Special Feature: How to solve a problem like protection

Robyn Hall

June 4, 2013

Earlier this month I had the good fortune to speak to some of the largest mortgage distributors in the UK.

We know all too well that the mortgage market has had a rough ride in recent years, so it was great to hear people feel it’s turning a corner.

The mix of greater competition, better availability of mortgage credit and new government schemes meant there was an air of optimism in the room.

This is undoubtedly fantastic news, but it’s my view that we shouldn’t rest on our laurels just yet.

The mortgage market may be looking up but I wish the same could be said for the life protection market (life insurance, critical illness cover and income protection).

Sadly this market is decreasing year on year. And given how inextricably linked mortgage and protection sales are – or rather, should be – it’s about time we did something about it.

So what can we do about it?

It’s my dream, that one day every family will have financial protection, that they will have the products in place to safeguard their family’s future. But the inherent inertia in the UK means this is going to take some doing.

So we need to start a movement.

We need to encourage people to actively want protection, to make it the must-have purchase of the moment. And for this we need to be brave.

Every organisation has within it certain individuals who are bold enough to stand up and do something different.

It may look weird at first but with enough conviction and tenacity, they have the power to create a following and a movement.

Human beings are predictable beasts. People adopt a herd mentality and always follow what others are doing. It’s human behaviour to do so. The more people are doing something, the more likely others will copy. So how can we harness this energy and turn it towards a better social purpose?

Well, one thing is for sure, it’s within our gift. We should be taking action as an industry to create this following, this movement to take care of our clients’ financial wellbeing. We owe it to them.

It’s up to us to drive greater activity for better customer outcomes.

Not talking about holistic financial protection is simply not good enough. If every adviser took action today there is no question we would see growth tomorrow.

Mortgages and protection should not be viewed as separate entities. They should be synonymous.

We know that changing protection products and adding bells and whistles isn’t the answer, so why not try something different to ensure more families are protected?

Don’t be afraid to be distinctive and try out a few of your own moves. You might be surprised at how many follow.

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