New Directions

Hi everyone, we are the start of Season 3 and there is a bit of a change happening. I have a new co-host, with Roy McLoughlin joining me regularly on the podcast so we can talk about the latest developments in protection insurance and more. Roy is bringing his knowledge of investments, pensions, protection and many other areas to the show.

Matt Rann will also be a regular co-host and we will be talking about underwriting in the protection space. We will be taking different risk scenarios and chatting about potential underwriting outcomes for protection insurance, and why these decisions are made.

The 3 key takeaways:

  1. How we are in the perfect time to really drive home the importance of income protection to our clients.
  2. The need for us to try and get positive stories out into the public domain, and the potential of engaging journalists.
  3. The value of signposting clients to specialists if you are unable to meet your clients needs, not only for the benefit of your client, but also to make sure that you are truly treating customers fairly and meeting compliance and regulatory requirements.

Next week, I will be speaking with Helen Croft from AIG about coronavirus and the year ahead.

Remember, if you are listening to this as part of your work, you can claim a CPD certificate on our website.

Kathryn:       Hi everyone, today is the start of season three of the Practical Protection podcast and I have someone joining me who is going to be a regular host for the podcast.  It is the man, it is the legend, Roy McLoughlin.  Hi!

Roy:            Hi there, how are you?

Kathryn:       I’m good thank you, how are you?

Roy:            Very good, thank you, very good.

Kathryn:       Good.  In this first episode of 2021, we are going to be having a bit of a chat about the next year, about things that probably happened a bit last year that we’ll be summarising over, plans for the podcasts and what we really hope to see in the – not just the protection space but in other areas of finance and insurance too.  So this is the Practical Protection podcast.  So Roy, very, very quickly, let’s have a little general chat ‘cos this is just kind of like a bit of a teaser, a bit of an intro to everybody as to what we’re going to be doing but how has your weekend been?  How is everything for you in London?

Roy:            Yeah it’s all very good thanks.  I’m keeping up with my 10,000 steps a day but – and my obsession with Netflix and other social media – the American election has been quite interesting as well of course.

Kathryn:       It really has, hasn’t it?  Yeah, I was – I tend to avoid all politics and news like anything at all – like I find for my mental health for like the last year, all I’ve done is I log on to the BBC app first thing in the morning.  I look at the essentials and then I refuse to look at anything to do with any form of news for the rest of the day and I was absolutely fascinated I have to say.  It was sad – it was so shockingly – it was just such a shock what happened over the weekend in America and, yeah, I think – I think everybody was looking at that with a bit of surprise, I have to say.

Roy:            Yeah, I mean, if you didn’t know it was actually happening, you’d think this was a spectacular soap opera or the latest Netflix series but it’s just – it’s just TV that you can’t keep your eyes off unfortunately – or fortunately.

Kathryn:       It really is, I know, it is difficult but I do think though that we’re kind of like just bouncing between us – it’s kind of like America seems to do something that we all look at then the UK seems to do something that we everyone’s looking at and we’re just kind of going like that – so hopefully we’ll break the cycle soon.  Maybe this latest thing will break the cycle.

Roy:            Absolutely.

Kathryn:       So I think what’s a really good idea for everybody is, you know, obviously a lot of people that are listening will know both of us.  I think it’s probably a good idea to sort of like chat about, you know, what we’re both doing, what we’re both up to, what we plan to bring to the podcast and probably sort of like some of our thoughts on last year as well.  If you want to – do you want to kick it off with some of your thoughts?

Roy:            Yeah sure.  So basically, I have just handed my spurs in for the Income Protection Task Force that I’ve done for – I can’t even believe I’m saying this, 17 years so maybe some of our listeners aren’t even 17 years old.

Kathryn:       Wow, yeah.

Roy:            But yeah it’s been a long time – the last three years as chair but we are handing it over to some fantastic new people with lots of new ideas that’s Andrew and Katie and Jo so that’s that.  I still continue to be a member of the PDG and again was one of the original people that helped set that up so hoping that 2021 will be lots of PDG-related things still occurring but obviously, you know, we’ve got some huge challenges, you know, with Covid and insurance but as you’ve also said, other areas around insurance as well ‘cos for people who don’t know, I’m a sort of generalist IFA as well so I advise on pensions and insurances and investments but probably a little bit unusually in the group and the individual market.

Kathryn:       I was going to say, I think what’s quite nice about the way that we’re going to be doing this is that I can – I sort of like – well I was going to say, I can complement some of your knowledge in a way so I can run the protection side of things, you can do everything else and I’ll just be here for the protection side of things.  But no, I mean absolutely incredible achievement with the IPTF for taking it for so long and being so instrumental as well in the 7Families.  I know we’ve just had a sort of like a catch-up video haven’t we and there’s been quite a few of us as advisers that have done things – ‘cos I know for ourselves at Cura, it’s part of our training with our team that they watch the videos and watch the lives, just to see – and for anybody who isn’t sure, there’s seven families followed – essentially seven families and how their lives were affected by being diagnosed with very, very significant conditions and I think, as we all say and I’ve been saying for a long time and you guys have definitely obviously been saying this for such a long time, it’s the stories that really hit home exactly why these insurances are so important.  But whereabouts is the 7Families up to at the moment?  As I say, there were some videos wasn’t there recently?

Roy:            Yeah so what we’ve done is that – and just going back to the stories, it was fascinating.  When you speak to – lots of our listeners will be brand and marketing people – if you talk to people in industries that are outside – ‘cos you know there’s a world outside insurance as well don’t you?

Kathryn:       No!

Roy:            Yeah, apparently.

Kathryn:       No!

Roy:            It is quite fascinating to hear how other industries project themselves and market themselves and PR themselves by telling stories and this has always fascinated me as to why we don’t do it and we’ve got the greatest stories ever to tell because our stories are our claims and if you talk to journalists they will say that their – probably one of the biggest criticisms of our industry is that we don’t tell stories.  So this had been going around for years and years and that’s basically how the idea came up ‘cos we thought, “Well this is crazy, we’re not telling the great stories that are occurring.  Let’s tell seven of them,” and that’s, you know, how 7Families was born and over the last five, six, seven years I mean, you know, without a shadow of a doubt, it’s the best thing that I’ve ever been, you know, involved in.

We also, you know, utilised the fact that the advice was needed so we brought advisers in that – ancillary services that were needed so, you know, your Best Doctors and your Red Arcs and all those sort of things so it has been a campaign of awareness because I think part of 7Families was the fact that not only was the general public not aware but probably, equally important, lots of advisers weren’t aware of how important it was.  And just to remind any listeners that there is no intellectual property on 7Families.  Any of you could go in and utilise any of the information.  There are all the videos but there are lots of follow-up videos as you just alluded to and we’ve just done the summary which is worth listening to as well because there’s some industry luminaries and a special guest talking about 7Families but I think the legacy is its most important point and actually it’s probably as relevant now as it’s ever been because of everything that’s happening and the fact that, let’s face it, the problem with income protection was terminology in that the, you know, the man that – the woman on the Clapham omnibus just didn’t know what income protection meant.  Suddenly they’re now hearing this concept being talked about, you know, even by our beloved chancellor.

