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Using claims to empower clients’ decisions

01/07/2024

Carl Heard, National Account Manager

You’re likely all too familiar with the misconceptions that exist around insurance, one of the more common being distrust around insurers paying claims. Our Wealth and Wellbeing research showed that nearly 1 in 5¹ without cover don’t have protection because they don’t trust insurers to pay their claim.

There’s a lot to unpack as to why that might be the case, so I won’t do that today. Instead, I want to focus on what’s in your control, and that’s how you engage with your clients on protection.

How can you use claims to inspire trust?

It’s almost a cliché to say at this point but claims really are the moment of truth for protection and your advice. Here’s 5 simple ways you can incorporate claims into your advice.

1. Talk about claims from the outset

Our Wealth and Wellbeing research revealed that 1 in 5¹ would want to hear about the claim process from their financial adviser as part of the protection conversation. As much as the focus of the conversation should be on the merits of the product, talking about how it works in practice can be just as important. Take the time to talk through your recommended insurer’s claims process, how they go about making a claim and what they can expect. There’s usually plenty of information on provider’s websites that can help form the basis of that conversation.

The research also highlighted that 15%¹ want to hear about claim statistics. Claims reports can be a valuable tool to help you talk around your recommended provider’s claims experience, showing that declined claims are the exception and not the rule.

2. Bring your advice to life with case studies

Alongside claim statistics, sharing real claim case studies can illustrate the difference that protection makes to those individuals and families going through a difficult time.

A powerful example that I often share is our longest Income Protection claim that recently ended in 2023 after 38 years.

Image of Jill

Jill's story

In 1984, Jill* took out an Income Protection policy with an annual premium of £122. Less than 2 years later, Jill rang us to claim on her cover. She had suffered a haemorrhage which eventually led to an epilepsy diagnosis with debilitating symptoms that left her unable to perform her role as a caterer.

We accepted her claim and started paying her weekly cover of £93.59. Her cover was inflation-linked and so kept up with the current rate of inflation, by 2023 this claim totalled around £340,000.

Provider claims reports are a great way to find some relevant examples that might resonate in your client conversations. The more relatable you can make the example the better.

3. Don’t be afraid to talk about declined claims

I briefly mentioned claim statistics above. At LV=, we couldn’t pay 6%² of personal protection claims last year. We believe it’s just as important to talk about these claims and why we didn’t pay them.

Behind most of these declined claims there’s a wider industry issue, with around 7 in 10² declined claims being due to misrepresentation. Sharing these statistics can open the dialogue, helping clients to understand the reasoning behind why insurers occasionally have to decline claims. This will help your clients feel confident that with your advice and support this won’t happen to them.

4. Talk about the wider benefits of protection

Most protection products these days go beyond the main claim. Within our Income Protection policy alone, we offer 4 potential claim opportunities through the various product features included. Last year we paid 54 Fracture Cover claims, paid £105k in Death Benefit payments and £89k through our Parent and Child cover feature², all of this is built into the policy.

Fracture Cover is a great one to highlight with clients early on, often talking about protection can feel very ‘doom and gloom’ to a client. The idea of suffering a fracture can be seen as a more relatable experience compared to early death.

Image of Eric

Eric's story

Eric* injured his knee playing football in May 2023. He called us in June to claim on his Income Protection policy which includes fracture cover as standard. We received medical evidence that showed he was unable to work, and so we were able to pay his main claim.

We needed more evidence to pay his additional fracture cover claim, and once that was received, we were also able to pay him a lump sum of £2,200. Eric had to have surgery, but his recovery put him on track for a return to work in early 2024.

The peace of mind these additional products features can provide can’t be understated, and case studies can really bring the value of protection to life. The same applies to value added services like remote medical services, don’t forget to make them a part of the conversation. We have a short guide that shows all the different ways your client can benefit across the LV= Flexible Protection Plan.

5. Use claims stories to re-engage existing clients

Over time, people can forget the conversation that took place that triggered their protection purchase. Remember, protection is often an emotional sale that appeals to your client’s desire to make sure loved ones are taken care of, homes are protected, and long-term financial goals aren’t impacted. Sharing these case studies with existing clients can really help to remind them of why they took the cover out in the first place and help aid retention.

The good news is insurers often have great resources to help you empower your protection conversations. If you need any more support, your LV= account manager is more than happy to help you.

*Names and images are for illustrative purposes only.

¹ LV= Wealth and Wellbeing Research – September 2023

² LV= Claims report 2023

Claims

Our claims report is out now detailing the claims we paid out in 2023 with real life case studies.

View our claims report 

Fuel for Life

The latest issue of Fuel for Life, our protection e-zine, focuses on misrepresentation and how you can support your client’s claim.

Read our latest Fuel for Life issue

Account manager

Your account manager can provide dedicated support to help you with protection, from 121 training to support on specific cases.