RedArc offers six case study examples of how protection can provide extra support for intermediary clients
Mortgage intermediaries keen to increase their protection sales have been urged by RedArc Nurses to ensure that they fully understand the extra support services available through policies.
Known widely as ‘added value services', medical and emotional support services are available through life, critical illness and income protection insurance policies, over and above a pay-out.
Often services such as bereavement counselling, therapy and other forms of emotional and physical practical support are available to policyholders and their families with or without a claim being made.
"It is widely known that many mortgage intermediaries turned their attention to protection products in lieu of mortgages as Covid-19 stalled the housing market, and if this results in clients being better protected, that is a very good thing," said Christine Husbands, managing director for RedArc. "However, protection is no longer just about getting a lump sum. It is important that advisers make clients aware of the support services included within these products so that their client can make an informed choice about the whole package of benefits, not just be focussed on the potential financial pay-out."
Husbands added that in order to best support clients, advisers should compare the types of added value services available through policies, which can vary in the way they are delivered and in depth of offering.
She said: "Many insurers should be commended for the breadth and depth of support that is now available within their products. However, unless the intermediaries on the front line of giving client advice take the time to understand what's available, they cannot possibly communicate it to their clients. That can mean a client is more likely to buy on price instead of value. And even when added value is included within a policy, the adviser needs to make it crystal clear to what extent and how to access it.
"Particularly with many brokers needing or wanting to reconfigure their business model due to the COVID-19 pandemic, I'd advise mortgage intermediaries to familiarise themselves with this aspect of the protection market in order to provide the most appropriate advice to their clients," added Husbands.
To help bring attention to the benefits available through added value services, RedArc has provided six examples of how protection insurance products can support intermediary clients when they might need it most:
- A client is unable to work during investigations for a musculoskeletal issue following a serious car accident. Their income protection policy provides financial assistance but the added-value support also helps the client as they become depressed through an inability to work. Early intervention mental support is provided at no cost to the client or intermediary, and talking therapies are provided.
- After a fall, a client's father is unable to live independently and she takes on the role of sole carer. The added-value support within her life insurance policy provides helpful information on being a carer for the first time as well as signposting her to local support groups. The client is also given advice about how to access benefits for her father and herself as his carer.
- A client's young daughter is diagnosed with cancer. The client speaks to a nurse adviser for emotional support via his critical illness policy as well as being given reading materials to help understand the child's condition. At a later date, further advice and research is undertaken to find respite care.
- A single man returns home after an operation and needs immediate practical support at home including sourcing medical aids and equipment relating to his condition. His critical illness insurance policy ensures he receives practical advice, emotional support and some domestic help to manage at home until he is more mobile and as he comes to terms with his ‘new normal'.
- A gentleman receives a diagnosis for a chronic health condition but has concerns about the suggested approach to treating it. His income protection policy is already paying out as he hasn't been able to work for several months, but the added-value support helps him organise a second medical opinion and have peace of mind about the most appropriate treatment course to take.
- A young woman experiences a late miscarriage and her mental health suffers as a consequence. Although no claim is made, her husband's life insurance policy allows her to receive valuable long-term emotional support from a nurse experienced in this form of loss, relevant reading materials, contact with a local support group and a course of structured bereavement counselling.