Insurance Review: Top 10 online protection tools for advisers – Part 2

Protection may be lagging behind others in the field of technology but some companies are offering a range of new tools and apps


Most insurers have a range of online tools including cover and budget calculators, but there is much more out there to help your business.

Even though the protection industry arguably lags behind other markets in terms of technology there are new tools and apps being launched every month for advisers.

Following part one last month, here is the second half of the 10 best online protection tools currently available for advisers.

Menu plans

One of the biggest frustrations when selling protection is not being able to easily compare insurers on a menu-plan basis, when researching multiple products for clients. However, LifeQuote from Direct Life & Pensions, and Webline from Capita Financial Software, allows brokers to source combinations of protection products on a menu-plan basis and compare them to the standalone product equivalent, saving hours of time for advisers.


A history of definitions

To keep pace with improvements in medical science the illness definitions for products such as critical illness cover can change on a regular basis. Today’s definition of a heart attack or a stroke won’t be the same as it was five or 10 years ago, which means older policies may be worth holding on to because of this. Scottish Provident’s definitions search tool allows advisers to research all current and historic policy definitions on Scottish Provident plans. If you need to know what their definition of a heart attack was in July 2001, or angioplasty in 2003 to help assess whether a client is better off with an old or new policy it can all be found here.


The Protection Path

A marketing toolkit from Exeter Family Friendly designed to help advisers increase their sales of income protection. The Protection Path provides a wealth of unbranded, creative ideas that advisers can personalise with their own contact details, as well as a detailed library of statistics and information, to create compelling arguments for taking out income protection. This mini-site is full of creative content and bright ideas to help engage clients.


Building trust

The Trust builder tool from LV= helps advisers write new and existing life policies in trust from any provider. The tool features an online decision tree to help advisers decide whether a trust is needed and which is the most suitable trust for clients. Advisers can then input key details online, such as the appointed trustees and beneficiaries, and produce pre-populated forms. Advisers can also download a guide to trusts and look at useful information ahead of talking to clients.


Relevant life savings calculator

Is relevant life cover relevant for your client? Could they save money? This tool from Zurich calculates whether a saving can be made when an adviser inputs a clients specific employer and employee tax rates and the protection premiums. It can then be saved or printed to demonstrate the savings and used as part of an audit trail for the client file. With companies promoting up to 49 per cent savings on relevant life cover compared to normal life cover the product shouldn’t be overlooked.


News round up

  • Legal & General has launched a pilot scheme offering two hours of free legal support to terminal and critical illness claimants. The scheme will last for three months and will be run in conjunction with charity LegaCare (UK).
  • PruProtect has launched an online inheritance tax calculator to support advisers using whole of life cover to mitigate potential liabilities. The tool is available to all intermediaries via the PruProtect website and also produces a printable report of the calculations made, which advisers can share with their clients and retain for compliance purposes.
  • Aviva has broadened its mental health claims service to customers with group income protection. A specialist team will support an in-house clinical specialist psychiatric nurse and an in-house clinical physiotherapist, as well as a team of dedicated rehabilitation case managers. Aviva said mental health conditions account for the largest number of group income protection claims. The insurer has seen the volume of claims for mental health increase by 250 per cent over the last five years.
  • Three major insurers are lobbying the Government to introduce auto-enrolment for Income protection. Unum, Legal & General and Zurich are separately researching the possible financial benefits for consumers, cost implications of the proposal and the most appropriate target group to auto-enrol.

Tip of the month: Jump over the barriers

Research among 500 UK households from Insurer Aegon showed that the perceived cost of cover is the biggest barrier to people taking out protection. This was followed by concerns over whether the insurer would pay out, and that the products are complicated with too much small print. This clearly shows the work that needs to be done when engaging clients in protection, and how an adviser can add value. The actual cost of cover is often a lot less than people’s perception. Recent research from The Protection Review showed that people would be willing to pay up to £50 a month for life and health insurance, when in comparison the actual average premium a customer of protection specialist LifeSearch pays is just £26 a month. Similarly, the same research showed that people believe just 38 per cent of protection claims are paid out each year, when the reality is over 90 per cent are. So by dispelling client beliefs of costly cover that doesn’t pay out, by using provider claims statistics and example premiums, advisers can then get on to discussing the real need and benefit of having adequate protection insurance in place.