Have better conversations

Hints and tips to help you have more productive protection conversations.

  • PENSION AND INVESTMENT CONVERSATIONS

    If your conversations are about wealth management or retirement planning, we have some thoughts about how protection can sit alongside your advice to build volume, value and engagement.

    Get more volume

    Make protection the first issue you raise – those investment strategies or pension provisions are under threat if your client loses the income that pays into them. Show your clients that underpinning those investments (adventurous or conservative) with protection will help to achieve their financial goals.

    Get more value

    Use protection in your inheritance tax planning to help your clients leave their legacy to their families, not the tax man. Think about combining a term assurance or whole of life policy with a gift inter-vivos plan.

    Build lifetime engagement

    Consider putting your clients’ protection policies in trust. Talking to clients’ trustees can also provide you with additional opportunities.

    Case Study

    Mike and Allen

    Mike and Alan have been together for over 20 years. They own their own home and will pay off their remaining mortgage in the next 5 years. Alan is semi-retired, consulting on a freelance basis and Mike is working full time. They would like to get married in the future and are working towards both of them retiring by the time they’re 60.

    The need for protection

    We’ll assume you’ve already put together a protection plan for Mike and Alan to take care of each other. Mike and Alan have been coming to you for advice about their pensions and investments but now Alan’s planning to leave some money to his and Mike’s godchildren. Alan has made some shrewd property investments over the years, so he’s got a substantial sum to gift. He’d like his godchildren to have the money now, so let’s look at how you can help Alan’s beneficiaries with potential inheritance tax liabilities should he die in the next 7 years.

    Setting up a menu plan for a ‘gift inter vivos’ could help with the potential tax liability on his Potentially Exempt Transfer (PET). This is a way of matching the inheritance tax liability on any gifts that Alan makes in excess of his available nil rate band that HMRC could consider a Potentially Exempt Transfer, if he were to die in the 7 years after making the gift. Alan might also want to consider a 7 year level term policy because if the PET fails there will be no nil rate band available to his residual estate.

    How can a menu plan help?

    This example shows the potential IHT liability on a gift, after deducting any available nil rate band and reliefs, of £600,000. Setting up a menu plan for a ‘gift inter vivos’ could help with that liability.

    It’s possible to use a menu plan to cover the liability, by setting up separate policies with different terms. The initial sum assured should be the potential tax liability on the potentially exempt transfer (PET), so in this scenario it would be £240,000 in the first three years (i.e. 40% of £600,000). The total amount of cover would reduce over the years in line with taper relief. If Alan were to die in the first three years then all five policies totalling £240,000 would be paid. If he were to die in year five then three policies would remain to pay out a total of £144,000 and so on.

    Plan Year 1 Year 2 Year 3 Year 4 Year 5 Year 6 Year 7
    Policy 1 £48,000 £48,000 £48,000 - - - -
    Policy 2 £48,000 £48,000 £48,000 £48,000 - - -
    Policy 3 £48,000 £48,000 £48,000 £48,000 £48,000 - -
    Policy 4 £48,000 £48,000 £48,000 £48,000 £48,000 £48,000 -
    Policy 5 £48,000 £48,000 £48,000 £48,000 £48,000 £48,000 £48,000
    Total Cover £240,000 £240,000 £240,000 £192,000 £144,000 £96,000 £48,000
    Monthly Premium £50 £50 £50 £40 £30 £20 £10

    Conversation tips

    • Find out about your clients' financial aspirations so that you’re linking those end goals to protection – changing the ‘need’ for protection into ‘wanting’ protection.
    • Talk about how your client would cover any investment gaps if they could no longer earn money to pay into their pension or investment pots.
    • If your clients had to stop paying into an investment pot because they were too ill to work or died, would their families have to cash them in early? Would they face exit fees? A protection policy on an income basis could help them to continue making payments.
    • Consider whether it is appropriate to put your client's policy in trust. 
    • Potentially HMRC could become the largest beneficiary of their estate!
    • You can talk to your client about the impact of the pension lifetime allowance on any pension fund that they wish to leave to beneficiaries and the importance of keeping their pension death benefit nominations up to date.
    • You can talk to your client about the impact of lifetime allowance on any money that they wish to leave to beneficiaries.
    • A menu plan would provide flexibility to amend or add in additional protection due to changing circumstances over and above IHT protection.
    • Are your clients fully aware of their assets; house value, cars, boats, bank accounts, household contents, investments?

