According to the research, 29% of advisers said demand for their services had increased throughout the pandemic. Meanwhile, the number of people seeking Critical Illness cover and Income Protection both increased during the same period by 36% and 39% respectively.
These findings suggest consumers are thinking more about their health and looking to put safeguards in place to protect themselves and their families in the event that they are diagnosed with a critical illness or find themselves unable to work because of an illness, accident, or disability.
Relationships between advisers and insurers have also improved during the pandemic, cited by 75% of advisers surveyed for the research.
However, a disconnect appears to exist between advisers when it comes to relationships with customers. While 32% said their relationships with customers had grown stronger during the pandemic, more than half (52%) disagreed with this statement.
Zurich believes this may be due to the pandemic causing general disruption and widespread changes to policies, which have impacted on service levels, as well as the inability to meet clients face-to-face.
Speaking about the research, Louise Colley, Zurich's UK director of retail protection, said: "What's clear is that [advisers] are dealing with a whole raft of issues - not least, the pressure from coping with increased demand on their businesses. The upside to this is that protection seems to be very much on people's radar.
"Our role in supporting advisers and making their lives easier is more important than ever. This includes a commitment to providing the best service possible and making them and customers aware of all of the additional support they can access through their protection product."
While most people have heard of Critical Illness cover and Income Protection, there can still be a little ambiguity when it comes to the differences between the two. The one you choose will ultimately depend on the potential scenario you want to safeguard against.
Critical Illness cover is designed to help financially when someone is diagnosed with a qualifying critical illness by providing a one-off lump sum. Examples of qualifying critical illnesses include: certain cancers, stroke and heart attack. However, most Critical Illness policies cover an average of 39 diseases and conditions in total.
The one-off payment provided by a Critical Illness policy can help with funding further treatment and meet financial commitments while someone takes the time to make a full recovery before returning to work.
Income Protection is designed to provide a person with regular payments should they find themselves unable to work due to an illness, accident or disability. These payments help ensure that a person’s bills remain paid and life goes on as smoothly as possible while they concentrate on their recovery and return to work.
Considering Critical Illness cover or Income Protection? Maybe you’re not sure which is right for you. We’d love to help you make an informed decision. Contact us today.