Changing protection perceptions

27 November 2018
Our figures show that 60% of people* with a mortgage have life cover in place if the homeowner dies, leaving 40% unprotected.

But the most worrying statistic to appear is that 71% of people with a mortgage have no protection in place if they were diagnosed with a critical illness and 81% have no protection in place if they were unable to work for a prolonged period to injury or ill health.*

Our State of the Protection Nation Report gives some useful insight into customer views on protection, and gives some pointers as to how to overcome some of the barriers to people taking out protection.  The general messages resonating through the report are that while some customers can see the benefits of protection, a large proportion still doesn’t see the need.  And for those who do, converting those thoughts into action is still proving difficult.  Many want to protect their lifestyle and loved ones, but advisers still have to overcome barriers to close the sale.

Protection in place – but is it the right kind?

Interesting research from Pacific Life Re1 shows the risk of a 30 year old being off work for two months or more before their retirement at age 65 is 37% for a female and 26% for a male while the chance of dying is just 3% and 4% respectively.   So, the probability of needing income protection as a young person is much higher than the need for life cover.  As an industry, we need to improve consumer education around the likelihood of being off work for any prolonged period of time. It’s only by highlighting the risks we all face, and by painting a realistic picture of the support available from the State, that we’ll make the very real need for adding critical illness and income protection to a plan clear.

Protection for Generation Rent

87% of advisers2 considered the purchase of a house a trigger for an initial protection purchase, but as home ownership becomes less accessible to many people, will this mean that many people never experience this trigger? 

Those who rent their home are likely to be hit as hard as homeowners if their income was interrupted.  Their day to day outgoings are probably very similar to the homeowner with household bills and rent still needing to be paid if they were unable to work.  So, speaking to renters about their protection needs is an opportunity to grow your client base.  By highlighting the benefits of income protection and critical illness cover, you’re demonstrating the value of buying protection with advice and building a trusted relationship.  Then, for those with aspirations to buy, when it comes to purchasing their first home they know where to turn for professional advice. We can help start these conversations with our marketing studio.

Helping with the protection sale

Looking at our research, many customers seem to be aware of the protection covers on offer and the overall need for them. However, they seem unable to translate this general need into a personal one and don’t appear to realise the relevance for themselves. Or they just think it’s too expensive.  If you’re finding it difficult to approach these issues with your clients, we have tools available to help you.

Why not try our range of tools to help you approach customers or overcome objections.


* Royal London State of the Protection Nation Report, May 2018

1Pacific Life Re, March 2018.  These figures have been produced based on their interpretation of the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries’ Continuous Mortality Investigation insured lives incidence rates together with their estimated view of future trends.  Incidence rates for the entire population may be different to those lives that take out insurance products.

2Royal London State of the Protection Nation Report, May 2018



About the author

Karen Playfair

Having worked in marketing for more than thirty years in a range of different sectors, Karen joined the marketing team at Royal London in October 2014. She works within the team responsible for marketing across our national partners and networks.

Last updated: 27 Nov 2018
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The State of the Protection Nation is part of Royal London's CPD offering. Visit the CPD hub to receive your certificate once you have finished reading the guide.

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The Royal London Mutual Insurance Society Limited is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority. The firm is on the Financial Services Register, registration number 117672. It provides life assurance and pensions. Registered in England and Wales number 99064. Registered office: 55 Gracechurch Street, London, EC3V 0RL.