    Categorised under

    What do you want to do next?

    See our protection options

    See how our Protection options can help your clients.

    Look at protection options

    More conversation tips

    Read our guide on protection and financial planning conversations.

    Have better conversations

    Get an indicative rating

    Use our underwriting tool to get an example rating for your client.

    Use our tool
  • FAMILY CONVERSATIONS

    If you offer holistic financial advice you’re probably talking to your clients about their day to day finances as well as their longer term planning. Protection is likely to be a key part of your advice process, but how can you help your clients plan for the unexpected?

    Get more volume

    Your clients’ protection needs can be tailored to their life stage, so for couples or families with small children, they could consider a smaller amount, say a year’s salary, of life with critical illness cover on an income basis. That could cover immediate needs, like paying the bills, or covering childcare or travel costs if your client becomes ill.

    Get more value

    Suggest your clients take cover on an increasing basis, that way their sum assured will keep pace with inflation.

    Build lifetime engagement

    Use an annual review to keep up to date with what’s happening in your clients’ lives. A menu plan can help you to build a protection plan specifically tailored to your clients’ needs, and gives you the flexibility to change it as your clients’ lives change.

    Case Study

    Joanne and Phil

    Joanne and Phil have been married for 11 years and have two children together, aged 7 and 10. They’re at fee-paying schools. Phil also has a son from a previous relationship. Joanne works as a graphic designer and Phil is a director for a small manufacturing company.

    The need for protection

    They’ve been with their financial adviser for years, since they arranged their first mortgage. She’s been talking to them recently about planning for university for the children as well as looking to the future and their retirement approach.

    How can a menu plan help?

    Life with Critical Illness Cover (on an increasing basis) for Phil

    This could be for a smaller amount, 6 months’ salary for example. The lump sum would go up in line with inflation too. The family would have an additional sum to use for paying bills, or any additional expenses that arise from treatment.

    Life with Critical Illness Cover (on an increasing basis) for Joanne

    This would be an additional policy that covered Joanne until she reached retirement and increases in line with inflation.

    Joint Life with Critical Illness Cover (decreasing in line with their mortgage)

    This means Phil or Joanne would get a lump sum if one of them got a critical illness or died. There would just be one payout for whichever event happened first (but they could choose a replacement cover option to continue cover for the remaining person). They've taken enough cover to be able to pay off the mortgage if they have to make a claim. The amount will go down each year in line with what they have left to pay on their mortgage. And because they have critical illness cover, they may also get an amount of free children's critical illness cover for each of their two children if anything happened to them.

    Life Cover (on an income basis) for Phil

    This means if Phil died, the family would have a monthly income to help pay the bills and allows the children to stay in school.

