Welcome to InformMe
We have recently partnered with insurers to share quarterly insights on the protection industry including thought leadership material, product news and updates, case studies, and more!
InformMe will be your new eyes and ears for Life, Critical Illness, Family Income Benefit, and Income Protection.
Issue 6: Cost-of-living crisis by Guardian
Issue 6 of ‘InformMe’ examines this topic within the protection space, sharing some key insights and commentary from Guardian – the latest insurer to join UnderwriteMe’s Protection Platform, partnering with us in September of last year.
The key focus is around protection market expectations for this year, including first-hand feedback into the strategies being adopted by Advisers to navigate through challenging times.
Lunch & Learn
Cost-of-living: Top 10 tips for talking to your clients
In their first Lunch and Learn webinar since joining UnderwriteMe’s Protection Platform in September 2022, Guardian shared their top 10 tips on how to approach conversations with your clients about the crisis that’s affecting households in the UK, and cost of living. The advice is based on information gathered by Guardian in September 2022 from advisers and industry experts to get their views on the impact on the protection market.
Issue 5: Critical Illness Cover by AIG
Critical Illness policies have changed a great deal since I started in the Financial Services industry. A few key points of note along the way were the ‘conditions race’, the introduction of severity-based payments and how children’s CI has become increasingly important when advising on this product.
In recent years, we’ve also seen AIG introduce a plan that focuses more on the impact to a customer lifestyle and aims to future-proof for conditions that we may not yet be aware of.
Issue 5 of InformMe looks at the AIG proposition in more detail. It’s designed to offer flexibility and give better outcomes from the outset – all very relevant with Consumer Duty around the corner and cost of living very much at the forefront of customer’s minds.
Lunch & Learn
What does FCAs new Consumer Duty mean for me and my firm?
The FCA have introduced Consumer Duty which will come into place on 30th April 2023. The new set of rules will protect customers, giving them clear advice and information they can understand when purchasing a product or service.
Adviser recommendations should be fair, provide value for money and meet the consumer’s needs. But what does this mean for you and your firm?
Our Lunch & Learn with Gregor from Royal London and Dan from New Leaf helps you better understand the Consumer Duty changes and gives you 5 top tips to start preparing for the new set of rules.
Issue 4: Value Added Services
Recent discussions with some of our Insurer and Distributor partners indicate that the remainder of 2022 may be challenging in terms of protection volumes for the industry.
Energy, fuel and NIC increases mean that disposable income is stretched for many people – we know that the purchase of protection policies is not always a priority, even without these challenges. This makes Value added Services more relevant than ever, both in terms of new customer recommendations and also retaining existing clients who already have these benefits in place.
Issue 4 of InformMe explores the services, which are the most widely used and how to best position them with your clients.
The value of Added Services to your client
Matt Chapman from Plus Financial Group explains the importance of communication when it comes to Value Added Services. The additional services help you differentiate one policy from another, but how can you as an adviser make that more tangible for your client and their loved ones all year round?
Watch Matt’s video interview where he share 3 important milestones to talk to your clients about the additional benefits available to them.
Square Health: what’s in the box?
Steve Casey from Square Health, a specialist health technology solutions provider spoke to us about their app based technology to help clients get medical advice quickly and easily.
Partnering with a number of insurers on our Protection Platform, the solution has supported many clients through the pandemic, with GP consultations and mental health support.
Watch Steve’s video interview with us where he answers questions on the product and shares a case study of how a client gained value in their additional service.
Smart Health: business benefits
Smart Health doesn’t only benefit your clients. It benefits you as an adviser too. But what are these benefits?
AIG have shared 4 reasons why their Added Value Service can help you open up more conversations and lead to up-selling, cross-selling and ultimately more income for your business.
Issue 3: Welcome Vitality
Welcome to the first 2022 issue of InformMe with new Protection Platform partners, Vitality.
2021 was another challenging year for many – we had a positive year in the main at UnderwriteMe; here are a few key highlights:
– 17% growth in the number of intermediary applications vs 2020.
– The introduction of a pre-sales underwriting tool for Advisers using our system.
– Winning ‘outstanding Protection Platform’ Award at the Cover event.
– Another major insurer coming on board in the shape of Vitality.
2022 will see more innovation from UnderwriteMe and we’ll tell you more about upcoming developments as soon as we’re able to.
In this issue we put the spotlight directly onto our new partner – Vitality, and more specifically the benefits of their serious illness proposition.
How Vitality’s Serious Illness Cover better protects your clients
Serious Illness Cover from Vitality includes 37 unique conditions and Serious Illness Cover Plus 60 unique conditions – meaning these aren’t covered by any other insurer in the market*.
What’s more, Vitality’s Serious Illness Cover pays out based on the impact that the condition has on your client’s lifestyle. This means your client could receive a pay out at an earlier stage of their illness, even if it’s not life-threatening.
