Choosing the right protection portal Kevin Carr chief executive, Protection Review; MD, Carr Consulting & Communications; co-chair, Income Protection Task Force
range of protection portals and online application processes are available to advisers these days, and their benefits can vary greatly. Some provide the option for the adviser – or insurer – to go through the underwriting questions. Some provide a link for the customer to complete the questions themselves. Some say the underwriting information must be collated and keyed by the adviser, with tele-underwriting only used if further information is needed. Some say the adviser should start the application, then as soon as they reach the medical questions there is a button to delegate the underwriting to the client, after which it goes back to the adviser. Some offer a full teleunderwriting service where the client provides all their medical information to a nurse. Last but not least, some offer the option of either a telephone interview with an expert third party, or an online medical and lifestyle questionnaire completed by the adviser on behalf of the client. “There’s no uniformity in the client journey across insurers,” says Peter Chadborn at Plan Money. “Financial planners typically aren’t medical experts, so it’s preferable to remove the adviser from the underwriting aspect. “Also, you often get better disclosure if the client is inputting the data themselves or speaking to a stranger. It can often be the case that the adviser is a family friend, which can make some discussions difficult. Advisers generally want to embrace tele-underwriting, but insurers all do it differently.”
While some portals don’t always have every product provider, there are still big advantages for any advisers looking to de-risk or streamline the end-to-end protection process. Amongst many other benefits: The Exchange from Iress is an online quote and apply portal for advisers; iPipeline’s SolutionBuilder automatically passes client information into extranets to pre-populate them and reduce underwriting with a fully digital end-to-end process; LifeQuote from Direct Life provides a protection portal and a full administration service for the adviser; The Protection Platform from UnderwriteMe has one application form, producing fully underwritten premiums from multiple insurers; Webline by Synaptic Software provides an easy to use whole of market quote and apply service. M I
Portals can expand an adviser’s horizons
MORTGAGE INTRODUCER FEBRUARY 2021
NEWS IN BRIEF Royal London has launched a new ‘underwrite later’ option for life cover on its business protection and relevant life plans, which will allow cover to be offered while underwriting takes place. OPAL IS has integrated UnderwritingPal, a new underwriting engine from RGAX, into its end-to-end protection platform in the UK and Ireland. MetLife has launched a new simplified income protection policy that covers some or all mortgage payments – up to a maximum of £1,500 per month – for up to 12 or 24 months.
We need to talk about case studies
uman stories make a big difference. A real-life person telling their story can be infinitely more powerful than a lender, insurance company or even an adviser. This is especially true for protection, which is perceived as dull or complex, if not both, and where stories need ‘bringing to life’ with a human touch, to quote many a dozen journalists. So why, collectively, do we seem to do so little to find and promote them? The barriers to doing this can include the perceived awkwardness of asking the client, a lack of understanding of the process, a possible distrust of the media, and maybe concerns around General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR), too. I’ve probably spoken to at least a thousand potential case studies over the years, and placed more than a hundred, and would agree it’s far from easy – and probably getting harder. But even when there are brilliant ones in the press, typically paid claims, I see very little attention or promotion of them across social media and marketing channels. Case studies are arguably the best marketing the industry has – let’s make the most of them. M I www.mortgageintroducer.com