    Joanne and Phil’s figures

    Age

    Joanne 35, Phil 48

    Mortgage

    £200,000 with 12 years remaining on a repayment basis

    Repayment

    £2,300 a month

    Other basic outgoings

    £900 per month

    Salary

    £45,000, £80,000

    Mortgage

    £200K, 12 years remaining

    Monthly outgoings

    £3,200 

    Conversation tips

    • Cover for smaller amounts is often easier to manage from a budgeting perspective and can be increased with Guaranteed Insurability Options should the need arise.
    • A menu plan would let your clients add policies throughout their lives to cover new events, like having children or buying a new home.
    • If your clients had a cash point in their home, they’d take out contents insurance to protect it, yet they don’t think of themselves in those terms. They’re the ones earning the money, so talk to them about protecting themselves so they can protect that revenue stream.
    • Talk to your clients about what’s important to them – ‘college fee cover’ or ‘paying off the mortgage cover’ – rather than ‘life insurance’.
    • Discuss the ‘value of a parent’ – focus on how much it would cost a family if they had to pay for all of the things a parent does – taxi-ing the children to school, doing the housework, even mowing the lawn. Who would do all these things if a parent became critically ill or died?
    • Talk to your client about the impact on their children’s lifestyle in the event of a critical illness or death of a parent. Cover on an income basis could help maintain a sense of stability if the worst happens.
    • Remember the value of free children’s critical illness and life cover, included with many protection policies.
    • Clients don’t have to take life cover in relation to the mortgage on a decreasing basis, a level term assurance would give them a cushion that could help pay the bills and keep the cash-flow moving in the event of a critical illness or death.
    • Ask your clients whether they have emergency cover for their white goods? People are quite happy to pay for extended warranties on their washing machine or fridge freezer but not themselves. Have they got their priorities right?

    Categorised under

    What do you want to do next?

    See our protection options

    See how our protection options can help your clients.

    Look at protection options

    More conversation tips

    Read our guide on family protection conversations.

    Have better conversations

    Get an indicative rating

    Use our underwriting tool to get an example rating for your client.

    Use our tool
  • BUSINESS CONVERSATIONS

    If your clients are business owners, business protection could help them continue to trade if a key person or shareholder gets a critical illness or dies. The proceeds from the cover could help close the gap in income created by the loss of a key person, pay off any business loans and buy back any shares to keep them in business. If your clients are talking to you about business loans or shareholder agreements, talk to them about business protection too. After all, they’ll readily insure their equipment, their premises and their stock. But what about their key people?

    Get more volume

    You could have a ready-made source of business protection clients. Check your book of clients to see which of them own or are partners in their own business. You could also find out if your clients are working for SMEs – if they are, you could ask for an introduction to the Managing Director.

    Get more value

    Review your clients’ company accounts – they’ll help you identify the opportunities for shareholder protection, key person and loan protection. Working with the accountant is also a good way of growing your network of professional connections.

    Build lifetime engagement

    Once you’ve set up business protection for your clients, revisit it annually to make sure staff turnover, new business figures and loan repayments are taken into consideration and are reflected in their level of protection.

    Case Study

    Priya

    Neel and Priya are business partners running a small gourmet pet food company. Neel is the financial director and Priya is the head of sales. Neel and Priya have both invested their own money in the business. Priya’s married to Ashok and they have a 9 month old daughter.

    Priya's protection needs

    Priya's been talking to her adviser about personal protection because since becoming a mum she wants to make sure her husband and daughter are financially supported if she becomes ill or dies. She hasn’t considered business protection. Now’s the time to start the conversation about key person cover or shareholder protection.

    How can key person cover help?

    There are a number of different ways in which you can work out the value of a key person. Two of the most common valuation approaches are:

     Multiple of salary 7 to 10 x salary or Contribution to profit 2 x average gross profit (apportioned)
    or 5 x average net profit (apportioned).

    In this scenario, Priya’s adviser is recommending that the business takes out key person cover on Priya. Without her input, it’s fair to say the business’s profitability would be severely impacted.

    Average of the last 2 years’ gross profits: £198,000 with 76%% of profits directly attributable to Priya. The appropriate maximum sum assured would be £300,960.

    Priya’s figures

    Age

    32

    Salary

    £46,350

    Average of the last 2 years' gross profits

    £198,000

    Priya's shareholding in the business

    51%

    % of profits directly attributable to Priya

    76%

    Conversation tips

    • Use your professional connections to find more potential business protection clients – accountants and solicitors can be good connections to make.
    • If you’re writing pensions for small business owners, review their protection needs as well.
    • Ask your SME clients if they know the value of their key people.
    • Talk about succession planning - it can be a good way of identifying who the key people are.
    • Ask your clients who they think could end up running the business if they don’t have shareholder protection in place – the idea of working alongside the wife or children of a deceased partner probably isn’t one they’ve considered.
    • Ask whether your business owners have articles of association drawn up. If they do, shareholder protection should be your next step.
    • If you’re a protection specialist, your pensions and investment colleagues may be happy to make introductions between you and their clients.
    • Your clients’ business accounts are also a good source of information – the annual return for example gives details of the directors and shareholders.
    • Why not talk about Relevant Life Cover next?

