Toni Smith: You put your customers at risk by not bringing up protection


By not discussing protection with a new mortgage holder, you may put at risk everything your customer holds dear

Did you know that, in French, the literal translation of ‘mortgage’ is ‘death pledge’? Put like that, it really brings home the extent of the debt we get people into when organising a mortgage.

If a borrower were to die during the term of their mortgage, in many cases a property sale would be required in order to pay back the loan. Therefore it is vital that the life of the person with this huge debt is covered so that their family can continue to live in their home should they so wish. Surely this is just about doing a proper job for the client?

But many busy mortgage brokers argue there is not enough time to talk to the client about protection as well. Interestingly, however, one of our most successful brokers also has the highest number of protection sales. Surely this indicates it is not the time available that is the problem but the process?

By not discussing protection with someone for whom you have just arranged a mortgage, you are potentially putting at risk everything your customer holds dear. And your duty of care should go further than protecting the life of the borrower: there is also the impact on their home and their family should they, or another member, become sick.

It is no longer acceptable to saddle someone with hundreds of thousands of pounds-worth of debt without discussing how they would continue to pay it off should something go horribly wrong.

Toni Smith is sales operations director at First Complete