Category: Compliance

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.

Wrapping up another fantastic year of support for appointed representatives

Head of Sales and Marketing Sharon Mawby rounds up another fantastic year of award-winning support and services for appointed representatives

What a year 2017 was! We have made plenty of great changes and expanded our services across all our departments. We have put a big focus on making things simple and useful, and adviser satisfaction and success has been our reward. We listen to the feedback of appointed representatives and respond to their needs, which means we always deliver the most useful and relevant services.

So what have we been doing for appointed representatives in 2017?

The Sales Team

The phones on the desk are always ringing with advisers looking for guidance and time-saving support. The Broker Support Team keep up to date on criteria, to help answer complicated questions regarding industry changes.

With many big industry moves and lenders added to panel in 2017, our experts on the desk have been receiving lender training all year round, and sit with lender representatives to work through criteria and USPs.

The Protection Helpdesk has been a big part of the protection success for advisers in 2017. Many appointed representatives find the time-saving initiatives provided by the desk simply invaluable. They call the underwriters to find the most accurate indication of terms, to save appointed representatives crucial time to spend with their clients.

Relationship Development Consultant Nicole Smith has been on hand to work with appointed representatives on building business and dealing with issues. Nicole troubleshoots problems, points advisers towards suitable services and supports recruitment and business development.

The Marketing Team

We launched a new suite of promotional materials at the start of 2017, and so many appointed representatives have embraced the new range. We have worked on bringing modern and relevant marketing options to advisers, such as posters and sales aids to use with clients. It’s so satisfying to see our new designs used everywhere from office windows to social media pages.

Plenty of appointed representatives have also been taking advantage of the fantastic free client newsletter service, which sends out three relevant stories directly to clients once a month. This now goes out to over 20,000 clients and appointed representatives often receive leads as a result.

Our free adviser magazine Insight has also been developed in 2017, to bring even more stories, interviews and adviser tips. After listening to appointed representative feedback, we also now offer the magazine as a digital download.

Commissions Team

The Commissions Team have been developing automation and processes to help deliver faster payments, whilst maintaining the highest level of accuracy. We know how important cash flow is for appointed representatives, and our express payment service is an essential part of that. We therefore ensure the entire team is well trained in processing all the different types of payments.

Working closely with the IT Team, the Commissions Team have transformed the way that statements are processed, to ensure an even more water-tight system. The Commissions Team never stop looking for innovative ways to ensure appointed representatives get their fees quickly, without deviating from our very high service standards.

Product Development Team

One of the busiest departments in 2017, the Product Development Team have been adding even more lenders and providers to panel. This includes mainstream and specialist lenders, to give appointed representatives plenty of options with which to help clients. The team has also developed a number of exclusives designed for the needs of appointed representatives and their clients.

With so many new additions to panel and industry changes, we knew how important this year’s events were going to be. That’s why the team have delivered plenty of webinars and workshops, as well as a brand new Specialist Lending Event, to ensure engaging and insightful support for appointed representatives.

After listening to appointed representative feedback and analysing the market, the protection panel proposition has also been refreshed. This includes the development and expansion of two new panels, and the implementation of protection portal software SolutionBuilder.

The IT Team

Working behind the scenes to bring the best technological solutions to appointed representatives, the IT Team have been developing several in-house systems and integrated a range of new software. The Team also work to help appointed representatives in their day to day business, by developing the adviser website Broker Zone, helping it run smoothly and work for appointed representatives at all times.

SolutionBuilder has also been developed to support client protection conversations. This new addition means that appointed representatives now have the ability to research, quote and compare protection needs. This has now been integrated with our point of sale system, and supports single and multi-benefited products.

The Business Assurance Team and Authorisations

The Business Assurance Team have continued to focus on case quality in 2017, by educating appointed representatives on systems and processes. Many appointed representatives were invited in to visit the office in 2017 and spend time with the team, to give them the opportunity to see a case being assessed from our perspective.

To continue to support case quality in 2017, the Business Assurance Team have launched a useful catalogue of videos, which show appointed representatives exactly what a case checker reviews on each section of an assessment.