    Categorised under

    What do you want to do next?

    See our protection options

    See how our protection options can help your clients.

    Look at protection options

    Use business protection tools

    Get quick and easy cover calculations.

    Calculate a value

    See our business solutions

    Find out how we can help businesses with protection.

    Business protection benefits
  • RELEVANT LIFE

    Relevant life cover is a tax efficient way for companies to provide a death in service benefit if they have too few employees to offer a group life scheme. This type of cover doesn’t come under pensions legislation unlike most Group Life schemes. If you have clients who are directors of their own business, who pay for their life cover out of their post-tax income, and have dependants, you could save them up to 49% by using relevant life cover. Relevant life policies must be put in trust to achieve the benefits of tax savings. Trusts are not always the best option so you should seek expert advice.

    Get more volume

    Check your database for clients who are employees or directors of limited companies, partnerships or sole traders. If they haven’t got life cover already, talk to them about the benefits of relevant life. And if they do have life cover, discuss the potential savings you can offer them with relevant life cover.

    Get more value

    Once you’ve sold your client on the benefits of relevant life cover, the next step is to show them how it can sit alongside a traditional benefits package for other key employees.

    Build lifetime engagement

    Use relevant life policies with your high net worth and pensions and investments clients to work alongside their current investments – or if your client base doesn’t look like that, network with professional connections and work alongside them to show the benefits of relevant life cover.

    Case Study

    Lou

    Lou has a small design business, Harlow Designs Ltd, specialising in framed prints for the home and office. She makes £2.00 profit on every frame she sells and she is a higher rate tax payer. Lou is a single mum to 5 year old Archie.

    Lou's protection needs

    Lou’s £500,000 life cover costs her £500 a year. £500 net for Lou’s cover costs the company £981 – Lou pays the £500 premium through her business from her post-tax earnings. In this scenario, we show how a relevant life policy could help Lou save on her cover.

    If Harlow Designs Ltd pays the £500 premium, the cover can be written under a relevant life policy:

      Personal life policy Relevant life policy
    Annual Premium
    £500 £500
    Employee's national insurance at 2%
    £17 £0
    Income tax at 40%
    £345 £0
    Employer's national insurance 13.8%
    £119 £0
    Net cost to company
    £981 £500
    Less Corporation tax relief at 20%
    £196 £100
    Grand Total
    £785 £400
    A TOTAL SAVING OF 49% OR £385
    (that’s 192 fewer frames that Lou has to sell)

    Based on current tax rates for 2017/2018.

    Conversation tips

    • Ask your client if they want to save up to 49% on their life cover… Ok, that’s not a new angle but it’s a very powerful one! If you have clients in your existing database who are company directors and they're paying for their life cover from their own post-tax earnings, you could save them up to 49%.
    • Talk about an alternative to group life schemes with your small business owner clients.
    • Search your client base for people with high earnings and big pension funds who don’t want their death-in-service benefits to form part of their lifetime allowance.
    • Dividends or bonuses can be included when calculating an overall multiple of earnings for relevant life cover.
    • In most cases the benefits are paid free of inheritance tax – provided they’re payable through a discretionary trust. If you’re having inheritance tax planning conversations with your clients, discuss whether relevant life cover may be right for them.
    • Relevant life policies can be portable too, so if your clients are offering these policies as additional benefits to their employees, there is the possibility to allow the cover to be ported to a new employer.

    Categorised under

    What do you want to do next?

    Find out about our Relevant Life Cover

    Check out our Relevant Life Cover and how it can help your clients.

    Get Relevant Life cover

    See Relevant Life savings

    Use our tool to see the difference.

    Calculate savings

    Get an indicative rating

    Use our underwriting tool to get an example rating for your client.