Kathryn:       Absolutely.  I do think that now more than ever is the time that we really need to grab onto the IP train, let’s just put it that way.  But it’s interesting what you were saying there about journalists as well because it is hard and I know, obviously we have had a few things sort of like feature in – I think many of us have had sort of maybe the odd little thing in newspapers and stuff but it’s so hard.  Like we were saying, you know, we’re trying to get out the positive stories and obviously if you do approach – not saying all journalists, but quite a few journalists, when you approach them and say, “We’ve got this really good story,” and I’ve had it said to us, “It’s just a case of – but we’re not your PR person, you know, we’re not going to just –” and it’s such a hard divide though isn’t it?

Roy:            It is.

Kathryn:       Because, you know –

Roy:            It is.

Kathryn:       It’s – completely understand that they’re not PR people obviously but then it’s – we just need to make sure there’s that balance don’t we about the negative ‘cos the negative stories are very easy to see and to get out into the – and rightly, you know, they should be out in the main if things have happened the way that they are being obviously portrayed but it is very, very hard to get the positive stories out and I’m sure that many advisers have found it hard to get those stories out there.

Roy:            The interesting thing about financial journalists – and there are some fantastic ones out there and obviously over the years that I’ve been involved, you do get to know these people and what I would encourage all of our listeners, is please go out and engage with these guys and girls because, you know, they are great people.  What they will say – and this is the Jeff Prestriges and the Simon Reads and all of the great journalists out there – is that they will say to you that when our industry makes a mistake, it is their job to call it out.  Okay?

Kathryn:       Absolutely.

Roy:            And I totally get that and actually there’s a positive there because there were some – let’s call them charlatans in our industry who are no longer there anymore, okay?  And part of the reason they’re no longer there anymore is that they were exposed quite rightfully by journalists so I think that’s a positive side of what they do.  But what I can assure you is that all of those people, okay, will tell you that they actually want the good news stories as well, okay, because it’s not just about calling out our industry, it’s about telling the public what our industry does and what was so fascinating about 7Families was that the journalistic community came together almost to a man or woman – there was one exception but we won’t talk about him and said, “This is phenomenal because what you’ve actually done is that you’ve brought together the industry in a way that no one had ever done before, i.e. you’ve got insurers, reinsurers, IFAs – all different types of IFAs, industry experts and a few other people, all in the same room at the same time delivering the same message.”

This is unheard of and people just need to trust us, this was unheard of and I think that’s what fascinated the journalists and the fact that the message was such a good story to talk about was why they were happy to report it and Jeff Prestridge for example said that it was the most radical thing that had ever happened to protection.  Now, when an editor of, you know, that much esteem and experience says something like that, you have to stand up and take notice of it.

Kathryn:       Absolutely.

Roy:            But the reason why he was correct was collaboration is so unusual.  The fact that we had come together and collaborated as an industry, right, was really important to the ultimate delivery of the message.  So I think what I would encourage listeners to do is that, if you have stories, go and talk to your journalists.  Now that could be the nationals, your local ones, the trade ones, it doesn’t really matter who you go and talk to but I think that you might find that they’re far more receptive than sometimes we think and I think part of the problem is us.  We perceive that unless we go and tell them some scandal stories or some bad news stories, they won’t be interested.  I would say quite the opposite and I think that they’re not always going to print everything you talk to them about and sometimes they will like real-life pictures and real-life names but not always is that the case.

So, you know, I think it’s really, really important that we engage with a, you know, and there are some fantastic journalists out there, you know, and if you take Cover magazine, you know, Adam, you know, Adam Saville who a few of you will know, Kathryn, you will know, we can pick that phone up to him whenever we want and he would openly encourage that but, you know, there are others as well.  I’m glad to see that David Sawers is making a comeback with Health & Protection, you know, there’s Corporate Adviser, there’s Money Marketing, there’s Financial Adviser, etcetera, etcetera, etcetera.  But I know that some of – some IFAs will put stories in their local papers as well, you know, and there are some local papers who will say, “Come and tell us stories,” and do you know what, why not go and tell them stories at the moment, okay, because there are some incredibly positive stories and I haven’t even started on the broader social media.  I’m just talking about, you know, localised at the moment.

Kathryn:       Absolutely.  I think as well though, sorry just going back to something you were saying there about that thing of collaboration, I don’t think, you know, anybody could expect us to have the episode and not talk about signposting and obviously collaboration that way.  I think, you know, obviously, you know, you’ve been doing some incredible amounts of work with signposting.  I’m sat on BIBA’s Access To Insurance committee which is obviously a lot to do with the Find A Broker service that they offer across multiple different sort of like financial insurance topics so what is it – sort of like the signposting things that you’ve been doing this last year and what’s kind of like your aim for this year?

Roy:            So signposting for me is another game-changer, a bit like 7Families and I think if people sit back and think about signposting and you do need to draw a breath and think about what it’s doing, okay, how it concludes is an incredibly logical issue.  What I would encourage listeners to do is just to think about situations they’ve had with sister industries.  So for example, if you’ve bought a house, you need to go and get a lawyer to do your conveyancing, okay?  That lawyer – you’re in his or her law firm and you think, “Actually I should probably do a will now,” or maybe you’ve gone back and you’ve wanted to do some other legal issues that you’ve wanted to do.  You never talk to the same lawyer, okay, you might use that person’s firm but they will introduce you to other people in the firm, okay.  If they don’t that have that expertise in that firm so a lot of conveyancing solicitors will specialise in property, they might say to you, “Look, we don’t do wills,” for example, “But I’ve got a guy down the high street does wills.  Is it okay if I introduce you to this law firm down the high street to do your will?  Okay, if you then want some legal issues down at work, is it okay if I introduce you to a specialist that does that?”  I don’t think any of us would ever say no to that because the key with that sentence is that you’re trusting the referrer to refer you to whoever they’re going to refer you to, i.e. you’re not going to say, “No I don’t want to be referred to that will person,” okay?

Think about accountancy, for any people that run their own business, obviously you’ll probably do your bookkeeping by one type of accountant but arguably you might do your audit through a different type of accountant, okay, or some tax planning through a different type of accountant.  Again, the same principle there.  Now let’s bring that across to our industry, okay?  There are people listening to this call who would call themselves protection advisers, wealth management advisers, employee benefits advisers, mortgage advisers, okay?  Why don’t we do the same thing and traditionally as an industry, we are obsessed with those silos that I’ve just described and I think the issue with signposting is that when you do have that cup of tea and sit back and think about it, why don’t we just do what the law firms and the accountancy firms and other similar professions do and do a similar thing ourselves?

So I think the sort of lightbulb moment for many of us was signposting was the proverbial no-brainer but obviously we had to encourage people how to do it and as you just alluded to, where to go to to find those lists and there’s BIBA but there are other mediums that can be used as well and that’s where people should be encouraged to take a long think and think either, “Can I do this myself?  If I can’t do this myself, should I get myself trained up to do it or if I genuinely don’t want to do this myself, let me get some signposting to someone else that will do it.”  Such that our industry becomes more collaborative and starts cross-referring and signposting to each other and there is an unintended consequence that’s come out of all of this that some people have already said back to us which is signposting works both ways, okay?  So you might be a mortgage broker that says, “Actually, do you know what, I really don’t have the time or inclination to do protection so I’m going to go and marry up with a protection specialist,” and you start giving them your work.  It might be – and we’ve already seen this, that some protection specialists say, “Oh mortgages scare me because I don’t like the intricacies of, you know, of all the mortgage advice and keeping up with the market and all that sort of stuff, would you like the business coming back the other way?”  Okay?

