Cost-savings are only truly made when allied to a high-quality product. So what help is available for advisers to assess products in a sensible manner? Ian McKenna explains the technology.
One of the most frequent observations heard from insurers about the state of the protection market is that advisers should sell protection on the basis of quality of cover, as well as price. Whilst cost will always be a factor for consumers, the reality is it can be a highly misleading measure if considered simply in isolation.
There is no shortage of price comparison services. But if an adviser wants to carry out a qualitative analysis, they will need additional tools to help.
However, the technology in which insurers have so substantially invested over the past two decades invariably focuses on price, the very issue that insurers are understandably keen should no longer be the only criteria.
IRESS Exchange, iPipeline’s Assureweb and Capita’s Webline service are all very well established standalone portals for price-based comparison and new business submission.
The latest version of Webline is not yet fully integrated to Capita’s sister product research tool Synaptic.
It does, however, have a new multi-quote facility that allows users to produce, for example, a joint life Term quote, as well as two single life quotes. These can also be produced with and without a critical illness addition. All of the results can be viewed on the same screen.
Of the quotation-based services, Direct Life & Pensions Life Quote, which does include some comparison of critical illness conditions, is probably the most advanced currently available when it comes to considering product features.
It contains a multi-quote facility similar to the Webline capability. From a personal perspective, the Direct Life offering is the most advanced and flexible of the standalone price quotation services.
It is worth mentioning that True Potential’s broad-based Client Management System and consumer website service does include comparative quotations.
However, again these are based on price. The system has enormous benefits for advisers when submitting new applications, because the whole process is part of a single system.
The case for qualitative analysis is compelling. The breadth of cover provided by different insurers for contracts that purport to be the same thing can be very diverse.
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