LinkedIn blog by Ozgur Unlu, Managing Director of 360 Dotnet
Consumer shopping habits changed dramatically in March as retailers were forced to close shops and the nation was asked to stay home to protect the NHS. In the first few weeks, panic buyers swarmed supermarkets to stock up on pasta, hand sanitizer and tinned food. Following this, sales of bicycles, printers and pets went through the roof as people tried to adjust to lockdown living.
A less well-reported fact is that protection sales peaked during lockdown, this includes but is not limited to life cover, critical illness, and income protection. Transaction data from 360 Lifecycle reveals that lockdown may have helped boost protection sales as clients became more aware of the need to protect their income due to the pandemic.
In March, protection sales by adviser firms who are part of Lifetime Connect, increased by over 13% compared to the beginning of the year.
It has been well-documented that protection sales have fallen as home ownership has declined, but this current situation has reminded people of the need to plan for loss of income as well as critical illness and death. Protection products have developed and offer much more flexibility than their counterparts from a few years ago. With flexible terms and more favourable underwriting for a range of circumstances, there are so many more options for clients.
Jim Austin, Sales Director of Lifetime Connect, said: “Being able to successfully utilise 360 Lifecycle has continued to allow us to service our clients during this difficult time. This ensures us that our clients protection needs are being reviewed so they can plan for the future. In a period of chaos, confusion and anxiety we were quickly able to identify and contact our clients to re-assure, support and help manage their financial risk.”
No one knows what the new way of living and working will look like going forward. While people have stopped bulk buying tinned foods, more people are shopping online and are unlikely to revert. The pandemic has shaken the economy and affected many livelihoods. It has made the case for protection and reminded people of why they need to plan for the proverbial rainy day.
There is an opportunity for advisers who are qualified and authorised to advise on protection. We are committed to helping all our adviser clients and our 360 Lifecycle platform is designed to support advisers who advise on protection products, as well as mortgages. For anyone who would like to know more about this, they should contact their 360 Dotnet Account Manager.