A Review of Protection Service - 2014

by Ben Heffer
Insight Analyst - Life & Protection

June 2014

Financial advisers recommending individual protection products are placing greater value on competent and courteous provider staff, but are providers meeting the standards expected of them?

The value placed by financial advisers recommending individual protection products on competent and courteous provider staff is increasing, but providers are failing to meet the standards expected from them, it has emerged.

Our latest survey of 500 advisers dealing with protection products shows that four of the 10 highest-rated aspects of provider service relate to competence, courtesy and helpfulness. Furthermore, all of these are now perceived to be more important than they were at the time of our last survey in 2011.

The four aspects of service relating to engagement with provider staff are:

Service aspect

2014 rank

2011 rank

Staff competence for new business



Staff competence for claims



Staff competence for existing business



Staff courtesy and helfulness for claims



The presence of so many elements of service relating to staff knowledge and engagement underlines the importance of personal relationships, even in a digital age. Also, while the full rigours of the Retail Distribution Review are not yet mandated on pure protection cases, many generalist advisers  will have adopted them for their wealth management activities. For many, this will have necessitated a greater emphasis on accounting for time and delivering an efficient service – an area directly impacted upon by provider administration, be it administration of new business or of a claim for an existing client.

Our latest review of protection service shows how advisers rated 41 separate elements of protection provider service, as well as highlighting the providers identified as the best in nine distinct service categories:

  • Provider perception
  • Administration of new business
  • Administration of existing business
  • Claims
  • Commission and remuneration
  • Product and product support
  • Broker consultant services
  • Underwriting
  • Online services

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