“I FEAR THE DAY TECHNOLOGY WILL SURPASS OUR HUMAN INTERACTION. THE WORLD WILL HAVE A GENERATION OF IDIOTS” -- Albert Einstein
ARE OUR EYES THE EYES TO OUR FUTURE?
Whilst we may not quite be there yet, Einstein’s vision of the future was thought-provoking at best and scarily accurate at worst. It is interesting to think how technology is advancing at a real pace, and will almost definitely affect the way Insurance Providers look at mortality/morbidity risk in the future – which in turn will affect all of us who are involved in the financial services industry.
Headsets such as Google Glass, smart watches and a range of other “wearables” open the door for an unparalleled level of biometric measurement. Software running on wearables that will emerge over coming months will provide the capability to measure amongst other things body mass index, blood pressure, blood flow and blood oxygen levels, heart rate, hydration, respiration, and sleep patterns. This will create the ability to capture an incredible picture of an individual’s real time health.
Advances in neuroscience are also making it possible to measure brain activity using these wearables. These technologies will also be able to monitor stress levels, identify the points during a typical week when an individual is under most stress, and also the times when they make the best financial decisions. This will make it possible to understand when it is most effective to send prompts to take action on financial products.
PruProtect’s support and participation in the Vitality Institute Programmes gives them a great insight in to future initiatives in this area. Recent research by this group indicates that wearable devices are more often used by those who are overweight or obese, and that members engaging in physical activity led to reductions in high risk individuals by 22%. These conclusions are encouraging and are the first step towards more robust research.
Indeed current eye scanning technology is already capable of providing advanced notification of a wide range of conditions including diabetes, hypertension and high cholesterol. The possibility of extending this to include both the cardiovascular and nervous systems will provide further vital information regarding our wellbeing.
All of these changes will inevitably have a dramatic effect on the financial planning process, as it becomes possible to predict when individuals will face significant changes in their health and fitness, with a consequent impact on their earning capacity.
The current range of health testing that can now be achieved through retinal scanning means the eyes are quite literally the window to an individual’s overall health. The level of information that will be increasingly available from biometric devices combined with the ability to identify potential illnesses several years in advance, looks set to transform the business of life insurance into a service for health assurance. It would be easy to consider these changes as too far removed from the day-to-day process of life insurance to have a dramatic impact, however on the contrary they are likely to transform both the way life and health insurance are priced and underwritten in the relatively near future.
Interesting thoughts ........but back to today we can still see that Providers have become increasingly innovative in their use of technology to help you to sell the concept of protection, and their products, to your clients. We at Paradigm, currently have an extensive selection of these marketing tools available for your use in the Marketing Section of Paradigm Protect, and we are working hard to make this section of the website even more user-friendly so that these creative sales aids, advertising tools and webcasts are just a few clicks away when you need them. In short there is a wealth of information that can help make the process easier, quicker and more rewarding for you.
PRACTICAL WAYS TO GET YOUR CLIENTS THINKING
A recent survey carried out by Bright Grey found that 75% of advisers felt real-life stories were the best tool for helping sell critical illness cover1.
As a result, they’ve set to work on creating a series of case study DVDs which have proven to be brilliant in helping firms to sell more life cover, and could help you to convert a £15 a month case into a £70 one.
If you need to make a call or process some paperwork, the DVDs are easy to pop on for your clients to watch whilst they are waiting. By seeing and hearing real-life scenarios, clients will often be more engaged in the protection sales process as you go on to explain more about their options and the different types of cover available to them.
There are examples of a broker who have played the Bright Grey case study DVDs whilst he was completing his clients’ file – their response was extremely positive and now he uses the DVDs regularly. You can find out more here about how these DVDs can help you grow your protection business - certainly, if you are looking for new ways to encourage clients to at least consider their protection needs, we think this is a great place to start.
PruProtect offer more practical help in supporting firms to do their own email campaigns – their Connect email tool helps to develop and track marketing campaigns and is FREE to advisers (click here for more info) – with PruProtect picking up the cost for campaigns.