Kathryn:       Yeah.

Roy:            And that is happening out there and I have actually got some great examples of where that’s happening.  So don’t always think of signposting as signposting in one direction, signposting is in multiple directions.

Kathryn:       Well it is all about the networks isn’t it and I think the big thing for me with signposting and sort of like things that stand out is that one it’s – first of all it’s the right thing to do by the clients as well, you know, if you don’t – if you’re at the end of what you’re able to do for your client but that doesn’t mean that their needs end just because your advice ends and your knowledge ends or maybe even it’s not your knowledge, it may just be that you are, you know, you have a set amount of people or providers that you can use and they just need somebody outside of that and there’s nothing wrong with that.  It’s just the way that obviously different businesses set up who are all there for different reasons.  As you say, perfect business sense in the sense of, you know, you’re making up – building these relationships and something that always sort of like seems to be popping into my mind at the moment as well ‘cos I come from obviously – from the business side, from probably the compliance side of things as well is – I’m sort of being a little bit concerned about the idea of – and the repercussions of possibly not sign­posting.

Roy:            Yeah.

Kathryn:       In the sense of, if you’re doing something for somebody and you identify – if you know, you know, if you’re doing a mortgage and you know that person should really have life insurance or I’m sure obviously there’s plenty of other scenarios as well between wealth and pensions and everything else that I don’t have – just that’s not my area – but this is just my area so just sort of like in my mind I think, if you know that you’re doing a mortgage and they should really have life insurance then if you don’t try to do that or don’t put something in place then is that potentially going to – I’m just going to say bite you in the bum in the future?  You never know.

Roy:            Well it’s a very interesting one because what has been thrown back the other way is that a lot of mortgage brokers – they had a new piece of legislation that came in a few years ago which meant that their compliance became very elongated and a bit more complex than it was before so there were various stories going around that it takes 13 hours to do a mortgage application etcetera, etcetera.  Now obviously this is exaggerated but the point was understood but what several people used to say to me was, “We haven’t got time to do this,” okay?  Now, I get that but to your point, it’s not acceptable just to say, “We haven’t got time to do this full-stop,” and actually in a couple of podcasts we talked to people like John Cowan and Claire Levin last year who are people in the mortgage industry who said, “This is just simply not good enough anymore.  What you’ve got to do is that rather than put a full-stop there, you’ve got to, you know, bring in a comma, okay, and say, ‘But I will find you someone that can.’”

Because actually, you’re absolutely right, there is an obligation, okay, to not stop the mortgage application at that point and to carry on and if you genuinely don’t have the time or inclination to do it, to refer it out because ultimately, you know, the greatest fear would be if that person were to have a long-term illness or critical illness or to die, okay, and then you meet their widow or you meet their family member or you meet them and them to say to you, “But when you set this mortgage up for me, why didn’t you give me any of this protection?”  Okay?  And put aside the compliance part of that conversation, what about the actual – how are you going to deal with that answer?  And I think that, you know, this goes full circle to why we need to tell real-life stories because I think most advisers will be able to relate to a situation where they’ve turned round and said that the life insurance paid out or the critical illness paid out or the income protection’s paid out and there’s a feelgood factor there and I don’t care what people say, that’s us doing our job properly.

Kathryn:       Yeah.

Roy:            So you take that full-circle and say – to not have that conversation, you’re, you know, you really are on some shaky ground and if it is – we’re not picking on mortgage brokers here but if it is the mortgage broker that through naivety doesn’t realise that that person should have income protection for example, are they not duty bound to go and find that out and then to go and find that out and then to signpost?  I’m going to throw that one out there.

Kathryn:       I think – yeah, I think that’s – I mean, obviously I know it’s probably similar to how you say mortgages but it’s probably the one that’s – that we sort of see a lot.  We see people come to us after they’ve arranged their mortgage and then they need insurance and haven’t been able to through their original mortgage broker get their life insurance.  But I think that there’s that – I think for almost every area there is that need to sort of think, “Right, okay, this maybe isn’t my area.”  I’m very, you know, honest – protection insurance is what I do, I don’t have time to do anything else so, you know, as soon as somebody mentions a pension or mortgage to me, I’m like, “No, that’s not me, that is absolutely not me.  I cannot provide you –” and not just from a regulatory point of view but just for my own, you know, sanity, I can’t possibly try and pretend to know that I have any kind of knowledge in that field so I just immediately signpost out to people and I think that that’s really important.

I think as well, you know, sometimes I sort of like say, it doesn’t have to be that you’re suddenly going to be – one, you don’t lose your clients, you know, it’s not the case of they’re suddenly no longer your client, it’s a building of a relationship kind of like a dual kind of – not a dual advice but you know what I mean, kind of dual support of the client in a sense.  Oh, and there was something else I was going to say, it’s completely gone out of my mind.  It will come back to me in a minute.

Roy:            On that subject, what I can promise any of our listeners that are thinking about signposting is that if you find your client someone to do their mortgage, someone to do their pension, someone to do their private medical insurance and someone to do their protection or a combination of any of those, you will have that client for the rest of your life because clients are incredibly loyal back the other way and they will remember who the person was that referred them to all of those people, okay.

Kathryn:       And coordinated it, yeah.

Roy:            Because they will say, “That guy – the coordinator of that was a good guy for doing all of that,” and it is strange how people always remember the original referrer so never worry that signposting is going to lose control, quite the opposite, all it does is that – in the client’s eyes, it means that they increase their respect for you because you facilitated their whole life.  Now, all I would do there is make sure that the people you’re signposting to, you also keep in touch with, okay, and you have a relationship with so don’t just signpost off to someone that you don’t know.  Interview the people you’re going to be signposting to, okay, have a relationship with them and talk to them on a regular basis, okay, because it’s also very important that, you know, you don’t need to know the nooks and crannies about what that person’s done or what mortgage they’ve done or whatever it is but they should certainly be coming back to you and giving you some sort of, you know, some sort of update as to who they’re looking after and how it’s gone and how it’s proceeded, okay?

Kathryn:       Absolutely.

Roy:            Because – and ideally keep this on some sort of spreadsheet somewhere so that the next time you bump into that person you can say, “Oh, how did you get on with, you know, Steve the mortgage guy or Claire the private medical person?”  Or whoever, it doesn’t matter.  Again, all the customer’s going to do – I promise you is go, “Oh course yes, you put me in touch with them, thank you very much,” okay?  And the other thing about signposting, okay, is that if that system works, what I can also promise our listeners is you will get referrals from that client, okay?  And you might think, “Well, why?” and the reason you get referrals is that they will come to you originally and say, “Go to this person ‘cos not only can they do this part of my financial needs, they can do everything else,” and you end up signposting out again so the strange, you know, thing about the signposting is that rather than giving it out and forgetting about it, it will create more business for you for your own client bank.  That I can promise our listeners.

Kathryn:       Absolutely and the thing popped back in my mind as well is that you don’t have to pass over all your clients so, you know, when you’re signposting it isn’t that you’re suddenly saying, “Right, you know, I have to give up every form –”  Like people coming to me, they don’t have to give up all of their protection that they do for their clients.  It’s just the ones that they really need support on.

