Paul Robertson talks to Peter Le Beau of the IPTF's plans for a multi-disciplinary approach to IP in 2014.
Sometimes a good idea can take on a life of its own and snowball a series of similar concepts into a full blown campaign. This is exactly the scenario the Income Protection Task Force (IPTF) has on its hands.
The initial idea was to try and show income protection in action by paying a benefit to families who were in hardship due to disability of the breadwinner.
From here the concept was refined into the possibility of working with charities to identify people with serious illness, who could return to work with support, but who face great hardship at the moment.
And at this point the idea took off. Peter Le Beau, among his many other caps, is chairman of the IPTF and was surprised to have struck a chord with many in the UK market as well as some media.
“A number of the charities were very surprised that we wanted to do it but, I think, very happy about it. We have also started to talk to some TV people and digital media people, looking at how we can publicise this, the most effective way, next year.
“Certainly the funding of the initiative has gone very well so far; funding in principle, I should say. But a number of people have already shown interest in it.”
However, in a perfect piece of synchronicity, there are two other strands to the project; one is a series of short questions, allied to a software, to decide whether it would be worth someone taking out income protection or not, dependent on their income and their entitlement to benefits.
The other is a soon to be launched interactive digital publication, Signpost for Income Protection. Essentially this is a charter for income protection, addressing issues around welfare and how the product needs to change.
With so much going on it’s hard to know where to start, but the core remains the initial project. The IPTF cannot name the charities involved until the ink is dry but Le Beau did admit the project is being funnelled through Disability Rights UK.
“They would be a conduit for working with the other charities,” Le Beau said. “Disability Rights UK is almost like an umbrella charity, and we have very good relationships with them, and they are excellent people and they have very good ongoing relationships with a number of charities.”
It would not be over cynical to note that a major plus in all this is that it is being talked about by charities that have less poor reputation than the insurance industry.
But what we all want to know is what the industry intends on this. Previous projects showcasing the industry or acting in concert have always foundered when it comes to the industry’s providers putting its hand in its pocket.
Le Beau is slightly surprised that the response has
not only been good this time, but has also become a little wider. “We thought it would be difficult to take the cap round too widely. So we asked insurers and reinsurers. But I have had a number of big firms of advisers who have said they love this and can they get involved in some way. So that is really encouraging.
“I have also had some really nice offers of pro bono support from people with a lot of experience of income protection in the claims area, for instance, to try and help us manage people’s individual situation when we get these families on board.
“One big understated and undersold part of what we do as an industry is the rehabilitation skills. The industry probably possesses the best rehabilitation skills in the country and we can show what we can do.
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