Why it’s important to review our routines
Mark Graves (pictured) is managing director at Sesame and PMS
The value of advice was truly brought home to me recently when I was in a meeting with an adviser who took an unexpected call from a client. It transpired that the client had just been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. Married and in their 30s, the client wanted to know if they had protection cover in place to help them.
The fact that the client didn’t know the answer themselves is quite startling and serves as a reminder of the busy lives people lead. Insurance might be high on our profession’s agenda, but the majority of people have other – dare I say it – more exciting things to think about.
Whilst still coming to terms with the shock news of their diagnosis, the good news for this particular client is that they did indeed have cover in place. This was in the form of income protection, recommended by the adviser, and providing them with cover potentially right through to retirement.
Since this incident other advisers have told me similar stories, about clients who had apparently forgotten about the cover they had in place. This situation emerged for another adviser during the course of a phone around to arrange annual client reviews, when they spoke to a client who had recently been diagnosed with a serious illness. It was the adviser who reminded them about their critical illness cover policy.
These examples serve as valuable reminders for our profession. First, about the value of advice. Second, about the importance of keeping in regular touch with clients. How many more clients out there need reminding about the cover they have and the benefits it provides?
It also got me thinking about robo-advice and the challenge facing consumers. After all, how can a computer really know what insurance someone needs? Furthermore, should the worst happen and tragedy strikes, who will that person call to get the support and financial guidance they desperately need in order to fully understand the financial implications?
These examples will hopefully provide some food for thought for any advisers who do not regularly speak to their clients about protection insurance. How would you feel if you received that call from a client, out of the blue, and they told you that they had been diagnosed with a critical illness, and you had to be the one to say: ‘I’m very sorry but you’re not covered.’
For me this serves as a stark reminder about the need to continually challenge ourselves and our routines in terms of what we do and why we do it. So could now be a good time to re-evaluate the service your clients receive from you?