Scott Cadger of Scottish Widows explores care services and the value of supporting customers at the moment of truth
Recent research from Scottish Widows shows that only 34% of consumers believe insurance companies will pay out on a claim.1
Of course, as an industry, we know that the reality is very different. For a number of years the ABI has tried to narrow this general misconception and tackle the loss of trust by publishing industry claims statistics.
These statistics confirm that in 2017, 98% of life insurance claims and 92% of critical illness insurance claims were paid out,2 very different to consumer belief. Scottish Widows, like other providers, doesn't keep these figures a secret and we have been publishing our claim statistics openly for many years.
So, why do consumers feel so sceptical about insurance companies?
As an industry we are moving in the right direction but still tend to be full of technical experts. Are we not speaking in the same language as our customers?
In the UK alone there are over 18 million adults that have low or poor numerical skills.3 To put that into perspective, that's nearly half of the UK's working population.4
Being an Actuary, numbers should excite me, but instead of talking in statistics alone we need to look beyond the numbers to engage and instil confidence in our customers by relaying our message in a way everyone understands. Perception is reality and we need to deal with real people, as people.
Peace of mind
The main reason behind people taking protection is to provide peace of mind that they and their families would be financially secure if the worst happened.
To bring this to life, a recent AIG children's critical illness claim made a huge difference to a couple and their child. It resulted in payment and support to fund implants to allow their child to hear for the first time just before his first birthday.5
It's good news stories like these that make you realise why protection is so important. But that's not enough. We need to take a more holistic approach that's about more than just paying out when a claim is made. We should place protection beyond the world of claims, numbers and pay-outs, and into the sphere of wellbeing.
At a time of depleted state resources and next to no wellbeing support, protection plan added value services that focus on both mental wellbeing and practical support are especially important.
Scottish Widows Care support service, provided in partnership with RedArc, offers that extra help and support for clients and their immediate families from day one, at any time during the policy term. It even covers pre-existing conditions.
Care and support
Care is available from a team of personal nurse advisers who provide practical advice and emotional support to individuals and their families at a time when they are experiencing hardship such as the loss of a loved one, being diagnosed with a serious illness, mental health concerns, long-term elderly care and much more.
They can also offer a second medical opinion service, courses of therapy or counselling, some practical help at home or even a small piece of medical equipment.
So, let's look beyond the numbers and bring the human back into protection. It's time to start a conversation about wellbeing. Because it's not enough for clients to just be protected. It's important that they feel cared for.
Find out how Scottish Widows Care support service can support your clients wellbeing and inspire your protection conversations.
Scott Cadger is head of claims and underwriting strategy at Scottish Widows
1 Scottish Widows, April 2018.
2. AIB, May 2017.
3. National Numeracy, November 2017.
4. Corporate Citizenship Briefing, March 2018.
5. AIG customer case study, September 2018.
Christine Husbands, Melissa Collett and Johnny Timpson discuss meeting the care needs of vulnerable customers on Thursday 18 October