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Plain English Campaign backs bid to demystify insurance plans

Income protection provider Unum is calling on insurers to simplify their customer product information after it emerged that the insurance sector is the worst at making product literature easy to understand.

Unum, backed by the Plain English Campaign, commissioned research into how easy consumers find it to understand product information.

Of the 2,016 consumers surveyed in July by YouGov, almost half felt insurance product information was difficult to understand.

In comparison, 29 per cent of those polled felt banking product information was difficult to understand.

Unum UK chief executive Jack McGarry says: “The results show that as an industry we need to make our products more comprehensible to the consumer.

“I want people to easily understand that if you cannot work because of illness or injury, you need to have a back-up plan to support yourself financially.

“By providing consumers with more easily understandable information, we will raise awareness of the risks that employees face and encourage them to talk about income protection.”

Highclere Financial Services partner Alan Lakey says the wording in protection product literature is often dry because it must include the terms and conditions of the policy but he feels there is scope for insurers to simplify their language.

He says: “Simplified product information would encourage consumers to take an interest in their cover. It is not just about using everyday language, it is also about using less words. The more pages a consumer has to go through, the less likely they are to read them.”

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