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Garçon what’s on the menu?

Last week Money Marketing
revealed that Legal & General and Aviva are introducing menu-based protection products for intermediaries to appeal to a broader range of advisers and clients.

But is there an appetite for this type of product?

L&G managing director of intermediary distribution Duncan Crocker says that a menu-based charging system will be released in November, with additional developments set for the first quarter of next year.

A source close to Aviva says the firm is also planning to launch a menu-based solution for intermediaries.

But Highclere Financial Services partner Alan Lakey says that choice is confusing and, to some degree, “immaterial” unless the client wants the convenience of having one form to complete for a selection of products and one direct debit.

He says: “Imagine we are talking about restaurants, one offers two courses, another offers three and the big one offers an eight course meal with all the trimmings. They are all menus but offering a different range of meals and options.

“Does it actually matter? My job, where relevant, is to access and use the most appropriate one for my client.”
However, Income Protection Task Force co-chairman Peter Le Beau says some IFAs like menu products as it does appear simpler than buying three separate products.

But he adds: “Often menu products don’t provide sustained product quality in the way that best of breed individual products do.”

Pru Protect director of protection Kevin Carr says consumers need flexibility and menu plans offer a good solution to meeting this customer need, but says: “Whether they are used to their full capability, however, is still a matter for debate.”

He adds: “They need to evolve from being a cosmetic bundling together of separate covers to a properly integrated protection proposition that seamlessly allow advisers to provide their clients with complete flexibility and real time updates.”

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  1. Menu products
    It has to be all about flexibility for the IFA as well as offering best of breed individual products

    Its no good having a fantastic critical illness plan if the income protection does not come up to the mark. You have to look at the quality rating of each

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