"The ‘awareness gap’ should be on providers’ and advisers’ radars already, but the advent of Consumer Duty will require even more promotion to heighten awareness among consumers and customers."
- Jennifer Gilchrist, Royal London protection specialist
Royal London highlighted that over 75% of these customers felt ill-equipped to deal with these challenges alone and were in “dire need of additional practical and emotional support.” Furthermore, of those that received help, only 9% of them got it from a professional.
When discussing causes of these statistics, it was noted that people are struggling to access the help they need, either because of NHS waiting times or services that “simply can’t meet the demand,” or a lack of awareness for other sources of help.
According to Royal London, just 16% of people with protection policies, from a range of providers, are familiar with the additional support services they can benefit from. The insurer claims this is not restricted to only policyholders, given that some providers extend services out to the partner and children of the person covered.
Commenting on these findings, Jennifer Gilchrist, Royal London protection specialist, has said:
“The pandemic has had a profound impact on people’s health, wellbeing and finances. The scale of the problem is striking, with one in nine having faced significant life events. And the vast majority of them have had to deal with the issues alone. It’s also concerning that many, who have added value support that comes with their financial protection policy, were unaware of the support options that are available to them.
“More than ever this year affordability will be an issue. Pressure on people’s finances will have many questioning the value of protection policies as they look to cut costs. Providers and advisers need to be more vocal in promoting protection policies and the additional benefits, which many are clearly in need of, but oblivious to. The message for 2023 needs to be, protection policies offer help when it’s needed most, but that help comes in the form of more than just financial support.”