The Business Assurance Team and Managers have been working closely to ensure a consistent message is delivered to appointed representatives. The Business Assurance Team are there to both protect and support advisers, and the team regularly consult with advisers on presenting cases and documentation requirements.

Authorisations has been moved back in-house, allowing more control on timescales and developing relationships with new appointed representatives coming on board. This has enabled them to work on the smooth transition from application to authorised adviser, and be the first port of call for appointed representatives when they join the Network.

The Compliance Team

The Compliance Team have been providing more than just telephone-based support for appointed representatives. They also write policies, processes and create material to promote positive consumer outcomes to further protect appointed representatives. The team also produce and control risk logs, implement FCA rule changes and deal with consumer complaints.

The team’s regular bulletins are a really important way to get messages through to advisers, as well as the Compliance Resources page on Broker Zone, which is always being updated to support appointed representatives on a daily basis. With many industry changes and new rules in 2017, the team have ensured they are getting the messages out to appointed representatives and keeping them updated.

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.

Mortgage Intelligence Compliance Update: Introducer or Intruder?

Head of Compliance, Stephen Adams, discusses what the mortgage and protection adviser industry has learnt following the Carey Pensions court case.

The Royal Court in London heard claims from an investor in late March that a self-invested personal pension (SIPP) provider, Carey Pensions, had colluded with an unregulated introducer to push retirement savers into high-risk unsuitable investments, where they lost as much as £3m. Carey Pensions denied the claims. But The Financial Conduct Authority has reiterated to providers and advisers the weight of regulation is on them when accepting business from unregulated individuals and companies.

A large amount of fraudulent activity comes from business that originated via unregulated introducers. This doesn’t mean everyone trying to introduce mortgage business to your firm is a fraudster. But, it is imperative that all appointed representatives and directly authorised firms pay close attention to individuals approaching them to introduce business.

Some ex-advisers that have either been terminated by the FCA or removed from lender panels are still trying to make money in the mortgage market. They may approach unsuspecting advisers seeking to exploit any weaknesses in their due diligence checks. To protect your business you must make sure that the individuals you deal with don’t put your career at risk. The FCA takes a rigid stance in terms of responsibility:

“The onus is on the authorised firm which accepts business from an introducer to meet its regulatory requirements”.

But, if it is your responsibility and if after your checks you are happy to proceed with an introducer agreement then the relationship should be made professional. An agreement should be drawn up that outlines your relative responsibilities. This should be signed by both parties and is a good way of setting up the business relationship.

Any agreement you make should set out the terms of the arrangement, such as: what product types will be referred, how the client is informed that an introduction has been made, how information is passed to you, how the agreed remuneration will work and how the agreement can be terminated. If your introducer is reluctant to sign such an agreement, you should ask yourself why this is could be. Appointed Representatives of Mortgage Intelligence must use our Introducer Agreement and Introducer Checklist documents.

We believe carrying out in depth, robust checks as part of your standard procedure when taking on introducers will reduce your chances of working with fraudulent clients. However, regardless of how careful you may be you can still be targeted, so be sure to adopt a common sense check. And ultimately, if you don’t feel comfortable do not proceed – it isn’t worth the risk.

If you would like to join our award-winning Mortgage Network as an appointed representative or become a member of our Mortgage Club, contact our Broker Support Team on 0345 130 7446.

Comparison sites under fire

Despite the popularity of using a Price Comparison Website (PCW) to search for General Insurance, experts and the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) have raised concerns over not just the compliance of the sites, but also their effectiveness in providing the right cover for consumers.

Do comparison sites really save time and money?

Consumers choose a PCW because of its perceived ability to save time and money. But consumer research by the FCA has revealed that obtaining a quote is rarely a quick process. In fact, research found that some comparison sites demanded answers to over 60 questions in order to obtain a Home Insurance quote, with many finding the volume of information and number of variables surrounding General Insurance products confusing and sometimes overwhelming.

Once consumers did reach the results page, not only did they find the options confusing, but there was also a lack of ability to compare like for like policies as well as cost. Often the lowest premiums would take priority, but the cheapest option is rarely providing the ideal cover, leaving the potential for long term consumer detriment.

