We need an environment of transparency and openness, argues Helen Dick of Scottish Widows
High profile celebrities, from Prince Harry to Lady Gaga, have recently opened up out about mental health, commenting on their own personal issues and those of society at large.
This demonstrates a noticeable and positive shift in attitude and acceptance of mental health conditions. Lloyds Banking Group's recent award winning ‘Get The Inside Out' advert helped to continue the conversation, by showcasing celebrities and members of the public addressing and debunking some of the more common misconceptions about mental health. This shows just how good it is to talk.
But it's not just about mental health. This is a great start but there are so many more conversations we should be having. Could the protection gap be partly due to a conversation gap? A protection conversation can be a difficult one and clients can struggle to see the benefit of an insurance product they might never claim on.
So how can we address this? In times of crisis, people value practical and emotional support just as much as financial support. And as the State continues to struggle to cope, the support services offered as part of a protection policy can provide that much needed assistance. A holistic approach is required to move protection from simply a financial pay-out, to include practical support and advice at difficult times. Talking about and explaining these benefits, as well as the financial ones, will help clients understand why having protection in place is a good thing, and not just if they have to claim.
'Handled With Care'
The current Scottish Widows ‘Handled With Care' campaign demonstrates our commitment to providing a holistic offering. Working in partnership with RedArc, we offer a personal nurse adviser service, giving clients and their families the practical advice and emotional support they need during difficult times in their lives.
This support is available from day one of their policy, and no claim needs to be made to access the support. The team of highly experienced and qualified nurses offer support tailored to clients' specific needs and situations. They offer support in areas including serious illness, bereavement and disability, as well as providing referrals, second opinions and advice on recovery.
The service is incredibly well regarded, with 99%1 of clients who have used the service rating it as good or excellent. Our core promise is to be there when it matters for clients, and with 96%1 of users claiming that RedArc's service enhanced their view of the hosting insurance provider, it's clear that having that additional emotional and practical support really helps to build that trust.
What's missing is that we need to talk about these important added benefits more, moving protection away from being perceived as a purely financial benefit. So let's create an environment of transparency and openness. Spread the word and tell clients about all the great work going on within the industry to make sure that protection products meet their emotional as well as financial needs. Protection policies now have so much more to offer clients - and not just if they have to make a claim.
Find out how Scottish Widows can support you to start the conversation today and help ensure all clients and their families are handled with care.
Helen Dick is senior manager underwriting and claims strategy, Scottish Widows
1. RedArc Patient Survey Results, 2018.
Christine Husbands, Melissa Collett and Johnny Timpson discuss meeting the care needs of vulnerable customers on Thursday 18 October