Campaigns fail to feed into CI cover

IAIN MALLON, DIRECTOR OF PROTECTION MARKETING, AXA
IAIN MALLON, DIRECTOR OF PROTECTION MARKETING, AXA

You may have seen the government’s ’Act FAST’ advertisements on television recently.

Designed to raise awareness of stroke symptoms, one of them shows a woman who is taken over by the effects of stroke, likened to a fire spreading in her brain. It is a powerful advert that offers a disturbing view of what it might be like to suffer a stroke.

You might think its disturbing nature could lead more people to worry about having a stroke and to ensure they’re financially secure, should it happen to them.

The advertising is one of many recent awareness campaigns about critical illnesses. January saw Macmillan’s Cancertalk Week, while February was the British Heart Foundation’s National Heart Month.

But a correlation in the number of people taking out critical illness insurance off the back of these campaigns seems to be lacking.

This is not to suggest that charities run awareness campaigns for this reason. But it is fair to assume that when faced with disturbing statistics about critical illnesses, consumers might be persuaded to protect themselves against the financial impact such illnesses can have.

So why is that not the case? Is it apathy or are we all desensitised to shocking images and statistics? And how should this inform the way we sell CI cover to consumers?

If I had all the answers, there would be no protection gap. But it is clear that we need to go beyond statistics and lists of conditions, and find other ways of engaging people.