Cigna has pledged that the policies will be “straightforward, easy to understand and convenient to buy”
Cigna Insurance Services, which carried out research last year, believes they can provide consumers with flexible and uncomplicated products and compete with established providers.
Obviously, advertising and education are clearly very important tools in generating awareness. Also industry-based initiatives or specific campaigns that help draw consumers’ attention to the need for life insurance protection is always welcomed, but will Cigna really have an impact on the industry?
Cigna states: ‘the main challenge is actually around how the changing dynamics are having a profound effect on a market in which ‘push channels’ have traditionally dominated. With fewer advisers overall and less conversations taking place with customers about the need for protection cover, many customers are simply not being presented with the opportunity to buy insurance, even where they have a clear need.’
Cigna consumer research found that the triggers that drive most interest in life insurance tend to be around mortgages, the arrival of new family members, or the desire of older customers to leave their finances neat and tidy and not to burden their families with funeral costs and IHT bills.
Consumer insight also highlighted the importance placed on insurance products being easy to understand, with the need to take as much complexity out of the product application process as possible, making cover as quick and easy to buy as possible. Whilst necessary from an underwriting perspective, lengthy application forms are a barrier to purchase.
This all sounds positive, but will the insurer listen to commonly known issues and really take a different approach to the sale of life insurance? I suppose we will have to wait until we see the policies later on in the year it will be hard to comment on the quality of their life insurance products.
However, it is fair to say that e policies will be rolled out with Cigna’s “affinity partner” companies aiming to mirror its position in the travel insurance market.
Stevenson said: “Cigna’s UK individual life insurance proposition will be to collaborate with affinity partners to unlock the enormous potential. Together, we will breathe new life into the industry, bringing innovative, affordable and accessible solutions to the stagnant UK life insurance market.
“Our offering will leverage Cigna’s considerable global expertise in affinity marketing and life insurance to offer our partners products for their customers that are simple, easy to understand and easy to buy. It is our goal to make life insurance accessible to the broadest possible market.
“Many consumers do not recognise their own protection shortfall and are unaware of how much cover they need or where to buy it from. Even then, many life insurance products are simply too complex, inaccessible and unaffordable for those customers who only need basic cover.”
Stevenson added: “We firmly believe that affinity partners have been let down by the insurance industry and are looking for new solutions which help them achieve their full potential in this market.
“Cigna will offer more than just products to our affinity partners – using our experience, we will help our partners engage with their customers in new ways, with compelling propositions and marketing solutions that open up a new dialogue around greater financial protection.
“As stated, advertising and education are important, but much more needs to be done – and the priority in our view is to make cover available in new ways at relevant points along the customer journey.”