Do comparison sites Treat Customers Fairly?

On the back of research undertaken in 2014, the FCA have highlighted that “a focus on price could distract from crucial product features and lead consumers to make an inappropriate policy choice that does not suit their needs and requirements”. In fact, PCWs will actively avoid going into the required detail regarding product options, in order to maintain the perception of speed and ease.

Consumers often have preconceived ideas about comparison sites, assuming them to be impartial and all-encompassing. But as the selling point of the sites is to provide a quick and easy way to compare insurance, it can often fly directly in the face of FCA guidelines on Treating Customers Fairly. Unfortunately some consumers currently use the site as a replacement for an adviser, assuming that the product they are guided towards is the best option for their circumstances.

Why is choosing an adviser a better option?

Choosing an adviser over a PCW gives consumers access to expert advice, industry connections and the knowledge that the adviser will find them cover tailored to their needs. To help in the battle against PCWs advisers now have access to tools like Paymentshield’s Premium Flex, which gives you the option to reduce premiums and bring down the cost of the policy. This means you can now deliver the best of both worlds; the perceived benefits of a comparison site, but with the peace of mind that comes from knowing they are offered the best products for their needs.

Why is the right culture important?

Even though the General Election took place over a month ago, many people are still talking about how it was such compulsive viewing, with many staying up until the early hours awaiting the result.

The fascination was watching all of the opinion polls and predictions fall by the wayside as the losing political parties accepted their fate graciously. How did these parties get their strategy so wrong, why did it not deliver the clear objective to win the election with an outright majority?

Commentators gasped as the charts changed to a sea of blue and the Labour party were in shock as they saw virtually all their Scottish seats lost to the Scottish National Party in one night. Surely if the Labour party had been close to their customers and understood what they needed to do to get their vote they would have changed their tactics to secure those votes.

What was their strategy and did they have the right culture within the party to question the tactics to deliver that strategy? How would it achieve the end goal?

If people are afraid to speak their mind and go with the majority to keep the peace that is a culture that doesn’t work in either politics or business. If the public didn’t see Ed Miliband as a strong credible leader, why did the Labour party not see that either? If they were in touch with their customers surely someone would have stumbled across it.

It is the same in business – we set a goal, we put together a strategy to achieve it and then look at the tactics required to deliver that strategy. As always it is the team that you build around you that adds the magic required, they need to feel valued and listened to, their views are important to ensure you get the tactics right.

Once the team understands what is required of them and why their role is so important to deliver the overall strategy you have a good chance of achieving your goal. Setting the right culture is in my view essential, and putting the customer at the heart of the business is a culture that works well and leads to success. We have seen what happens when you don’t!

Mortgage Intelligence Compliance Update: Treasuring Trusts

Head of Compliance Stephen Adams explains when and why advisers should talk to their clients about the benefits of placing a life policy into Trusts.

With so many protection challenges facing advisers today, we know how difficult it can be to find time to discuss every possible element of Life Assurance with your clients. But according to one leading provider, only about 10% of life policies are currently written in Trust, which suggests that in some cases consumers are not aware of the potential benefits.

In some situations a Trust is likely to be neither relevant nor advisable. However, there will be times when the best consumer outcome will point towards a Trust and clients must be aware of all the potential benefits or disadvantages relevant to their circumstances.

When should I talk about Trust to my client?

Essentially it will be down to the adviser to recommend what is in the best interest of the client. However, as a very general rule: Joint life policies are less likely to require Trusts , as are Single Life Policies where the client is married (but note this is dependent on the level of cover and the latest intestacy rules). But with a Single Life Policy where the client is not married, Trusts can play a very important part and should therefore necessitate a conversation with your client about writing their policy into Trust and ensuring the correct distribution of pay-out.

How can clients benefit from putting their policy into Trust?

Avoiding probate: A legal process which confirms an executor’s authority to deal with possessions. This lengthy process currently takes, on average, six weeks and for more complicated cases can be many months. Putting a policy into Trust will avoid this and any even lengthier connotations such as intestacy, which can be a stressful time for your client’s family and loved ones. If a Life Assurance plan is in trust, it is no longer part of the settlor’s estate so therefore probate is not required as the funds are paid directly to the trustees to distribute the funds.