That’s why Vitality cover more conditions than any other insurer and how they provide your clients with access to the most comprehensive cover.
None of us can predict the future – so why leave your clients’ future health situation to chance?
*Defaqto verified competitor comparisons, Dec 2021.
How does Serious Illness Cover from Vitality compare?
Vitality created an easy comparison tool so you can compare their cover against other insurers.
Don’t just take Vitality’s word for it. Defaqto have verified all the information to ensure that it is fair, transparent and representative.
‘I was able to tell my client she could claim almost £10,000 unexpectedly’
Cura managing director Alan Knowles was recently able to tell his client she could claim for Rheumatoid Arthritis under her Serious Illness Cover plan through Vitality. Based on diagnosis alone, she would not have got a pay-out anywhere else.
Lunch & Learn
Doing the same thing and still expecting change?
It’s time to do things differently. The protection market is constantly evolving with the likes of Vitality and UnderwriteMe innovating new technologies and processes to meet your customers needs. Don’t be left behind, Listen back to our 60 minutes lunch & learn.
Vitality’s best available premium with Optimiser
By adding Optimiser to your client’s plan, they’ll receive Vitality’s best available premium – which is up to 30% lower than their standard**.
They’ll encourage your clients to engage with their health by rewarding them for making healthier choices. And give them the ability to maintain their low premiums over time.
** Terms plans: up to 30% lower than our standard plan rate. WOL plans: up to 41% lower than our standard plan rate. Premium reduction depends on the client profile and product choices.
Issue 2: Mortgage Protection
Our second issue of InformMe will be divided into a two-part series focusing on the mortgage protection market from three industry experts. This quarter, we have insights from Tenet Mortgage Solutions, HSBC Life, and TMA who will delve deeper into the impact of COVID-19 on the mortgage protection industry as well as their outlook on 2021.
The housing market has been buoyant in 2021, with many people looking to take advantage of the temporary increase to the stamp duty nil rate band applied by the government.
This has meant that many Mortgage Advisers have been focused on completing mortgage deals, with many deferring protection conversations until later in the year. As a result, we may well see an increase in mortgage protection cases in Q4, when the nil rate band returns to its previous level on October 1st
For part 1 of this series, we’ve asked Richard Waters, HSBC Life, and Chris Mason, Tenet Mortgage Solutions for their thoughts on the Mortage Protection market. Watch the full videos below.
HSBC Life update
Richard Waters, the National Account Manager at HSBC Life told us that last year they saw a record level of business due to the nature of their digital proposition and the ability to offer instant underwriting decisions.
Richard then goes on to talk about the mortgage market, covering topics such as: the increasing value of properties, how HSBC Life has seen more people renovating their homes using the equity in them, and the importance of straightforward protection conversations for first-time buyers.
Tenet Mortgage Solutions update
We had a chat with Chris Mason, Regional Sales Manager at Tenet Mortgage Solutions. In the last 12 months since the pandemic hit, they have seen customers reprioritising and thinking long term by buying fixed-rate mortgages.
Chris also went on to say that regardless of the stamp duty holiday and demand decreasing in the short term, people were still looking to buy and invest in a property – making the housing market resilient with a fair number of transactions still being processed.
Issue 1: Income Protection
Our first issue of InformMe focuses on Income Protection (IP). Over the last 12 months, we’ve seen an increase in interest in Income Protection policies. This could be purely down to loss of jobs, the furlough scheme, or just a safety net for individuals and their families.
We’ve asked Simon Jacobs, Underwriting and Claims Director at Aegon, and Steve Bryan, Director of Distribution and Marketing at The Exeter for their thoughts on the IP market. Watch the full videos below.
Simplifying IP and breaking down the barriers
Simon talks to us about the new Income Protection product Aegon launched last year just before the pandemic on the Protection Platform with a 2-year payment. He moved on to says that a vast percentage of people don’t have emergency savings. A consumer would protect their phones, holidays, pets, etc but why not the income that covers all of that?
In the video, you’ll hear Simon talk about the standout areas of why people are claiming their income protection as well as the tools to help Advisers like yourself have these conversations when discussing Protection. The question is, do your clients know Income Protection is a thing?
The Exeter update
What happens after Furlough?
We had a chat with Steve, who talked about the last 12 months of Income Protection, not just for The Exeter who specialise in it but also the market as a whole.
In the interview, Steve discusses the protection opportunity, post-pandemic, as people start to think, “this could happen to me”. He went on to say that 70% of working adults are worried about loss of income due to illness or inability to work due to an injury. Steve also gives an outlook on 2021 and the IP Toolkit available to support advisers.
Technology isn’t the cure – but it has softened the COVID blow
Watch back our presentation from the Cover Protection and Health Summit last November.
Hear from our underwriting team, insurers, fellow advisers, and networks on how remote working, collaboration, and agility has saved the Protection industry from deeper and longer-lasting pandemic consequences.