Head of Protection
London & Country (L&C) is a fee-free mortgage broking company with offices in Bath, Newcastle and London. We have around 400 telephone-based mortgage advisers who also advise on Protection as well as a 40-strong Protection-specific advice team.
People largely come to L&C for a mortgage rather than Protection advice, and it can be a challenge to get them to spare the time to discuss their Protection needs. This makes it incredibly important that the process we follow when advising on Protection solutions, is as efficient as possible.
“As mortgage brokers, we have a huge responsibility, to talk about Protection when arranging a mortgage. If we can give our customers a great service and get them to engage with Protection by offering an efficient process where we put them with the right provider and product first time around, it will certainly help us to protect more people and close the Protection gap.”
We believe the Protection Platform can improve the customer experience on the phone, making it more likely that they will discuss their Protection needs when they purchase a mortgage. The Protection Platform streamlines and shortens the whole advice process, saving advisers time and freeing them up for further calls.
We complete a telephone fact find with the customer, search the market for the most suitable product/s and price, provide a recommendation and then go through the full customer application. However, an adviser doesn’t necessarily know the customer’s full health and lifestyle information until the application is completed and all details have been declared.
To call a dozen or more providers trying to find the best terms without going through full medical disclosure often results in starting the process again, at the risk of losing the customer. If an adviser chose three different providers because that suited the customer’s needs, it could entail three separate applications of 10 – 20 minutes each. For a joint application that could require 2 hours of application questions – more for multiple products!
- Both adviser and customer could invest a lot of time in the application process but still have to go back to the start if further disclosures are made or terms offered change along the way.
- When an adviser called a dozen or more providers to see who could offer the best terms, the outcome could rarely be predicted until the application was actually submitted.
- Individual provider declarations took from 30 seconds to a few minutes to read through on the phone which was not customer friendly – particularly for those who needed multiple products.
- An unsatisfactory customer experience could lead to them not taking out much-needed protection.
The Protection Platform gives our business a streamlined approach on which we train all our advisers, enabling them to take their customers down an efficient journey. UnderwriteMe has worked with providers to come up with a single underwriting question set which returns live, underwritten prices from the majority of providers based on the customer’s actual medical and lifestyle information. It shortens the search, comparison and recommendation process significantly, meaning no more calls to multiple underwriters or aborted application forms.
It gives our customers the peace of mind that when a recommendation has been made, they know it’s the most suitable provider offering the best terms for their specific requirements and when we submit the application, there’s little more to be done. It gives our advisers the peace of mind that they have matched the customer to the right provider as soon as possible, met their regulatory requirements for giving a personalised recommendation and helped them get customers the protection they need straight away.
It’s free to use which helps us keep our costs down and the time-savings made help us service more customers and improve our efficiency.
An improved protection sales process
Using a single, streamlined underwriting question set at outset which can avoid unnecessary applications and rework.
Providing live, underwritten prices, giving advisers the ability to compare and ‘buy now’.
Embedding a single up-front product declaration that is clear, concise and covers all the important information so the customer can understand key points easily.
Saving advisers time so they can get customers on risk quicker and go on to service more customers, helping to close the ‘protection gap’.
“At L&C, an important ethos of the company is that the customer journey is smooth throughout the whole process. As an adviser I would definitely recommend the Protection Platform – the streamlined single question set saves me time on the recommendation and saves the customer stress and worry when we’re going through the underwriting process. It’s a win/win!”
Gary Zakaszewski, Protection Adviser | L&C