Roy:            But also – sorry, the other quite amusing thing that we’ve had is that we’ve had some people that have started signposting over the last year or two, okay, who after a while have gone, “Hang on a minute, why am I not doing this myself?”  And actually, have started advising on the very subject they were signposting on because it’s dawned on them that they’re probably better off doing it themselves and I think sometimes it needs you to go off signposting to do that or as you quite rightly say, signpost some but not all so an example might be, you might be a little bit nervous about, you know, high sum assureds on protection, okay, and it might be you go and start marrying up with someone that’s, you know, does high sum assureds then of course after a while you might start saying, “Well hang on a minute, why don’t I just do this myself and bring them back to me?”  So signposting is not one of those be-all-and-end-alls where you’re going to do it forever and we have anecdotal evidence that people have started doing it and then the penny’s dropped and there’s one company – one mortgage company we know who were signposting all their protection and now have just set up their own protection desk, okay, because it’s occurred to them that they should be doing it themselves.  Which is equally great as well so, you know, it’s – it doesn’t matter what the answer is.  The final answer is, your customer gets covered.

Kathryn:       Exactly, absolutely.  I think, you know, it’s – sort of like looking forward to this year coming up, it’s going to be a bit of a strange one ‘cos I think both of us, we’re usually at – obviously you far more than me but, you know, we’re usually at conferences, so we’re usually at lots of different things and seminars and different things and –

Roy:            I’m actually missing getting on the Tube.  I never thought I would say that –

Kathryn:       Are you?

Roy:            Sentence but, you know, going off – and, you know, the great thing about the protection industry as you know, when I say, we all met – wasn’t it – that there are some fantastic seminars and there are some fantastic conferences and you get to meet all the other wonderful people in our industry and now we’re doing it on this telephone thing called Zoom and – but those days will come back.  We’ll all be in the same room again and, you know, you never know, it seems a bit strange saying this on a Monday morning but we might be able to have a glass of wine with our peers soon and those sort of things.

Kathryn:       I was going to say, I’m assuming that there’ll be lots of scotch eggs about if there’s going to be – so we can all get together.  But yeah – so I mean, so for this year coming up, so obviously I’m involved in BIBA’s Access To Insurance work – sort of like committee.  I’m also being involved in the Institute of Faculty’s – of Actuaries – not sure if I got that completely right but everyone knows what I mean in their mental health working group and I’ve recently also been invited to be the ambassador – insurance ambassador for Parkinson’s UK which is something obviously I’m really, really thrilled about after some of the work I was doing last year and I just feel like I’m giving back a bit more to – especially to people who are –

Roy:            Fantastic.

Kathryn:       And things like they helped my Dad and it’s sort of like – I think that’s probably my, you know, for the podcast going forward I think, you know, I’ll be filling in lots and bringing some knowledge in from those areas to it as well.  There is going to be a regular underwriter, Matt Ramm is going to be joining regularly as well so we can go back to doing a lot of kind of in-depth analysis of certain medical conditions and how it’s understood by insurers and underwriters and obviously yes, whilst, you know, for a good while there’s still going to be that conversation of, “Well we’d usually be able to do this but because of Covid, risk appetites are lower, da da da da da.”  I think if we also just generally chat, you know, I think we’ll give like general overviews as to what would be happening in what, shall we say, a non-pandemic time at the same point and just sort of get back to giving that kind of information out to people which would be really good and I know full-well that you’re going to have so many different areas that you’re going to bringing into this, especially from the PDG and different areas.  It’s going to be – it’s going to be a brilliant mix!

Roy:            Absolutely.  No looking forward to it.  Yeah, Matt is a fascinating guy to listen to because, you know, he was a chief underwriter at a well-known insurance company, I’m not sure if I can say who they were but –

Kathryn:       I’ve no idea.

Roy:            But I’m sure he’ll tell you when he comes on but it is, you know, it’s really important also I always think that we should get to meet other people from other parts of our industry and underwriters are really important people to talk to and I know underwriters will encourage advisers to talk to them on a regular basis because equally they don’t tend to get out that much either.  They’re stuck in their very dark rooms in their very dark towers but actually underwriters are quite fascinated to hear what real clients are like in real situations and pandemic to one side, you know, the underwriting challenges that you and I come across as society changes and the different types of clients that we’ve got and I think one of the biggest challenges, you know, in this coming year, will be the gig economy and the fact that people will be working in a different way than they’ve ever done before plus some of the new professions that – you can start to see them already can’t you?  You know, artificial intelligence and such like and I think underwriters are, you know, quite fascinated to come and engage with the likes of ourselves and understand about the new way of working and, you know, I mean a great example is the fact that they do anticipate that there will be many people that have more than one job going forwards, okay?  Now that has huge ramifications for income protection if you think about it.

Kathryn:       Yes.

Roy:            So, you know, these sorts of subjects are something that we do want to be engaging with, you know, with that side of the industry on.

Kathryn:       Absolutely, absolutely.  Well I’m really looking forward to this and this new direction that we’re going to be taking.  It’s going to be a really good mix so we’re going to as usual have two weekly episodes planned and at the moment we’ve got sort of everything planned up until about the summer but if anybody who’s listening thinks that they maybe have something they’d like to contribute and come and talk on about and things, please do feel free to get in contact.  Now I know Roy, you’re going to do a bit of solo hosting as well at some point –

Roy:            Yeah, absolutely.

Kathryn:       Get some specific guests on for you which will be good.

Roy:            People might have heard some of the Income Protection Task Force ones we did last year, you know, alongside the great ones that you did.  If there’s anyone that people would, you know, particularly in our industry that would like to be interviewed, you know, do get in touch ‘cos, you know, we’d like to particularly talk to people on – let’s call it the other side of the industry.  I didn’t say the dark side I said the other side where we’d like to, you know, so that people can get to know people from that side of the industry as well because I think that’s the other thing – is that we can be accused of being a silo ourselves can’t we?

Kathryn:       Oh yeah.

Roy:            So we’re very much in the protection mould but actually, you know, we want to go and talk to some of the mortgage people and some of the wealth managers and some of the employee benefits guys but also some of the insurers and, you know, potentially journalists so, you know, there’s some great people in our holistic industry and if you’ve got any suggestions or you’ve got any people you’d like to volunteer, please send them in.

Kathryn:       Absolutely.  We had some volunteers last year as well which was quite good – people contacting us saying, “Can we come on?  Can we come on?”  It was like, “Yeah, of course, I’m always up for a natter.”

Roy:            We’ll talk to anybody.  We’ll talk to anybody.

Kathryn:       Absolutely.  So next time I’m going to have Helen Croft from AIG chatting with me and we’re going to be having a chat over things to do with obviously coronavirus, the way that things are looking right now and what 2021 is due to bring.  If anybody would like a reminder of the next episode, please do feel free to drop either myself or Roy a message and we will put you on the reminder list and obviously we’re on social media and you can visit the website www.practical-protection.co.uk.  And again, as always, please feel free to go on the website and ask for a CPD certificate if you feel this has contributed to your knowledge in your work.  But it’s really, really lovely to chat to you Roy and looking forward to speaking again.

Roy:            Thank you very much for your time.  I’ll speak to you very soon.

