In a panel session at The Mortgage and Protection Event (TMPE), insurer Legal & General admitted that it was not going to end dual pricing and that brokers should “just try to keep a lid on it”.
The audience in Manchester asked how brokers could deal with customers choosing cheaper products offered direct by insurers.
“Here’s the magic bullet. Price is only an issue in the absence of value, it’s as simple as that,” MAB protection proposition director Andy Walton (pictured top) said.
He noted that MAB was losing “practically nothing” to online comparison sites and retaining 98% of its protection clients despite being loaded at 15% across the board.
And Walton argued that brokers simply producing a £40 per month life and critical illness quote should not be surprised at losing customers.
“How the heck are we doing that? It’s down to value, it’s as simple as that. The whole idea is to add value and the way we add value is bespoke design,” he continued.
“When I look at the design of protection portfolios that MAB have been writing, they are pretty much non-existent.”
Walton explained that the complexity of cases being submitted meant the Solution Builder platform will be extending to include up to 10 different benefits on one quote.
“So as soon as they see that you’ve put together something like that, it isn’t a question any more of replicating that instantly, they can’t,” he said.
“So we’re doing something right in that area, it proves [the pricing issue] can be overcome.”
(Panel l to r: MAB protection proposition director Andy Walton; Legal & General Insurance market development manager Steve Fallon; NatWest Intermediary Solutions senior corporate account manager David Hunter; Lloyds Banking Group national account manager intermediary Jonathan Buckle.)
Try to keep a lid on it
Addressing the audience before Walton, Legal & General Insurance market development manager Steve Fallon (pictured left) said customers choosing to go direct was a problem they came across a lot.
“We can’t move away from dual pricing unfortunately,” he said.
“We think it’s about how its positioned-up front. I think we don’t make the process sexy enough. We need to make it more interesting and appealing.”
He urged brokers to ensure they got clients to prepare evidence of work benefits and sick pay upfront and to focus more on the pre-appointment process.
“When people are going direct I understand the piece about advised vs non-advised but that’s just a cliché isn’t it – you must be told that all the time,” Fallon continued.
“I don’t think there’s a magic bullet unfortunately, just try and keep a lid on it basically,” he added.