The need for income protection has always been a difficult conversation to have. But after the year we’ve all had, more ears should be open. And, with some new initiatives and fresh thinking from the industry, is talking about - and selling - protection about to get easier?

Better conversations

The Income Protection Task Force (IPTF) does fantastic work to help advisers broach the subject of protection with clients, giving them tools and resources - like its Adviser Hub - to make those difficult conversations more effective. Now it wants to engage consumers - particularly the 18-35-year-old millennial market - through a new consumer brand, ‘Ziggy’s Money Moves’, to get them thinking and talking about finances with each other in a whole new way.

Protection is never an easy conversation but after the year we've all had, more ears should be open.

As an IPTF member, Iress champions the IPTF message around the value, support and peace of mind income protection provides. We support IPTF dedicated workstreams and work with industry partners to help break down barriers. We also use our experience, reach and technology to do what we can to improve education and awareness, make the income protection conversation easier and ultimately increase sales of protection products.

Better choices

There are obvious challenges around selling any type of protection product lately and in reaching and engaging new and existing clients remotely. Not to mention ensuring all the suitable systems and procedures are in place to ensure continued compliance when advisers work from home. Then there’s the increase in complexity of products on the market with many changes to keep up with. Providers have improved their offers by introducing value-added services alongside policies like second medical opinion and useful support helplines and apps - all good news, but the landscape is becoming vast.

To help bring some clarity to the new protection products on the market and cut through the emerging developments, additional features and provider-specific terminology, this Autumn Iress is introducing further enhancements to The Exchange starting with its Income Protection service. The enhancements will make the protection process more straightforward and help advisers manage client requirements.

Better tools

Another way Iress is helping bridge the gap is through its partnership with Codepotato, which gives brokers their own branded life insurance quote engine on their websites. It’s called Quotehaven, and it’s available through The Exchange. Consumers can proactively compare protection products from the whole market and easily see those that match their needs, helping them have a better, more informed conversation with the broker from the outset.

Keeping protection front of mind

These are just some of the initiatives on the table right now designed to help close the protection gap. But we - like many across the industry - are committed to the cause. We can help by facilitating conversations between our users and their clients through better technology and continuing to support the work of the IPTF.

We can help by facilitating conversations between our users and their clients through better technology and supporting the work of the Income Protection Task Force.

Initiatives like Income Protection Awareness Week this September 20-24 are important to keep the protection conversation flowing. Because we can't let everything we've learned over the past year get forgotten as soon as we've packed away the hand sanitiser and face masks. We need to keep talking to make sure we have the protection we need for our future.