Shake off apathy and get passionate, sector is told

The protection industry needs to shake off its culture of apathy and engage with consumers’ needs to achieve its potential, according to experts.

Peter Le Beau, co-chairman of Protection Review, says the sector is far behind other industries when it comes to looking at what consumers want and catering to those needs.

He says: “This is an industry that is in need of a spark of passion. When I meet other people in the industry there is often a feeling of apathy which is concerning.”

Stuart Paton-Evans, general manager at Hannover Life Re (UK), agrees that the industry needs to focus on consumers’ needs rather than products.

He says data published last week by The Syndicate, a research initiative whose members include providers like Friends Life and Zurich, shows that a disappointing number of people have never looked into buying certain protection products.

The Syndicate’s research shows that around 45% of people have never looked into buying a critical illness policy, income protection policy or private medical insurance.

Meanwhile, 49% of respondents said regular communication from providers would help in retaining their loyalty and 54% said they would like to feel valued and rewarded for their custom.

Paton-Evans says: “This research shows consumers want us to communicate with them. If we don’t respond to that as an industry then that is shameful. There is an awful lot the industry could do to bridge the gap in the number of people who have never looked at buying protection.”