Helping to reduce Inheritance Tax (IHT): By putting a policy into Trust, your client may avoid the policy being absorbed into the deceased’s estate and being liable for Inheritance Tax. The Government raised £3.3 billion in IHT revenue in 2013/2014 and admits that this number would be significantly reduced if more polices were written in Trust. Any assets left to a spouse or registered civil partner, provided they’re UK domiciled, are exempt from inheritance tax. But this can be often down to whether the policy is kept in Trust until its next 10th Anniversary.

A note from the Compliance Team…

It is important to remember that the above is a very general guide and specific thought needs to be given to each individual customer circumstances. Advice can also be sought from legal helpdesks of product providers. If in any doubt, then an adviser must guide the customer to seek legal advice and record this in the Reason Why Letter.

If you would like to join our award-winning Mortgage Network as an appointed representative or become a member of our Mortgage Club, contact our Broker Support Team on 0845 130 7446 opt 1.

Mortgage Intelligence Industry Insight: I’m Not a Robot

At Mortgage Intelligence, we invest in the right people and the right technology for both appointed representatives and directly authorised advisers. Sally Laker highlights the importance of maintaining a balance between embracing new technologies and continuing to support a people-based industry.

I recently changed my TV package online as the lure of the next two series of Homeland got the better of me.

The change was the usual story really – my password didn’t match, my e-mail address didn’t match and so I decided it would be easier to pick up the phone and speak to someone about changing the package. And, it was. It made me think about our industry and the need to deal with people face-to-face and over the telephone. The people factor builds trust and relationships as well as providing a valuable service.

The other essential tool is good technology. To provide a valuable record of the advice given to the customer and all the associated documents loaded onto the system. A good Point of Sale (POS) system is so important but like everything it is only ‘good’ if it is kept up to date.

We recently updated our version of the Key POS system to change the way in which we record data and use it. Even though the system is an up to date system, it was a substantial piece of work bringing in contract developers to deliver the changes we required. There are numerous stages, including the specification, which takes time and requires experienced people who understand the system to map out what is required. This then needs to be formatted – a different skill required, so that the specification can be interpreted into ‘developer speak’ to enable the work to commence.

Frequently, there are choices and processes that need guidance all the way through and it is important to consider the impact of any slight change, or you could be back to square one. Once the work is ready, testing begins. You need people who understand the system and will test it and try to break it. Flaws get picked up and then fixes and changes need to be done. That goes back and forth for some time until the upgraded system is ready to be released achieving the desired result. The cycle needs to continue and we regularly look at what the next enhancements will be.

The recent changes we have released were significant and we now have an enhanced system that incorporates the dynamics of today’s regulatory world.

After going through this process, it becomes less onerous as knowledge of the system improves. It was still a challenge, expensive and time consuming but we allocated a six-month timeline which was a tight timescale to keep the focus on the job and complete it.

We have always promised to invest in technology that provides a system that is up to date with mortgage and insurance industry needs and we will continue to do so. We do know that both appointed representatives and directly authorised advisers are not robots and that’s important to us, because although this is a people-based mortgage and insurance industry, we need to be backed up by good technology and not replaced by it.

If you are interested in switching over to join our award-winning Mortgage Network as an appointed representative, or becoming a member of our Mortgage Club, contact our Broker Support Team on 0845 130 7446 opt 1.

Mortgage Intelligence Compliance Update: Stranger Danger

Stephen Adams highlights the risks unregulated introducers pose for appointed representatives and directly authorised firms

A large proportion of fraudulent activity stems from business that was originated via unregulated introducers. This is not to say that everybody looking to introduce mortgage business to your firm is a fraudster. However, it is clearly the case that close attention should be paid by all appointed representative and directly authorised firms to individuals approaching them to introduce business.

At present there are a number of ex-advisers who have either been terminated by the FCA or removed from lender panels but still want to make money in the mortgage market. They are regularly approaching unsuspecting advisers and seeking to exploit any weaknesses in their due diligence checks. To protect your business you need to be sure that the individuals that you deal with are genuine, honest and ultimately do not put your career at risk.