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New Directions

Hi everyone, we are the start of Season 3 and there is a bit of a change happening. I have a new co-host, with Roy McLoughlin joining me regularly on the podcast so we can talk about the latest developments in protection insurance and more. Roy is bringing his knowledge of investments, pensions, protection and many other areas to the show.

Matt Rann will also be a regular co-host and we will be talking about underwriting in the protection space. We will be taking different risk scenarios and chatting about potential underwriting outcomes for protection insurance, and why these decisions are made.

The 3 key takeaways:

  1. How we are in the perfect time to really drive home the importance of income protection to our clients.
  2. The need for us to try and get positive stories out into the public domain, and the potential of engaging journalists.
  3. The value of signposting clients to specialists if you are unable to meet your clients needs, not only for the benefit of your client, but also to make sure that you are truly treating customers fairly and meeting compliance and regulatory requirements.

Next week, I will be speaking with Helen Croft from AIG about coronavirus and the year ahead.

Remember, if you are listening to this as part of your work, you can claim a CPD certificate on our website.

Kathryn:       Hi everyone, today is the start of season three of the Practical Protection podcast and I have someone joining me who is going to be a regular host for the podcast.  It is the man, it is the legend, Roy McLoughlin.  Hi!

Roy:            Hi there, how are you?

Kathryn:       I’m good thank you, how are you?

Roy:            Very good, thank you, very good.

Kathryn:       Good.  In this first episode of 2021, we are going to be having a bit of a chat about the next year, about things that probably happened a bit last year that we’ll be summarising over, plans for the podcasts and what we really hope to see in the – not just the protection space but in other areas of finance and insurance too.  So this is the Practical Protection podcast.  So Roy, very, very quickly, let’s have a little general chat ‘cos this is just kind of like a bit of a teaser, a bit of an intro to everybody as to what we’re going to be doing but how has your weekend been?  How is everything for you in London?

Roy:            Yeah it’s all very good thanks.  I’m keeping up with my 10,000 steps a day but – and my obsession with Netflix and other social media – the American election has been quite interesting as well of course.

Kathryn:       It really has, hasn’t it?  Yeah, I was – I tend to avoid all politics and news like anything at all – like I find for my mental health for like the last year, all I’ve done is I log on to the BBC app first thing in the morning.  I look at the essentials and then I refuse to look at anything to do with any form of news for the rest of the day and I was absolutely fascinated I have to say.  It was sad – it was so shockingly – it was just such a shock what happened over the weekend in America and, yeah, I think – I think everybody was looking at that with a bit of surprise, I have to say.

Roy:            Yeah, I mean, if you didn’t know it was actually happening, you’d think this was a spectacular soap opera or the latest Netflix series but it’s just – it’s just TV that you can’t keep your eyes off unfortunately – or fortunately.

Kathryn:       It really is, I know, it is difficult but I do think though that we’re kind of like just bouncing between us – it’s kind of like America seems to do something that we all look at then the UK seems to do something that we everyone’s looking at and we’re just kind of going like that – so hopefully we’ll break the cycle soon.  Maybe this latest thing will break the cycle.

Roy:            Absolutely.

Kathryn:       So I think what’s a really good idea for everybody is, you know, obviously a lot of people that are listening will know both of us.  I think it’s probably a good idea to sort of like chat about, you know, what we’re both doing, what we’re both up to, what we plan to bring to the podcast and probably sort of like some of our thoughts on last year as well.  If you want to – do you want to kick it off with some of your thoughts?

Roy:            Yeah sure.  So basically, I have just handed my spurs in for the Income Protection Task Force that I’ve done for – I can’t even believe I’m saying this, 17 years so maybe some of our listeners aren’t even 17 years old.

Kathryn:       Wow, yeah.

Roy:            But yeah it’s been a long time – the last three years as chair but we are handing it over to some fantastic new people with lots of new ideas that’s Andrew and Katie and Jo so that’s that.  I still continue to be a member of the PDG and again was one of the original people that helped set that up so hoping that 2021 will be lots of PDG-related things still occurring but obviously, you know, we’ve got some huge challenges, you know, with Covid and insurance but as you’ve also said, other areas around insurance as well ‘cos for people who don’t know, I’m a sort of generalist IFA as well so I advise on pensions and insurances and investments but probably a little bit unusually in the group and the individual market.

Kathryn:       I was going to say, I think what’s quite nice about the way that we’re going to be doing this is that I can – I sort of like – well I was going to say, I can complement some of your knowledge in a way so I can run the protection side of things, you can do everything else and I’ll just be here for the protection side of things.  But no, I mean absolutely incredible achievement with the IPTF for taking it for so long and being so instrumental as well in the 7Families.  I know we’ve just had a sort of like a catch-up video haven’t we and there’s been quite a few of us as advisers that have done things – ‘cos I know for ourselves at Cura, it’s part of our training with our team that they watch the videos and watch the lives, just to see – and for anybody who isn’t sure, there’s seven families followed – essentially seven families and how their lives were affected by being diagnosed with very, very significant conditions and I think, as we all say and I’ve been saying for a long time and you guys have definitely obviously been saying this for such a long time, it’s the stories that really hit home exactly why these insurances are so important.  But whereabouts is the 7Families up to at the moment?  As I say, there were some videos wasn’t there recently?

Roy:            Yeah so what we’ve done is that – and just going back to the stories, it was fascinating.  When you speak to – lots of our listeners will be brand and marketing people – if you talk to people in industries that are outside – ‘cos you know there’s a world outside insurance as well don’t you?

Kathryn:       No!

Roy:            Yeah, apparently.

Kathryn:       No!

Roy:            It is quite fascinating to hear how other industries project themselves and market themselves and PR themselves by telling stories and this has always fascinated me as to why we don’t do it and we’ve got the greatest stories ever to tell because our stories are our claims and if you talk to journalists they will say that their – probably one of the biggest criticisms of our industry is that we don’t tell stories.  So this had been going around for years and years and that’s basically how the idea came up ‘cos we thought, “Well this is crazy, we’re not telling the great stories that are occurring.  Let’s tell seven of them,” and that’s, you know, how 7Families was born and over the last five, six, seven years I mean, you know, without a shadow of a doubt, it’s the best thing that I’ve ever been, you know, involved in.

We also, you know, utilised the fact that the advice was needed so we brought advisers in that – ancillary services that were needed so, you know, your Best Doctors and your Red Arcs and all those sort of things so it has been a campaign of awareness because I think part of 7Families was the fact that not only was the general public not aware but probably, equally important, lots of advisers weren’t aware of how important it was.  And just to remind any listeners that there is no intellectual property on 7Families.  Any of you could go in and utilise any of the information.  There are all the videos but there are lots of follow-up videos as you just alluded to and we’ve just done the summary which is worth listening to as well because there’s some industry luminaries and a special guest talking about 7Families but I think the legacy is its most important point and actually it’s probably as relevant now as it’s ever been because of everything that’s happening and the fact that, let’s face it, the problem with income protection was terminology in that the, you know, the man that – the woman on the Clapham omnibus just didn’t know what income protection meant.  Suddenly they’re now hearing this concept being talked about, you know, even by our beloved chancellor.

