A lot of people ask me what I think is the current state of the protection market. In fact, people ask me all the time. While intimately involved in it, I might not be the best person to ask as I am too close to the action. What I would say is that we as an industry could do better.There are pockets of tremendous enthusiasm for the products that we want to promote but they tend to be isolated pockets so this is why I believe the consumer protection and insurance engagement campaign initiative which a group of top protection industry executives are bringing to the market is very welcome and it has my whole-hearted support.
To help the CPIEC be really successful, I think we need something else that is vitally important for any enterprise.
By and large, in my exper-ience, life insurance executives are an understated lot. Perhaps the left-brain, analytical bias that so many leading figures have constrains them from anything too demonstrative. Perhaps it is the natural reserve of the British.
Whatever the reason, there is too little passion in our industry for the enormously worthwhile task we are embarked upon. We have it in our power to make much more noise about the devastating consequences of not being fully protected and the great work that the industry does in paying millions of pounds in claims every day to soften the financial blow of premature death or disability. But how often do we see that passion coming through in what we say, what we write or what we do? The answer is not nearly often enough.
Too often, our industry is criticised for exploiting or failing consumers. These criticisms are sometimes justified but in the protection industry we have some great products priced super-comp-etitively that represent better value than can be obtained anywhere else in the world.
My simple plea is to try to inject more passion and more energy into the job of telling it like it is. If we fail to do this, the consequences for some of the people who need our products could be horrendous.
Peter Le Beau is managing director of Le Beau Visage