If after completing your checks you are happy to proceed with an introducer agreement then it is strongly recommended that the relationship is put on a professional footing. A simple agreement, signed by both parties, to outline your relative responsibilities and limitations is a good way of setting up the business relationship. Any agreement you make should set out the terms of the arrangement, such as what product types will be referred, how the client is informed that an introduction has been made, how information is passed to you, how the agreed remuneration will work and how the agreement can be terminated. If the introducer is not keen to have an agreement of this type in place then you should certainly ask yourself why this would be.

By carrying out robust checks as part of your standard procedures for taking on introducers we believe that you will reduce the chances of dealing with fraudulent clients. Of course you could undertake all of the above and still be targeted by an individual who wants to commit fraud. Be sure to adopt a common sense check when dealing with introducers and customers. If you don’t feel comfortable with what you are being told then ask more questions, if you are still not comfortable after this then do not proceed. It just isn’t worth the risk to your business.

If you would like to join our award-winning Mortgage Network as an appointed representative or become a member of our Mortgage Club, contact our Broker Support Team on 0845 130 7446 opt 1.

Staying Safe with Social Media

The FCA recognise that social media marketing is an area of your business that will only continue to grow in the coming years. Their newest guidelines on how to use social media for financial promotions reflects their supervisory approach, which allows advisers to stay compliant whilst enjoying the benefits.

Head of Compliance Stephen Adams has a quick guide to the new document, to help you get a better understanding of how to use social media safely:

What are the guidelines?

The FCA have stated that the definition of a financial promotion within social media is: “An invitation or inducement to engage in financial activity.” This is a key definition and one that applies across all communications. The FCA states that “there are requirements to include risk warnings or other statements in promotions for certain products/services. These rules are media-neutral and therefore apply to social media as they would to any other medium.”

The FCA are also keen to highlight that: “The requirements to be fair and not misleading imply balance in how financial products and services are promoted, so that consumers have an appreciation not only of the potential benefits but also of any relevant risks.” This is an important clarification which ensures that the restrictive nature of social media does not excuse firms from displaying the associated financial risks.

The two most important questions to ask before posting are: Is this a financial promotion according to the FCA guidelines? Am I able to display and balance the potential risks within the communication?

What about word and character limits?

The guidelines have been the subject of some debate between the industry and the FCA, with much of the discussion surrounding the limits and brevity of social media posting, potentially making it difficult to fully comply with regulations in just a small piece of content. The FCA has therefore suggested that firms’ use of word-restricted channels should be limited and not used if promoting a complex feature or service. If you do decide to use it, then you still have the responsibility to ensure it contains the minimum amount of information required.

To help with character limits, the FCA have suggested: “It may be possible to signpost a product or service with a link to more comprehensive information, provided that the promotion remains compliant in itself.” In other words, make sure that you are only promoting financially when all the associated risks are displayed on the communication, otherwise it must remain neutral as an advertisement.

What about sharing, liking and forwarding content?

To know when sharing, liking or forwarding a communication is compliant, check whether it originated from a customer or another FCA regulated firm. Although it is always the responsibility of the original communicator to ensure the post is compliant, the FCA does insist that when “a firm re-tweets a customer’s tweet, the firm is responsible as the communicator, even though the firm did not generate the content of the communication”. The FCA also maintains that: “Firms should ensure that their original communication would remain fair, clear and not misleading, even if it ends up in front of a non-intended recipient”.

What about using images?

Using images to promote is very popular on social media, but you still have a responsibility to ensure that your visual communication is not just compliant, but fully responsive on all devices such as phones and tablets.

If images contain a tagline that directly calls the consumer to action, such as “come and see us” or “save money here”, then they must also display the associated risks. If not, then it must remain solely as a visual advertisement.

When should you be careful?

Firms regulated by the FCA must be careful at all times when using Social media. The FCA also reminds firms “of their obligation to have an adequate system in place to sign off digital media communications.” Sign-off of social media communications should always be a person of appropriate competence and seniority.

Please remember, this is only a guide! So be sure to read the full FCA Guidelines to ensure you are up to speed on the latest on how to safely use social media. We also recommend contacting social media specialists Social Advisers through the Broker Zone website.