Kathryn:       Absolutely.  I do think that now more than ever is the time that we really need to grab onto the IP train, let’s just put it that way.  But it’s interesting what you were saying there about journalists as well because it is hard and I know, obviously we have had a few things sort of like feature in – I think many of us have had sort of maybe the odd little thing in newspapers and stuff but it’s so hard.  Like we were saying, you know, we’re trying to get out the positive stories and obviously if you do approach – not saying all journalists, but quite a few journalists, when you approach them and say, “We’ve got this really good story,” and I’ve had it said to us, “It’s just a case of – but we’re not your PR person, you know, we’re not going to just –” and it’s such a hard divide though isn’t it?

Roy:            It is.

Kathryn:       Because, you know –

Roy:            It is.

Kathryn:       It’s – completely understand that they’re not PR people obviously but then it’s – we just need to make sure there’s that balance don’t we about the negative ‘cos the negative stories are very easy to see and to get out into the – and rightly, you know, they should be out in the main if things have happened the way that they are being obviously portrayed but it is very, very hard to get the positive stories out and I’m sure that many advisers have found it hard to get those stories out there.

Roy:            The interesting thing about financial journalists – and there are some fantastic ones out there and obviously over the years that I’ve been involved, you do get to know these people and what I would encourage all of our listeners, is please go out and engage with these guys and girls because, you know, they are great people.  What they will say – and this is the Jeff Prestriges and the Simon Reads and all of the great journalists out there – is that they will say to you that when our industry makes a mistake, it is their job to call it out.  Okay?

Kathryn:       Absolutely.

Roy:            And I totally get that and actually there’s a positive there because there were some – let’s call them charlatans in our industry who are no longer there anymore, okay?  And part of the reason they’re no longer there anymore is that they were exposed quite rightfully by journalists so I think that’s a positive side of what they do.  But what I can assure you is that all of those people, okay, will tell you that they actually want the good news stories as well, okay, because it’s not just about calling out our industry, it’s about telling the public what our industry does and what was so fascinating about 7Families was that the journalistic community came together almost to a man or woman – there was one exception but we won’t talk about him and said, “This is phenomenal because what you’ve actually done is that you’ve brought together the industry in a way that no one had ever done before, i.e. you’ve got insurers, reinsurers, IFAs – all different types of IFAs, industry experts and a few other people, all in the same room at the same time delivering the same message.”

This is unheard of and people just need to trust us, this was unheard of and I think that’s what fascinated the journalists and the fact that the message was such a good story to talk about was why they were happy to report it and Jeff Prestridge for example said that it was the most radical thing that had ever happened to protection.  Now, when an editor of, you know, that much esteem and experience says something like that, you have to stand up and take notice of it.

Kathryn:       Absolutely.

Roy:            But the reason why he was correct was collaboration is so unusual.  The fact that we had come together and collaborated as an industry, right, was really important to the ultimate delivery of the message.  So I think what I would encourage listeners to do is that, if you have stories, go and talk to your journalists.  Now that could be the nationals, your local ones, the trade ones, it doesn’t really matter who you go and talk to but I think that you might find that they’re far more receptive than sometimes we think and I think part of the problem is us.  We perceive that unless we go and tell them some scandal stories or some bad news stories, they won’t be interested.  I would say quite the opposite and I think that they’re not always going to print everything you talk to them about and sometimes they will like real-life pictures and real-life names but not always is that the case.

So, you know, I think it’s really, really important that we engage with a, you know, and there are some fantastic journalists out there, you know, and if you take Cover magazine, you know, Adam, you know, Adam Saville who a few of you will know, Kathryn, you will know, we can pick that phone up to him whenever we want and he would openly encourage that but, you know, there are others as well.  I’m glad to see that David Sawers is making a comeback with Health & Protection, you know, there’s Corporate Adviser, there’s Money Marketing, there’s Financial Adviser, etcetera, etcetera, etcetera.  But I know that some of – some IFAs will put stories in their local papers as well, you know, and there are some local papers who will say, “Come and tell us stories,” and do you know what, why not go and tell them stories at the moment, okay, because there are some incredibly positive stories and I haven’t even started on the broader social media.  I’m just talking about, you know, localised at the moment.

Kathryn:       Absolutely.  I think as well though, sorry just going back to something you were saying there about that thing of collaboration, I don’t think, you know, anybody could expect us to have the episode and not talk about signposting and obviously collaboration that way.  I think, you know, obviously, you know, you’ve been doing some incredible amounts of work with signposting.  I’m sat on BIBA’s Access To Insurance committee which is obviously a lot to do with the Find A Broker service that they offer across multiple different sort of like financial insurance topics so what is it – sort of like the signposting things that you’ve been doing this last year and what’s kind of like your aim for this year?

Roy:            So signposting for me is another game-changer, a bit like 7Families and I think if people sit back and think about signposting and you do need to draw a breath and think about what it’s doing, okay, how it concludes is an incredibly logical issue.  What I would encourage listeners to do is just to think about situations they’ve had with sister industries.  So for example, if you’ve bought a house, you need to go and get a lawyer to do your conveyancing, okay?  That lawyer – you’re in his or her law firm and you think, “Actually I should probably do a will now,” or maybe you’ve gone back and you’ve wanted to do some other legal issues that you’ve wanted to do.  You never talk to the same lawyer, okay, you might use that person’s firm but they will introduce you to other people in the firm, okay.  If they don’t that have that expertise in that firm so a lot of conveyancing solicitors will specialise in property, they might say to you, “Look, we don’t do wills,” for example, “But I’ve got a guy down the high street does wills.  Is it okay if I introduce you to this law firm down the high street to do your will?  Okay, if you then want some legal issues down at work, is it okay if I introduce you to a specialist that does that?”  I don’t think any of us would ever say no to that because the key with that sentence is that you’re trusting the referrer to refer you to whoever they’re going to refer you to, i.e. you’re not going to say, “No I don’t want to be referred to that will person,” okay?

Think about accountancy, for any people that run their own business, obviously you’ll probably do your bookkeeping by one type of accountant but arguably you might do your audit through a different type of accountant, okay, or some tax planning through a different type of accountant.  Again, the same principle there.  Now let’s bring that across to our industry, okay?  There are people listening to this call who would call themselves protection advisers, wealth management advisers, employee benefits advisers, mortgage advisers, okay?  Why don’t we do the same thing and traditionally as an industry, we are obsessed with those silos that I’ve just described and I think the issue with signposting is that when you do have that cup of tea and sit back and think about it, why don’t we just do what the law firms and the accountancy firms and other similar professions do and do a similar thing ourselves?

So I think the sort of lightbulb moment for many of us was signposting was the proverbial no-brainer but obviously we had to encourage people how to do it and as you just alluded to, where to go to to find those lists and there’s BIBA but there are other mediums that can be used as well and that’s where people should be encouraged to take a long think and think either, “Can I do this myself?  If I can’t do this myself, should I get myself trained up to do it or if I genuinely don’t want to do this myself, let me get some signposting to someone else that will do it.”  Such that our industry becomes more collaborative and starts cross-referring and signposting to each other and there is an unintended consequence that’s come out of all of this that some people have already said back to us which is signposting works both ways, okay?  So you might be a mortgage broker that says, “Actually, do you know what, I really don’t have the time or inclination to do protection so I’m going to go and marry up with a protection specialist,” and you start giving them your work.  It might be – and we’ve already seen this, that some protection specialists say, “Oh mortgages scare me because I don’t like the intricacies of, you know, of all the mortgage advice and keeping up with the market and all that sort of stuff, would you like the business coming back the other way?”  Okay?

