The value protection brings in terms of peace of mind far outweighs the cost. But it does not always outweigh inertia.
For instance, relevant life policies (when you qualify for them, say, as a shareholding director of an SME) deliver that peace of mind at a tax-reduced cost with tax-free benefits. Tick. As an employer looking to reward and encourage loyalty in key employees with family and dependants, setting up and paying for an RLP delivers tax-reduced, tax-free benefits for the employee. Low-cost loyalty.
What is not to like? Yet for nearly a year after the birth of my first child, the application pack sat on my desk. Here are some of the things I achieved while not kicking an RLP into place:
1: A full audit on the number of handles in our home, partly because mini Wickenden loved handles and partly to assess the level of proofing required for when he was able get at what’s behind said handles.
2: Mastered the voices of all eight Octonauts (Shiver me’ whiskers!).
3: Had 11 haircuts.
Newton’s first law of motion states: “An object at rest will stay at rest, forever, as long as nothing pushes or pulls on it. An object in motion will stay in motion, traveling in a straight line, forever, until something pushes or pulls on it.”
So, what does it take to create this kind of unstoppable motion? What is necessary to overcome the huge proportions of advised clients that agree there is a need, see the benefits and still do nothing?
The Railway Passengers Assurance Company (circa 1849) used to have insurance ticket machines on platforms covering death and disablement. While I am not advocating a wholesale shift to a D2C model of this ilk, it does underline that more could be done to align with (and positively influence) the consumer’s journey.
The fact is that the deliberate, logical part of your mind capable of analysing a problem and coming up with a rational answer (and the part of the brain that most of our industry’s efforts are aimed at most of the time) is slow, requires a great deal of energy and is extremely lazy. On the other hand, the intuitive part of your mind is powerful and is responsible for most of the things that you say, do, think and believe.
That is not going to change but what can change is what we do as an industry to help more people arrive at better outcomes.
Phil Wickenden is managing director at Cicero Research