PROTECTION ON THE GO
For even more practical help in managing pipeline activity as well as putting clients on risk efficiently Zurich’s have launched their innovative new M-Office app for iPhone and iPad. This app allows ensures that you are aware of the current position of all of your cases and can help to avoid delays and get your clients on risk as soon as possible, thus enhancing your efficiency and customer service as well as speeding up commission payments.
The app gives you instant access to information on cases in progress, cases that can be put on risk, cases that are about to expire and applications that require some action by you. The system includes a search function for easy use where you have considerable numbers of cases. You can also contact Zurich directly through the app using its built-in secure messaging feature.
To get started, you just need to download the app and sync it with your UNIPASS account. Some Paradigm firms have found the video demonstration of M-Office on the Zurich website useful too.
REDUCING LOADINGS MID TERM – PRU PROTECT PRACTICAL HELP
It is all well and good looking at future benefits of research but we all want to know how that helps today,The innovation in technology mentioned earlier related to PruProtect has brought about a change in their thinking in relation to rated policies.
Customers who are rated for whatever reasons CAN get these ratings reduced or even cancelled by involving themselves in healthy lifestyle activities which have a knock on effect on their well being. This can clearly help in PruProtect reducing their incidence of Mortality and Morbidity claims and is another real practical way of helping to deliver affordable solutions to marginally unhealthy lives.
Paradigm firms are now able to access the new XRAE underwriting tool via the Assureweb portal, which has been developed to help you manage client expectations up front at the start of the sales process. All advisers have probably been caught in the trap of recommending a Provider who has subsequently rated a case – causing undue time lags. XRAE enables you to provide instant indicative underwritten quotes to your clients and can help to accelerate the selling of protection.
By capturing health and lifestyle information, XRAE produces indicative ratings based on provider’s unique underwriting rules, which means you don’t need to contact numerous providers to find out how a client will be rated. The service is designed to help you set accurate expectations with your client from the outset, assisting with Treating Customers Fairly (TCF).
It also allows you to electronically store results to provide an audit trail and easily demonstrate compliance. Six of the Providers on our Paradigm Protect panels are now live on the service including Ageas, LV=, Bright Grey, Scottish Provident, Zurich and AEGON.
XRAE is available via the Assureweb Portal’s Protection service, free of charge to all users. They’ve created a helpful user guide to help you get started, which you can find at www.assureweb.co.uk or you can contact their Customer Services Team on 0845 408 4011 for more information.
We believe they will be holding demos at our Protection workshops (mentioned below) – so please register your interest.
BUSINESS PROTECTION: BEST PRACTICE
Continuing on the eye theme - keep yours peeled for more details coming soon about Business Protection Best Practice sessions that we will be running with a focus on the following topics and outcomes to enhance your understanding and increase your business sales opportunities:
- Large Case Underwriting – different provider views and different illnesses covered
- Trusts – the benefits of writing cases under trust and the different ways of doing this
- Relevant Life – which Providers operate in this market, the benefits to clients, tools to contact existing clients who this may be appropriate for
- Claims – understanding how initial disclosure can impact claims payments and how to speed up claims payments
- XRAE demonstrations – new sourcing technology from Assureweb to help understand rating likelihoods thereby speeding up the process whilst managing client expectations
Please register your interest here.
PARADIGM PROTECT UPDATE
When we launched Paradigm Protect earlier in the year our aim was to provide a “one stop shop” for all things Protection. Since our launch we have had over 130 new firms sign up to the new proposition and all of them are now enjoying the increased commission terms associated with Paradigm, and in many cases these have been significant.
In addition we wanted to raise the profile of this area of business and offer practical support to all Paradigm firms who currently offer Protection or who may want to in the future.
If you haven’t had chance to review it yet please go to www.paradigmprotect.co.uk. If you haven’t joined yet and need more information on the market leading commission rates please email firstname.lastname@example.org – even if it is just to check you are enjoying the best terms!
In keeping with our focus on technology, you can engage with us via social media on Twitter by tweeting @ParadigmProtect. Make sure you follow us to receive all our latest news and updates from Providers and we will be sure to follow you back!
If there is anything you would like us at Paradigm Protect to do to help you with any Protection opportunities, or if you just want to feed back on the site content, email us on: email@example.com.
1 Bright Grey survey with Cover Magazine, May 2013.