Kathryn:       Yeah.

Roy:            And that is happening out there and I have actually got some great examples of where that’s happening.  So don’t always think of signposting as signposting in one direction, signposting is in multiple directions.

Kathryn:       Well it is all about the networks isn’t it and I think the big thing for me with signposting and sort of like things that stand out is that one it’s – first of all it’s the right thing to do by the clients as well, you know, if you don’t – if you’re at the end of what you’re able to do for your client but that doesn’t mean that their needs end just because your advice ends and your knowledge ends or maybe even it’s not your knowledge, it may just be that you are, you know, you have a set amount of people or providers that you can use and they just need somebody outside of that and there’s nothing wrong with that.  It’s just the way that obviously different businesses set up who are all there for different reasons.  As you say, perfect business sense in the sense of, you know, you’re making up – building these relationships and something that always sort of like seems to be popping into my mind at the moment as well ‘cos I come from obviously – from the business side, from probably the compliance side of things as well is – I’m sort of being a little bit concerned about the idea of – and the repercussions of possibly not sign­posting.

Roy:            Yeah.

Kathryn:       In the sense of, if you’re doing something for somebody and you identify – if you know, you know, if you’re doing a mortgage and you know that person should really have life insurance or I’m sure obviously there’s plenty of other scenarios as well between wealth and pensions and everything else that I don’t have – just that’s not my area – but this is just my area so just sort of like in my mind I think, if you know that you’re doing a mortgage and they should really have life insurance then if you don’t try to do that or don’t put something in place then is that potentially going to – I’m just going to say bite you in the bum in the future?  You never know.

Roy:            Well it’s a very interesting one because what has been thrown back the other way is that a lot of mortgage brokers – they had a new piece of legislation that came in a few years ago which meant that their compliance became very elongated and a bit more complex than it was before so there were various stories going around that it takes 13 hours to do a mortgage application etcetera, etcetera.  Now obviously this is exaggerated but the point was understood but what several people used to say to me was, “We haven’t got time to do this,” okay?  Now, I get that but to your point, it’s not acceptable just to say, “We haven’t got time to do this full-stop,” and actually in a couple of podcasts we talked to people like John Cowan and Claire Levin last year who are people in the mortgage industry who said, “This is just simply not good enough anymore.  What you’ve got to do is that rather than put a full-stop there, you’ve got to, you know, bring in a comma, okay, and say, ‘But I will find you someone that can.’”

Because actually, you’re absolutely right, there is an obligation, okay, to not stop the mortgage application at that point and to carry on and if you genuinely don’t have the time or inclination to do it, to refer it out because ultimately, you know, the greatest fear would be if that person were to have a long-term illness or critical illness or to die, okay, and then you meet their widow or you meet their family member or you meet them and them to say to you, “But when you set this mortgage up for me, why didn’t you give me any of this protection?”  Okay?  And put aside the compliance part of that conversation, what about the actual – how are you going to deal with that answer?  And I think that, you know, this goes full circle to why we need to tell real-life stories because I think most advisers will be able to relate to a situation where they’ve turned round and said that the life insurance paid out or the critical illness paid out or the income protection’s paid out and there’s a feelgood factor there and I don’t care what people say, that’s us doing our job properly.

Kathryn:       Yeah.

Roy:            So you take that full-circle and say – to not have that conversation, you’re, you know, you really are on some shaky ground and if it is – we’re not picking on mortgage brokers here but if it is the mortgage broker that through naivety doesn’t realise that that person should have income protection for example, are they not duty bound to go and find that out and then to go and find that out and then to signpost?  I’m going to throw that one out there.

Kathryn:       I think – yeah, I think that’s – I mean, obviously I know it’s probably similar to how you say mortgages but it’s probably the one that’s – that we sort of see a lot.  We see people come to us after they’ve arranged their mortgage and then they need insurance and haven’t been able to through their original mortgage broker get their life insurance.  But I think that there’s that – I think for almost every area there is that need to sort of think, “Right, okay, this maybe isn’t my area.”  I’m very, you know, honest – protection insurance is what I do, I don’t have time to do anything else so, you know, as soon as somebody mentions a pension or mortgage to me, I’m like, “No, that’s not me, that is absolutely not me.  I cannot provide you –” and not just from a regulatory point of view but just for my own, you know, sanity, I can’t possibly try and pretend to know that I have any kind of knowledge in that field so I just immediately signpost out to people and I think that that’s really important.

I think as well, you know, sometimes I sort of like say, it doesn’t have to be that you’re suddenly going to be – one, you don’t lose your clients, you know, it’s not the case of they’re suddenly no longer your client, it’s a building of a relationship kind of like a dual kind of – not a dual advice but you know what I mean, kind of dual support of the client in a sense.  Oh, and there was something else I was going to say, it’s completely gone out of my mind.  It will come back to me in a minute.

Roy:            On that subject, what I can promise any of our listeners that are thinking about signposting is that if you find your client someone to do their mortgage, someone to do their pension, someone to do their private medical insurance and someone to do their protection or a combination of any of those, you will have that client for the rest of your life because clients are incredibly loyal back the other way and they will remember who the person was that referred them to all of those people, okay.

Kathryn:       And coordinated it, yeah.

Roy:            Because they will say, “That guy – the coordinator of that was a good guy for doing all of that,” and it is strange how people always remember the original referrer so never worry that signposting is going to lose control, quite the opposite, all it does is that – in the client’s eyes, it means that they increase their respect for you because you facilitated their whole life.  Now, all I would do there is make sure that the people you’re signposting to, you also keep in touch with, okay, and you have a relationship with so don’t just signpost off to someone that you don’t know.  Interview the people you’re going to be signposting to, okay, have a relationship with them and talk to them on a regular basis, okay, because it’s also very important that, you know, you don’t need to know the nooks and crannies about what that person’s done or what mortgage they’ve done or whatever it is but they should certainly be coming back to you and giving you some sort of, you know, some sort of update as to who they’re looking after and how it’s gone and how it’s proceeded, okay?

Kathryn:       Absolutely.

Roy:            Because – and ideally keep this on some sort of spreadsheet somewhere so that the next time you bump into that person you can say, “Oh, how did you get on with, you know, Steve the mortgage guy or Claire the private medical person?”  Or whoever, it doesn’t matter.  Again, all the customer’s going to do – I promise you is go, “Oh course yes, you put me in touch with them, thank you very much,” okay?  And the other thing about signposting, okay, is that if that system works, what I can also promise our listeners is you will get referrals from that client, okay?  And you might think, “Well, why?” and the reason you get referrals is that they will come to you originally and say, “Go to this person ‘cos not only can they do this part of my financial needs, they can do everything else,” and you end up signposting out again so the strange, you know, thing about the signposting is that rather than giving it out and forgetting about it, it will create more business for you for your own client bank.  That I can promise our listeners.

Kathryn:       Absolutely and the thing popped back in my mind as well is that you don’t have to pass over all your clients so, you know, when you’re signposting it isn’t that you’re suddenly saying, “Right, you know, I have to give up every form –”  Like people coming to me, they don’t have to give up all of their protection that they do for their clients.  It’s just the ones that they really need support on.

