for the 2018 General Data Protection Regulation?

Head of Compliance Steve Adams highlights how Mortgage Intelligence are preparing Appointed Representative advisers early for the 2018 General Data Protection Regulation

GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) is a piece of EU legislation that will replace the existing Data Protection Act. This legislation, regardless of any Brexit negotiations, will come into effect on the 25th May 2018.  Whilst this may seem a long time away, Mortgage Intelligence has already commenced work on this large scale project and we are currently reminding all advisers to start considering their requirements and obligations in regards to the new legislation.

The new legislation applies to Data Controllers and Data Processors and this means that all Appointed Representative firms, their advisers and staff will have increased responsibilities in relation to their customer’s data.

It is important to understand how the law is changing and the impact this will have. The changes are wide-ranging and detailed but it should be noted that many of the fundamental principles already exist under the Data Protection Act. In terms of changes that could impact Appointed Representatives, the following are some of the key ones:

  • New timescales for Subject Access Requests
  • Changes to consent required from customers to take and process their data
  • Rights for individuals to withdraw consent for use of data and to request it is erased
  • Personal data definitions expanded
  • Changes to the rights for children and enhancements to individual’s rights

As a network, we will ensure that the necessary changes that are required under GDPR are made to the sales process. This includes amendments to our point of sale system and looking at how data is held and stored. Advisers will be responsible for how they look after their own data, from hand-written notes from a client meeting, through to complex management systems.

As a very good starting point advisers can visit the Information Commissioner’s Office. Type “GDPR” into the search facility and the Data protection reform information will appear. The “Overview of the GDPR” and also “GDPR: 12 steps to take now” documents are particularly useful.

If you would like to know more about joining our award-winning Mortgage Network and enjoying compliance support as an Appointed Representative, call our Broker Support Team on 0845 130 7446, option 1.

Mortgage Intelligence Protection Update: Don’t leave your clients in the dark this autumn

National Account Manager for Protection Craig Bryce highlights the importance of staying in touch with clients and providing regular protection reviews

Staying in contact with clients about protection, whether through regular reviews, newsletters, catch-ups or reminders of policy benefits, is a vital part of the advice you deliver. It is important to remember that protection needs can change in the blink of an eye for a client, leaving them vulnerable to financial shocks and worst case scenarios.

Circumstances change quickly

Your clients are unlikely to call you up to announce a new addition to their family, which can leave them needing more cover. Neither are they likely to shout about a new promotion, which may open up their budget to give them the opportunity to improve on their level of protection. That is why staying in contact with your clients regularly will help ensure they have the cover they need and support client retention.

Making annual statements work for you

Royal London, AIG, Scottish Widows and Zurich are some of the protection providers already issuing annual statements to customers, detailing the policies and the level of cover that they hold. Why is this so important? Because using them as a sales aid and following up on these with your client can be a great way to build on the advice you give.

Remind them of benefits

It is worth reminding clients of the added value benefits of their cover, such as Royal London’s Helping Hand or LV’s Doctors Services. Calling them up to talk about their cover may often result in a frantic search at the other end of the phone, as they realise they are not as aware of the benefits as they assumed.

Refreshing the protection conversation

It is a lot to expect of clients to fully grasp the implications of protection the first time around. Cover is often sold during the mortgage meeting, when they already have a lot on their mind. They may also now have a slightly different attitude about the necessity of protection, their budget and what cover they require.

Industry changes

Sometimes there are changes in the world of protection that may affect whether your client’s policy is best for them. For example, Aviva recently merged with Friends Life, which may have changed whether your client is on the most suitable protection plan. Supporting

If you would like to know more about how to join our award-winning Mortgage Network as an appointed representative or becoming a member of our Mortgage Club, call our Broker Support Team on 0845 130 7446, option 1.

60 Seconds with…Content Marketing Executive Ross Shapland

Head of Sales and Marketing Sharon Mawby spoke to Content Marketing Executive Ross Shapland, who is officially the biggest nerd at Mortgage Intelligence … and that includes the IT department!

Ross has been with Mortgage Intelligence for nearly 5 years and worked on the Commissions Team before fulfilling his passion for content writing by joining the Marketing Team. Ross also has 5 years of previous experience within the financial industry and a degree in English Literature from the University of Southampton.

Tell us more about your role as Content Marketing Executive at Mortgage Intelligence…

“My role mainly involves coordinating our monthly publication, Insight. I also spend a lot of time researching and writing content for Insight and the consumer newsletters, which is a free marketing service we offer Appointed Representatives of Mortgage Intelligence.”

What do you enjoy most about your role?

“As I write the magazine articles along with the consumer facing articles, I enjoy the challenge of adopting different writing styles and techniques depending on the content I need to produce.”

At MI we love to celebrate the success of employees, what has been your biggest achievement at the company so far?

“I am very proud of how far Insight has come since I started working on it in 2015. It has had a complete overhaul since I moved to the marketing team. The design is now much cleaner and in line with our brand and there are more editorials and useful content to help advisers stay up to date on what is going on in the industry.”

What other beneficial marketing support does Mortgage Intelligence offer advisers?

“The Marketing Team has recently redesigned all the promotional materials content available for advisers to order, including posters, datasheets and digital materials. They are great because advisers can have them personalised with their details and company logo.”

Here at the MI head office you are well known as a film enthusiast, what is your all-time favourite film?

“It has to be There Will Be Blood! I have a lot of favourites but it’s the only non-sci-fi film to make my list. For what is essentially a historical drama, I find it genuinely enthralling.”

You are also known for some of your quirky hobbies…

“Ahh yes, I assume you are talking about my design hobbies! I have recently taken to creating my own personalised Monopoly boards and trump cards.”

And finally, as always we have to talk about food! Where is your favourite place to grab lunch in town?

“Five Guys at the moment. The crispy bacon topping on their burgers is absolutely phenomenal!”

If you would like to know more about how to join our award-winning Mortgage Network as an appointed representative or becoming a member of our Mortgage Club, call our Broker Support Team on 0845 130 7446, option 1.