Archive: Jan 2018

How to make improving the protection process one of your New Year’s resolutions

National Account Manager for Protection Craig Bryce explains why improving your protection process is a New Year’s resolution worth sticking to…

After a strong year for protection, I am looking forward to building on this in 2018 by helping even more advisers through tailored guidance and support. But what makes a really effective protection process, and how do you successfully embed one? The exact answer to this can be different for each firm, but here are a few ideas that I find can really help boost protection sales…

Make it a mortgage and protection conversation

It is key that the client knows early on that protection will form an important part of the mortgage process. This makes it clear that protecting their finances is seen as an essential part of the conversation.

Helping them allocate a percentage of their budget to protection early can really help embed the idea. This makes protection seem less an afterthought or selling tool, and more part of the overall advice.

Set up regular client reviews

Turning down protection is not uncommon during the mortgage process, as clients are often focussed on their finances and want to keep costs down. This is why catching up with clients regularly helps ensure they have more than one opportunity to receive protection advice.

Some types of protection may not initially have been the right fit for the client’s circumstances. But this can change quickly, which makes reviews important to ensure they are always looked after.

Be armed with the right answers

There are many ways to tackle consumer objections and to help illustrate the importance of protection. Cancer survival rates, the likelihood of prolonged work absences, and showing the reliability of provider pay outs can really help debunk prevailing myths.

Misinformation still sticks to the industry and it is always surprising how many assumptions are made about employer cover and state support. Let the clients realise the problem of not being protected against worst case scenarios, and allow the cover to become the solution.

Become an expert

One of the biggest barriers to selling protection is confidence. Knowing how products work and which ones to recommend your client is a challenge in itself. Understanding how protection suits different lifestyles and circumstances ensures the right products are recommended.

To support advisers, we deliver a range of protection training events throughout the year. Our adviser website also has webinar presentations from providers, and sales aids you can order online.

Tell the right stories

Using real life protection stories can be an effective tool to help clients understand the impact a lack of cover can have on their lives. Work done by charity-led campaigns such as Seven Families, also helps advisers illustrate exactly what can happen when a worst case scenario arises.

Good news stories are effective as well. Showing examples of how clients have made use of added-value benefits is one idea, as well as testimonials from clients that have been relieved to know they had protection in place when they needed it.

Talk about the benefits

Being up to date on all the benefits that providers offer as part of their policy is a great way to get clients excited about protection. These can include medical and legal advice, bereavement and counselling support, and incentives and rewards.

Explaining how these extras work is a great way of bringing products to life. Sending reminders to clients about the benefits of their policy is another way of keeping them regularly informed.

Utilise your staff

Whether it be paraplanners, trainee advisers or administration staff, there are many ways you can delegate non-advisory responsibilities to your team. I have seen firms that get this right see significant improvements in their protection sales.

Although advising and fact-finding with clients is not allowed by non-qualified staff, there are ways your team can help free up time to spend with clients. This includes chasing and preparing quotes, handling queries, research, pre-underwriting support, and chasing medical information.

Adviser support!

We have several fantastic services to support adviser protection sales. This includes our Protection Helpdesk, who deliver guidance on protection terms, and marketing materials and datasheets to help educate and prepare clients.

Join our award-winning Mortgage Network as an appointed representative, or become a member of our Mortgage Club, to start benefiting from our fantastic range of comprehensive services and support. Call the Broker Support Team on 0845 130 7446 (opt 1) to find out more.

60 seconds with … Commissions Supervisor Louise Clarke

We spoke to Commissions Supervisor Louise Clarke about how the team have improved the payments process over the last year, as well as her favourite TV show and dream holiday!

After previously working as a Beauty Therapist and at JP Morgan, Louise joined the company back in 2010. Soon after joining the Commissions Team, Louise became a Senior Administrator, before taking over the supervision of the team.

How has the Commissions Team managed to improve their efficiency by so much in the last year?

“Everyone on the commissions team has pulled together to share ideas on how we can make the whole process better. We wanted to make the whole team and its processes more effective in terms of speed, whilst maintaining the very high level of accuracy we are so proud of.

“We have worked with IT on improving the systems in 2017, which has both streamlined the commissions process and made it easier for us to spot any issues that may crop up on statements. All this has enabled us to consistently hit our service standards for express payments within the deadlines.”

How has the automation of so much commissions processing actually improved the service quality?

“We have worked with lenders and providers to ensure as many statements as possible can be processed through our automated payments system. This means that we have now been able to put even more focus on the validation of statements and the analysis of the payments themselves.

“All this ensures that although we now process at least double the amount of commissions from the year before, we can now also ensure that even more controls and checks are put in place so that the payments made to advisers are what they should be getting.”

What’s one of your favourite things about being Commissions Supervisor?

“I am constantly looking for ways to improve the team even further, so I ensure I am still fully involved in the daily duties. This means I am able to understand exactly where we could still do better in terms of systems, processes and customer service.”

Even though you were lucky enough to recently have gone on honeymoon to Venice, do you still have a dream holiday destination?

“If we can ever find the time to fit it in, my husband and I would love to go to Thailand and destination hop around South East Asia!”

I can’t help but overhear how much you keep on track of your TV shows! What’s your current favourite?

“Until the next series of Game of Thrones starts I will have to say The Walking Dead or I’m a Celebrity (Toff was a worthy winner by the way!). I am also loving Peaky Blinders at the moment, but any boxset is good for a binge watch for me!

What’s your favourite place to eat in Bournemouth?

“It would have to be Funky Griller for decent food, atmosphere and value for money. Everyone loves a good steak!”

Join our award-winning Mortgage Network as an appointed representative, or become a member of our Mortgage Club, to start benefiting from our fantastic range of comprehensive services and support. Call the Broker Support Team on 0845 130 7446 (opt 1) to find out more.

Do millennials really need life insurance?

National Account Manager for Protection Craig Bryce examines why more millennials don’t choose life cover, and why this makes it even more important to have the protection conversation

I read a recent study of millennial parents which revealed some startling statistics and attitudes towards life cover. It showed that three quarters of young parents have no life insurance in place to cover them should the worst happen. I was also surprised to hear that 67% said that they simply did not have time to go through their options.

Looking at these figures, I think it is clear more needs to be done by the industry to help young people protect themselves against worst case scenarios.

So why don’t more millennial parents have it?

It seems that generally younger parents will always feel that life insurance is less of a priority than older generations, simply because they are less likely to die anytime soon. The survey revealed that millennials would rather spend their funds on new technology and experiences, than on insurance against future events.

But I wasn’t surprised to hear that many millennials assumed that life insurance was simply too expensive to consider, with 80% prioritising other financial needs, such as living expenses, recreational expenses, and saving money for the future. The cost of life cover is a common misconception among the public and one that has prevailed across the generations.

But life stages, such as buying a house, are being reached much later by millennials. This means that many young parents are left vulnerable while renting, without having had the life insurance conversation with a mortgage adviser.

Why is life cover still so important for millennials? 

As you will know, one of the main reasons millennials should consider life insurance is their age. Life insurance is often cheaper when they are younger, which means putting it off only increases the cost, and taking advantage now will very likely save them money on their premiums.

If your millennial clients have dependents and people that rely on them, you can help them consider what would happen if their income was suddenly taken out of the picture. Would they be able to live comfortably? Would they have the same lifestyle? These are just some of the questions that form an important part of helping more millennials understand the importance of life cover.

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.