Roy:            But also – sorry, the other quite amusing thing that we’ve had is that we’ve had some people that have started signposting over the last year or two, okay, who after a while have gone, “Hang on a minute, why am I not doing this myself?”  And actually, have started advising on the very subject they were signposting on because it’s dawned on them that they’re probably better off doing it themselves and I think sometimes it needs you to go off signposting to do that or as you quite rightly say, signpost some but not all so an example might be, you might be a little bit nervous about, you know, high sum assureds on protection, okay, and it might be you go and start marrying up with someone that’s, you know, does high sum assureds then of course after a while you might start saying, “Well hang on a minute, why don’t I just do this myself and bring them back to me?”  So signposting is not one of those be-all-and-end-alls where you’re going to do it forever and we have anecdotal evidence that people have started doing it and then the penny’s dropped and there’s one company – one mortgage company we know who were signposting all their protection and now have just set up their own protection desk, okay, because it’s occurred to them that they should be doing it themselves.  Which is equally great as well so, you know, it’s – it doesn’t matter what the answer is.  The final answer is, your customer gets covered.

Kathryn:       Exactly, absolutely.  I think, you know, it’s – sort of like looking forward to this year coming up, it’s going to be a bit of a strange one ‘cos I think both of us, we’re usually at – obviously you far more than me but, you know, we’re usually at conferences, so we’re usually at lots of different things and seminars and different things and –

Roy:            I’m actually missing getting on the Tube.  I never thought I would say that –

Kathryn:       Are you?

Roy:            Sentence but, you know, going off – and, you know, the great thing about the protection industry as you know, when I say, we all met – wasn’t it – that there are some fantastic seminars and there are some fantastic conferences and you get to meet all the other wonderful people in our industry and now we’re doing it on this telephone thing called Zoom and – but those days will come back.  We’ll all be in the same room again and, you know, you never know, it seems a bit strange saying this on a Monday morning but we might be able to have a glass of wine with our peers soon and those sort of things.

Kathryn:       I was going to say, I’m assuming that there’ll be lots of scotch eggs about if there’s going to be – so we can all get together.  But yeah – so I mean, so for this year coming up, so obviously I’m involved in BIBA’s Access To Insurance work – sort of like committee.  I’m also being involved in the Institute of Faculty’s – of Actuaries – not sure if I got that completely right but everyone knows what I mean in their mental health working group and I’ve recently also been invited to be the ambassador – insurance ambassador for Parkinson’s UK which is something obviously I’m really, really thrilled about after some of the work I was doing last year and I just feel like I’m giving back a bit more to – especially to people who are –

Roy:            Fantastic.

Kathryn:       And things like they helped my Dad and it’s sort of like – I think that’s probably my, you know, for the podcast going forward I think, you know, I’ll be filling in lots and bringing some knowledge in from those areas to it as well.  There is going to be a regular underwriter, Matt Ramm is going to be joining regularly as well so we can go back to doing a lot of kind of in-depth analysis of certain medical conditions and how it’s understood by insurers and underwriters and obviously yes, whilst, you know, for a good while there’s still going to be that conversation of, “Well we’d usually be able to do this but because of Covid, risk appetites are lower, da da da da da.”  I think if we also just generally chat, you know, I think we’ll give like general overviews as to what would be happening in what, shall we say, a non-pandemic time at the same point and just sort of get back to giving that kind of information out to people which would be really good and I know full-well that you’re going to have so many different areas that you’re going to bringing into this, especially from the PDG and different areas.  It’s going to be – it’s going to be a brilliant mix!

Roy:            Absolutely.  No looking forward to it.  Yeah, Matt is a fascinating guy to listen to because, you know, he was a chief underwriter at a well-known insurance company, I’m not sure if I can say who they were but –

Kathryn:       I’ve no idea.

Roy:            But I’m sure he’ll tell you when he comes on but it is, you know, it’s really important also I always think that we should get to meet other people from other parts of our industry and underwriters are really important people to talk to and I know underwriters will encourage advisers to talk to them on a regular basis because equally they don’t tend to get out that much either.  They’re stuck in their very dark rooms in their very dark towers but actually underwriters are quite fascinated to hear what real clients are like in real situations and pandemic to one side, you know, the underwriting challenges that you and I come across as society changes and the different types of clients that we’ve got and I think one of the biggest challenges, you know, in this coming year, will be the gig economy and the fact that people will be working in a different way than they’ve ever done before plus some of the new professions that – you can start to see them already can’t you?  You know, artificial intelligence and such like and I think underwriters are, you know, quite fascinated to come and engage with the likes of ourselves and understand about the new way of working and, you know, I mean a great example is the fact that they do anticipate that there will be many people that have more than one job going forwards, okay?  Now that has huge ramifications for income protection if you think about it.

Kathryn:       Yes.

Roy:            So, you know, these sorts of subjects are something that we do want to be engaging with, you know, with that side of the industry on.

Kathryn:       Absolutely, absolutely.  Well I’m really looking forward to this and this new direction that we’re going to be taking.  It’s going to be a really good mix so we’re going to as usual have two weekly episodes planned and at the moment we’ve got sort of everything planned up until about the summer but if anybody who’s listening thinks that they maybe have something they’d like to contribute and come and talk on about and things, please do feel free to get in contact.  Now I know Roy, you’re going to do a bit of solo hosting as well at some point –

Roy:            Yeah, absolutely.

Kathryn:       Get some specific guests on for you which will be good.

Roy:            People might have heard some of the Income Protection Task Force ones we did last year, you know, alongside the great ones that you did.  If there’s anyone that people would, you know, particularly in our industry that would like to be interviewed, you know, do get in touch ‘cos, you know, we’d like to particularly talk to people on – let’s call it the other side of the industry.  I didn’t say the dark side I said the other side where we’d like to, you know, so that people can get to know people from that side of the industry as well because I think that’s the other thing – is that we can be accused of being a silo ourselves can’t we?

Kathryn:       Oh yeah.

Roy:            So we’re very much in the protection mould but actually, you know, we want to go and talk to some of the mortgage people and some of the wealth managers and some of the employee benefits guys but also some of the insurers and, you know, potentially journalists so, you know, there’s some great people in our holistic industry and if you’ve got any suggestions or you’ve got any people you’d like to volunteer, please send them in.

Kathryn:       Absolutely.  We had some volunteers last year as well which was quite good – people contacting us saying, “Can we come on?  Can we come on?”  It was like, “Yeah, of course, I’m always up for a natter.”

Roy:            We’ll talk to anybody.  We’ll talk to anybody.

Kathryn:       Absolutely.  So next time I’m going to have Helen Croft from AIG chatting with me and we’re going to be having a chat over things to do with obviously coronavirus, the way that things are looking right now and what 2021 is due to bring.  If anybody would like a reminder of the next episode, please do feel free to drop either myself or Roy a message and we will put you on the reminder list and obviously we’re on social media and you can visit the website www.practical-protection.co.uk.  And again, as always, please feel free to go on the website and ask for a CPD certificate if you feel this has contributed to your knowledge in your work.  But it’s really, really lovely to chat to you Roy and looking forward to speaking again.

Roy:            Thank you very much for your time.  I’ll speak to you very soon.

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