Many people have lost something in the last year or so, perhaps their job, freedom to socialise or confidence in their finances. We feel there may have been at least one silver lining, however: that the pandemic is starting to change attitudes about protection insurance.

A study from marketing and data company theEword1 has revealed that more consumers plan to take out some form of protection insurance in the near future. In the past year, many people have learned the hard way that unexpected events can happen and, when they do, they can wreak havoc on our lives and finances if we are not prepared.

Protection insurance grows in popularity

Life insurance has seen a sharp upward trend in both payouts and those intending to take out cover. In the first six months of 2020, Zurich reported a £14.2m increase in life insurance payments compared to the same period in 2019. Meanwhile, the insurer reported this February that the pandemic had boosted demand for financial advice regarding income protection and critical illness cover by almost a third2.  The pandemic appears to have forced people to actively think about the future and consider what would happen to their family should they lose their income, become seriously ill, or pass away. TheEword’s research found that over a third (34%) of people plan to buy life insurance cover in the next 12 months, while 21% plan to take out some form of health, critical illness or income protection insurance.

Taking financial advice

In addition to heightened demand for protection products, the pandemic has taught consumers the value of professional financial advice. A survey conducted last year, has revealed that 17% of adults are now more likely to seek financial advice as a direct result of the pandemic3. Furthermore, 49% of advisers say they have seen an increase in protection enquiries from existing clients, while 56% have seen an upswing from new ones, according to insurance provider Guardian4.  It is unsurprising that, given the financial uncertainty so many people have experienced this year, people are seeing the value of having a professional on hand to guide them through life’s ups and downs. It also demonstrates an increased interest in understanding the nuances between different types of insurance and providers.

Important lessons

If we could sum up what COVID-19 has taught us in a few words, it would be a willingness to think about life’s ‘what ifs?’ Rather than sweeping these questions under the carpet to think about another time, more people are actively seeking advice and planning for their futures. If you would like to be one of them, please contact us – our professional advisers can help you find the right cover for your circumstances.

As with all insurance policies, conditions and exclusions will apply

1theEword, 2021, 2Zurich, 2020 & 2021, 3The Openwork Partnership, 2020, 4Guardian, 2020

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