Most protection policies look pretty similar on the surface these days. Prices are all in the same ballpark, give or take a few pounds. And the vast majority of claims – 97.8% in 2017, in fact – are paid out without problems.
So, with all else being relatively equal, it's the things beyond these factors which can help determine which policy is going to be the best fit for your client and their loved ones.
For instance, is it a brand you and your client trust? How quickly and smoothly can you get the business written? How comprehensive is the cover? And – importantly – are there any extras that could give your client further reassurance and support?
Dig for treasure
Several providers now offer a package of extras bundled with their protection policies. And some of the biggest differences between policies can be uncovered if you look at which specific extras are actually included with them.
At Aviva, for example, our protection policies now give your clients – and their families, in some cases – access to up to eight separate support services, at no extra cost.
Many of you will be familiar with some of them. For instance, the fact that we give policyholders access to an expert second medical opinion through Best Doctors. Or that clients (and their loved ones) can access the Bupa Anytime Healthline to speak to a qualified nurse, 24/7.
But you might not know we also give 25% off gym memberships at health clubs throughout the UK (terms and conditions apply). That we offer Income Protection+ clients access to private physio treatment. Or that we provide rapid access to mental health counselling, meaning people don't have to wait months before receiving treatment.
What clients say
When set against the large lump sums that protection policies pay out, these added extras may seem small. But from speaking to customers and advisers, we know first-hand how important they can prove to clients when it really matters.
Customers like Adam Hyde, for instance. A former ambulance worker, he received psychotherapy – organised by Aviva – when he was signed off work with stress and anxiety.
Adam said he was in "a really bad place" when he first called Aviva. But thanks to the support he received, he was able to get back to work in a new job, with a new, more positive frame of mind.
With support through the state proving more and more difficult to come by these days, the extras that come bundled with some protection policies are proving increasingly important. They can also make your protection conversations that little bit easier.