Critical Illness Uncovered

The need for Critical Illness cover has once again moved into the spotlight on the back of crucial findings from Cancer Research UK. They now predict that 1 in 2 of the UK’s population will develop Cancer at some point in their lives. Combined with the ground-breaking advancements in treatment pushing cancer survival rates beyond the ten year mark for half of adults diagnosed, protecting your clients and advising them on Critical Illness cover continues to be an essential part of your role as an adviser.

Sadly, despite the numbers the UK is drastically under-insured. This month’s Insight into Protection will explore some of the big issues, providing you with some of the facts and advice to raise awareness and discuss protection with your clients. We believe that by working together, we can close the UK protection gap:

What are the Facts?

50% of the UK population will develop cancer

It is still so surprising how many of the general public are unaware of the real numbers surrounding Cancer diagnosis and survival rates. It is a difficult and sensitive subject to tackle, but whether it be through loved ones or personal experience, a large number of us will likely be affected by the disease. Sadly, it can often take a tragic occurrence to make us stop and think, which is even more reason to encourage your clients to approach Critical Illness proactively.

50% of adult cancer patients are predicted to survive 10 or more years

Cancer survival in the UK has doubled in the last 40 years, a clear indication of the steps we have made to battle this terrible illness. It is this crucial fact that will be pivotal to your client protection discussion. This is difficult, as most people instinctively protect material investments such as their home and goods. But they will also want to cover themselves against the most likely scenario, which means given the facts, clients will want to ensure they are financially covered.

UK Households spend just £7.80 a month on medical insurance

According to the Office of National Statistics, under £10 is spent a month per household on medical insurance, compared to £22 spent on household insurance. Research from a top provider also suggests that 5.2 million UK mortgage holders who earn an income have no plan or protection cover in place to cover their mortgage repayments if they become too ill to earn, another reminder of the current UK protection gap.

Why is the UK lacking Critical Illness Cover?

Protection myths

One of the most damaging myths surrounding Critical Illness is that providers go out of their way to ensure they do not pay out on an insurance claim. This could not be further from the truth. In fact, several providers have proudly released figures regarding their Critical Illness claims for 2014, showing pay-outs of over 90%. One leading provider even announced that over half of their 2014 claims were settled within 21 days, with the quickest taking just two days to process. Reasons for the rare instances of non-payment were non-disclosure of medical information and more commonly, instances where illness definition was unfortunately not met.

Consumer reliance on state support, employer or savings

Unfortunately, some consumers believe that the state would cover them financially if they were not able to work for long periods. But state support is there to ensure individuals are not immediately put in a desperate situation, it is not there to protect an established lifestyle and maintain the financial commitments that come with it. Incorrect assumptions on how long employers would provide full pay, or how long savings would last are also common. So take the time to use current figures and calculations to show your client the facts around financial protection.

What can you do as an Adviser?

Prove your credentials

Nobody wants to be scared into buying a protection policy. Use software and applications such as the CIExpert comparison, to show your client the true value of their policy, not just the priced premium costs. LV’s Risk Reality calculator is just one of many useful tools that providers offer, to assist you in the sales process and provide your client with the cover they need.

Recognise the principles of TCF (Treating Customers Fairly)

Ensure that in no circumstance are you placing profit before the client, as this is not adhering to the FCA guidelines on Treating Customers Fairly. Instead, ensure your client has every chance to be fully covered, by providing clear access to all policy options that protect them against any chance of future financial detriment.

Make sure your client is completely covered

Although Critical Illness covers your client in the event of many long term illnesses, there are several reasons why Income Protection, Life or better still, a combination of the three could be more beneficial to your client. So tailor the advice you give to suit your client’s circumstances. There are even flexible protection options out there that include care, support and child protection, providing an even more comprehensive package for your client.

As an adviser, you have a tough job competing with comparison sites battling to offer the lowest premiums. But by beginning the conversation with the facts, proving your expertise and showing you are treating them as an individual, your client can walk away knowing they have been given every chance to ensure they are protected in the event of developing and surviving a Critical Illness.