Get personal and find the right level of cover for clients

Sometimes it seems some advisers have a limited perspective when it comes to protection business.

That’s the term to cover the mortgage, accident, sickness and unemployment cover, maybe some buildings and contents cover and that’s pretty much it – well, until it’s time to re-broke the case.

The bad news is that the opportunity for re-broking may not arrive, meaning less business for you and perhaps some gaps in client cover.

What you need is a more holistic use of skills at the initial consultation. Most consultants already have the knowledge to do it but choose to leave that knowledge locked in a little box inside their heads. straight to the level term option on your portal, think again. The mortgage market has contracted, yet the use of protection insurance hasn’t grown as it could have.

Not only have we failed to cover our clients’ increased risk due to the current economic situation but we have not bridged the gap created by the loss of mortgage fees.

The view has started to change but more needs to be done. As an industry, we have not responded quickly enough and need to accelerate the rate of change.

Too often I see level term life cover replaced with another level term policy, but at a slightly lower price.

I can see that might be the quickest and easiest option, but is it fulfilling our obligation to give the best possible advice to clients?

Recently, I sent an intelligent young man, whom I shall call James, to visit one of our customers. The client knew his stuff. He had researched what he was doing, identified his needs and come up with his own solutions.

The mortgage market has contracted yet the use of protection insurance has not grown as it could have

What most surprised James was the number and type of plans the customer held – he had mortgage protection, life and critical illness cover on decreasing term, family income, life and critical illness cover for the children, lump sum and key man cover.

Yet he wasn’t spending a lot of money for the amount of protection he had in place because each plan had been carefully price matched and holistically constructed to provide exactly the cover needed to suit his issues.

I explained how the cover had been built up with our assistance over time to match his needs and James could easily see how inappropriate level term and ASU by themselves would have been for him.

Protection is all about finding a personalised solution for each customer and not just jumping in with a standard package as that doesn’t work. Take your time and make sure you use your knowledge to expand your opportunities and protection for your clients.

Personal health insurance or IP from mainline suppliers, for example, may not fit the needs of your client. Be confident and look at the short-term market more closely.

There are many niche suppliers that will provide their own occupation accident and sickness cover for higher risk occupations, for example.

Solutions-based advice is key as the best advisers are problem solvers. Find the solution, solve your client’s problems and you will set yourself apart from the competition. And remember, best advice is happy farming, not happy hunting.