After a decade of relatively low unemployment rates, increasing incomes and a general feeling of bravado – aka 'it'll never happen to me' – the recent few months have highlighted the awareness that no one is immune to the threat of losing their income.
"In the last few months, the market has seen an exponential increase in enquiries for unemployment insurance. This sudden surge of conscience has resulted from the increasing realisation of the 'what if...' conundrum."
It has also brought to attention that having insurance to cover their loss of income, due to unemployment, accident or sickness, is equally as important, if not more, than other optional insurances and lifestyle expenses.
Surge of conscience
In the last few months, the market has seen an exponential increase in enquiries for unemployment insurance. This sudden surge of conscience has resulted from the increasing realisation of the 'what if...' conundrum.
There is now a profound recognition that people must address these challenges, and they should not be ignored or deferred. The ability to maintain payments for monthly financial commitments and to avoid falling into debt is now an urgent necessity. There is an increasing appreciation that a policy of this type prevents people from dipping into their savings and contingency funds. And instead of dismissing with the usual adage of 'I could put the same monthly premium into a savings pot and use that', most people now realise the substantial returns such cover provides them, along with the priceless 'peace of mind'.
While I concede the 'live now, worry about debt later' philosophy may still be rife amongst many, I'm encouraged by those who now openly acknowledge their financial stability concerns and are keen to take steps to risk manage their situations now and in the future.
This new realisation has led to a resurgence of demand for Accident, Sickness and Unemployment insurances.
Role of Best Insurance
Best Insurance is one of UK's largest providers of Accident, Sickness and Unemployment Insurance. We have a range of policies from a wide range of insurers. For the past decade, we have been continuously refining and improving the product benefits, enhancing eligibility, making it easier for brokers to access and submit applications.
As a full-service provider, Best Insurance's role starts from designing the products in close conjunction with the insurers, modelling pricing and value, collecting premiums and managing the full life cycle of the customers. This 360-degree approach allows Best to ensure that customers get the appropriate levels of service and support, thereby enhancing customer satisfaction and retention.
Why should brokers look at ASU?
Let me dwell a little on some of the ASU myths.
They're complex to sell. This is not the case. We provide cover on a requirement, rather than underwriting basis. Simple questions are asked and from the responses given, appropriate products and quotes are given, matching customers' requirements in minutes. Advisers are fully supported with product training and a self-serve dashboard which will reduce their administration time.
Insurers do not cover the self-employed or contractors. Incorrect. Our portfolio has products suitable for self-employed and contractors. Our stipulation is that they have paid their Class 1 National Insurance contributions and work more than 16 hours per week.
A mortgage or loan must be in place in order to buy a policy. Not true. While for many this may be the main reason for purchasing cover in the first place, policies are available that do not require such a commitment.
It's too expensive. Premiums start at £30.00 per £1,000 of benefit – less than the price of a daily latte. At Best, we routinely review our pricing model to ensure that they deliver value to customers and are affordable and competitive.
Low commission when compared to other products such as life. The commissions on ASU is paid monthly until the policy expires at retirement age or is cancelled by the customer. This regular recurring income adds attractive more bottom-line value when a business is valued. The approach also eliminates the risk of expensive clawbacks and its impact on cash flows, which has brought many businesses to its knees.
Easy to understand products, high value to customers and an attractive recurring income stream makes ASU an attractive proposition to the brokers. The most important part of the whole process is access to ASU products in an efficient and seamless manner, and that is exactly where Synaptic Software comes in.
Synaptic will shortly be launching a comprehensive range of ASU products in conjunction with Best Insurance. In most instances, you will be able to access them through your existing account with Synaptic, seek quotes and submit applications.
You will hear more about this in the coming weeks.