The Seven Families campaign has revealed its seventh and final recipient, Melanie Knights.
She had no income protection cover in place and, since being struck by ill health and having to give up work, she had lost her independence, social life and financial stability.
Melanie will be provided with a tax-free monthly income for a year, as well as the additional services available to IP claimants, such as rehabilitation and counselling.
Seeing the family’s story first-hand through films updating their progress shows the huge difference made by the protection industry when the worst befalls people. It is often hard to get across to clients that the likelihood of them being unable to work is far greater than that of dying while still of working age, and that IP should be the starting point of most people’s financial planning.
If you have not watched any of the videos yet, I encourage you to have a look and share them with clients. It will either make them appreciate the cover they have or, if they are reluctant to purchase protection, provide them with a wake-up call.
Our own consumer research conducted recently shows that, while 25 per cent of the UK workforce has pet insurance, just 7 per cent are protecting their income. Worryingly, 26 per cent of those surveyed do not have IP cover because they believe their sick pay is sufficient, yet one in 20 had been off work for more than 12 months.
Mortgage advisers may be used to clients who underestimate the consequences of being too ill to work and therefore being unable to repay debt. Inability to work (triggering an IP payment) is more likely to strike than death (triggering a life/mortgage protection payment), yet life policies are sold in much greater volumes.
Hopefully, the Seven Families campaign will make not just the public, but financial advisers too, aware of the importance of protecting a salary in this way. The consumer complacency highlighted in our survey needs to change.
It is essential that we continue to raise awareness of the genuine financial risk faced by so many people. I would love to be able to report from future research that
IP sales had outstripped pet insurance plans.
We must all make the most of campaigns such as Seven Families and the opportunity it gives us to communicate some uncomfortable truths to clients.