Comment: Every pound of lending is a pound that needs protecting


“I’ll be ok. Anyway, I have cover at work”. Everyone selling protection will have heard that objection at some point.

A lump sum of four times salary from their employer will seem to most people to be a sizeable sum and one which will see them through times of hardship. However by definition this will only last four years.

The same is true of employer’s Income protection cover. Most will provide some level of cover, yet for most people, their income is their most important financial lifeline and proper income protection is probably the most undersold product in the market.

In local newspapers, or on the internet, I often see families trying to raise money to fund the care their child needs, or cope with the lack of funds as they lose half or all of their income as the breadwinners have given up work in order to look after a very sick child.

Despite this, protection insurance is still sometimes seen as an upsell by the public. For many years this sentiment has been compounded by national media groups who berate insurers when claims are not paid – despite the rarity of such cases.

This simply must change. The reporting of protection insurance needs to find its equilibrium in the national media, on the television and in print.

Balancing stories between bashing insurers when claims are wrongfully unpaid against reporting hard hitting cases about the devastation caused by serious illness and how proper protection has saved a family from financial disaster, would help present an even handed view of protection to many families.

More needs to be done to instill this message into the public consciousness. On a fundamental level, I believe it is a moral obligation to ensure customers understand the debt obligations they have committed to, and that they know how to protect themselves adequately and appropriately.

For brokers, this means they must be provided with content and tools to make hard conversations about protection easier.

Ultimately, this will ensure that all borrowers have the importance of protection products explained to them, and that these products are reviewed on a regular basis.

 Sales tip

A breadwinner’s first concern is usually to guarantee that if they die whilst their family is still
dependant upon them, there will be enough cash available to guarantee the family’s
financial security.

It can be difficult to get a prospect to see life cover as a logical solution to the problems connected by the loss of a breadwinner.

But for most breadwinners there will be a homemaker and it is crucial to make sure the need for life cover on the homemaker is identified. Without them, the breadwinner can’t bring home their bacon!

When speaking with the prospect ask them to picture their own predicament by asking questions:

  • “If your wife died you would have to continue your job, run the house and look after the children etc – would that create a problem?”
  • “If you had to deliver and pick up the kids from school, would that create a problem?”
  • “If you couldn’t give your full attention to work, would that create a problem?”

Life cover isn’t just another obligation; it’s the best means of meeting the obligations a family already has.

Steve Berry is protection manager of Pink