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Protection Watch: Election boost and business models of the future

Protection Review chief executive Kevin Carr rounds-up the latest developments in the world of protection

Election boosts protection uptake

Technology provider iPipeline noticed an unusual trend in the build up to last month’s general election: a substantial increase in protection applications. While many could have put this down to being a blip, iPipeline took another look and saw a similar trend before the 2015 election too.

iPipeline product strategy director Paul Yates says: “We witnessed a surprising 17 per cent increase in protection applications the day prior to the election, and saw a similar increase during the 2015 election where new business increased by 16 per cent. Do elections prompt consumers to think about what they have in place to ensure their families and finances are protected? Might advisers be using the election as a prompt to get people to complete the forms? There may not be an obvious reason but we cannot doubt there is a link.”

Does shared value represent the future of insurance?

A new report published by the Shared Value Initiative has recognised the Vitality business model as a leading example in insurance. The report – “Insuring Shared Value: How Insurers Gain Competitive Advantage by Better Addressing Society’s Needs” – makes the case for insurers to pursue the business strategy, which aligns core profit making activities with pursuing large scale social impact.

Money Marketing’s coverage of the protection market

Vitality’s core business model incentivises people to make healthier choices and then rewards them for reducing their risk, in the form of premium reductions and other benefits. There is clinical evidence that members are healthier, live longer and claim less. For example, in South Africa, where the Vitality model has been running for 20 years, highly engaged members have a 76 per cent lower mortality rate and live, on average, 13 to 21 years longer than the rest of the insured population.

Younger people are rarely interested in protection insurance, which is no surprise. But when it can be made tangible with something that provides benefits and discounts, they are much more engaged.

New GP service launched

If you have ever been frustrated about not being able to see your GP soon enough, you will understand the benefits of this new service from LV=. Doctor Services is available with all personal protection products for new customers at no added cost, and is provided by Square Health.

The service offers policyholders convenient access to three medical services via one app. Customers will be able to speak to a UK doctor by video or phone, get a private prescription without needing to visit their GP, and obtain a review of an existing diagnosis and specialist advice on treatment options.

Also on the radar…

  • Protection intermediary LifeSearch has released a new infographic focusing on income protection claims. Interesting stats for 2016 include: the average claim amount was £8,603 a year, the youngest claimant was 21 and 94 per cent of claims were sickness related.
  • Defaqto has released a new guide for advisers about business and personal protection for small business owners. The guide includes executive income protection and relevant life cover in the context of protecting small businesses.
  • A new protection provider is set to enter the market later this year. Start-up company Gryphon Group Holdings Limited has raised £180m in funding to design and build an “insurance challenger” that seeks to protect more families in the UK.

Kevin Carr is chief executive of Protection Review

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