    Use our tool

MORTGAGE CONVERSATIONS

Mortgages and protection go hand in hand. The mortgage helps your clients buy their dream home while protection helps them to hang on to it if the worst happens. But it can be hard to put the right emphasis on the need. Whatever your approach, here are some tips and suggestions that might help.

Get more volume

Make protection the cornerstone for the affordability conversation - introduce it early on in the meeting as a way to help your clients get the mortgage they need. Lenders are more confident with clients who have a repayment method in the event of death or critical illness.

Get more value

Consider a policy on a decreasing basis in line with a repayment mortgage but build a menu plan that can also include a small amount of life with critical illness cover on an income basis to support it.

Build lifetime engagement

Use an annual review to make sure the loan still meets your clients' needs. If there has been a change in their life since they took out the mortgage, they may need to increase the loan amount, and with it, their protection.

Case Study

Ben and Anna

Ben and Anna are buying their first home together after years of renting. Going through the affordability interview, you know what their plans are for the next five years: a new job for Ben, hopefully children are on the horizon too. Now's the ideal time to talk about the fact that it's not the things we're aware of that cause the biggest problems, it's unexpected life events that bring the emotional and financial pressure.

The need for protection

Ben and Anna want a mortgage but have no protection in place. Their need is protecting their mortgage, bills and debts.

How can a menu plan help?

Joint Life with Critical Illness Cover (decreasing in line with their mortgage)

Written on a decreasing basis to cover their £200,000 mortgage for 25 years so that the mortgage is paid in full if either Ben or Anna gets a critical illness or dies. There would just be one payout for whichever event happened first (but they could choose a replacement cover option to continue cover for the remaining person). They've taken enough cover to be able to pay off the mortgage if they have to make a claim. The amount will go down each year in line with what they have left to pay on their mortgage. And if your client's mortgage interest rate changes or they decide to increase or extend their mortgage, there is an opportunity for you to review their protection needs.

Life with Critical Illness Cover (on an increasing basis)

Written on a single life increasing basis of £20,000 with a term of 30 years for Ben and 32 years for Anna so that cover ends just before they retire (age 65). The lump sum would go up in line with inflation too. This smaller amount would give them an additional sum to use for paying bills, or any additional expenses that arise from treatment.

Premium Protection

Premium Protection for a maximum of 32 years, with individual policies for each cover.

Whole of Life Cover

You could also consider Whole of Life Cover to help Ben and Anna manage potential inheritance tax liabilities in later life.

Ben and Anna’s figures

Age

Ben 35, Anna 33

Mortgage

£200,000 over 25 years on a repayment basis

Repayment

£1,000 a month

Other outgoings

£900 a month

Salary

£45,000, £37,000

Monthly outgoings

£1,900

Combined salary for Ben and Anna

£82K

Conversation tips

  • If your clients think they only need life cover in relation to their mortgage, remind them they could be leaving their family with a home they can’t afford to live in if they die.
  • Consider an additional life cover policy on a family income benefit basis and leave your client's family with money to pay the bills.
  • If your client has only taken life cover in respect of a mortgage, they could be in danger of losing their house if they're unable to make the repayments because they become too ill to work and have no income.
  • With a smaller amount of critical illness cover on a family income benefit basis, your client would have a replacement income while they’re undergoing treatment that would allow them to continue repaying the mortgage.
  • Consider indexation. It keeps your client’s cover in line with inflation.
  • Most protection providers’ policies include guaranteed insurability options related to mortgage increases – with no additional underwriting.  Talk to your client about when’s the right time to use it.
  • Talk to your client about ‘keeping things normal’ for their children in the event of a critical illness or death of a parent. Cover on an income basis could help maintain a sense of stability if the worst happens.
  • If your clients are buying a family home, talk to them about protection policies that include free children’s cover.
  • A remortgage gives you added opportunities to review protection needs.
  • Remember the replacement cover option for joint life policies.

Categorised under

What do you want to do next?

See our protection options

See how our Protection options can help your clients.

Look at protection options

More conversation tips

Read our guide on protection and mortgage conversations.

Have better conversations

Get an indicative rating

Use our underwriting tool to get an example rating for your client.

Use our tool