Six reasons to choose Optimiser and why now
With the cost-of-living crisis showing no signs of abating and many clients on a tighter budget than usual, unique plan options like Optimiser can be a great way of making protection cover more affordable, whilst unlocking immediate value for clients, writes Vitality's Adviser Editor, Rob Harvey.
In a rapidly changing world, the traditional approach to insurance, including where risk is still largely assessed at outset and treated as static, is no longer enough. Consumers rightly expect products to be more integrated into their lives, provide regular opportunities for engagement and more immediate tangible value.
"Wider trends in health and wellbeing, particularly the record numbers of people out of work due to ill-health1 and the rise in lifestyle-related preventable illness, demand a re-think of traditional insurance."
As well as providing valuable financial protection, insurance products need to help people make positive lifestyle choices. This reduces the risk of claiming, which is better for everyone, and means value can be returned to the client through lower premiums and rewards.
Vitality’s unique Optimiser not only allows clients to pay up to 40% less for their protection cover2, all important in the current economic environment, it helps them to stay healthy and active, and enjoy more reasons to engage with their plan and keep it in place. With this approach, everyone wins.
So here are six reasons why choosing Optimiser is better for everyone involved, including you as an adviser.
1. Save clients money
During a time when most people are looking to save money, Optimiser gives your clients access to our best available premium. Our members benefited from £44m in lower premiums during 2021 at an average of £112 per plan3.
This gives you the opportunity to place the most comprehensive cover and where necessary multiple benefits across Life, Serious Illness and Income Protection, at a more affordable price. Our own data highlights that Optimised clients are two-and-a-half times more likely to select more than one product4.
And not only that – they received richer benefits through their plan and were more likely to stay healthy too.
2. Deliver more immediate value
When costs are tight, clients rightly want more than just the intangible peace of mind offered by traditional insurance products. Optimiser gives clients access to the Vitality Programme and with it, countless opportunities for immediate and tangible value.
In 2021 alone, we helped our members understand their health better through almost 380,000 health assessments; they also enjoyed more than 1.7m gym sessions through our gym partners; received 60,000 discounted activity trackers and 4.1m Caffé Nero beverages5.
Not only do our most highly engaged Platinum members make significant savings on their annual premium through our partners and rewards, even Bronze members saved on average almost 25% of their annual premium6.
3. More likely to engage
From our member data we can see that those who choose Optimiser are three times more likely to engage with the Vitality Programme7. Why is better engagement a good thing?
More engagement not only unlocks more tangible value through our partners and rewards, it also means clients are more likely to see the value of having cover in place. Their plan is no longer something they file away in a drawer and forget about, but something they engage with and benefit from on a daily basis.
4. It offers more touchpoints
For advisers, more client engagement provides more touchpoints, so they can enjoy longer, more loyal client relationships.
Talking to advisers who already see the benefits of Optimiser, they tell us that that it offers them softer opportunities that allow them to go back to their clients – and, in some cases, more often. This not only makes good business sense, Consumer Duty and the need to deliver good outcomes makes ongoing relationships a necessity.
“A good adviser would regularly get back in touch with their client, hopefully at periodic points throughout the lifetime of their plan,” Alan Knowles, managing director of Cura Financial Services, told us. “By having these extras [such as partners and rewards to engage with], it gives us a much nicer way in. It can be simple as ‘how’s it going with your Apple watch and the steps and things?’ Rather than being about reviewing their life insurance, it can be much better opening.”
5. Less likely to cancel
The upshot of higher levels of client engagement for advisers is stickier business.
We’ve found that where Optimiser was properly explained and utilised by a member, they are up to 36% less likely to lapse than those without it8. At a time when many clients might be questioning their cover – or worse, considering cancelling it – Optimiser offers a good way to help ensure they stay on the books.
6. Less likely to claim
Unlocking rewards and partners that help clients make healthy choices is good for them (obviously) but also for us as an insurer, as it lowers their level of risk. Healthier members lead to less claims.
As part of the Shared Value approach to insurance, we charge lower premiums and deliver richer benefits that offer something tangible. Our data proves it works too: engaged Optimised members are 30% less likely to make a life insurance claim, while those who engage with the Vitality Programme have a 39% lower risk of death than those who don’t9.
Not only do we and the client benefit, society does to because it helps bring down the burden on the NHS.
And, of course, our plans are there for our members when they really needed it too – we paid 99.8% claims in 2021 and £54m in total for Life Cover. And 91% for Serious Illness Cover and 96.5% for Income Protection in 2021.
Where to next?
Prioritising protection in a challenging economic environment
Unfortunately, the economic outlook for many in the UK is a gloomy one. However, this has increased the need for financial protection advice, not lessened it, writes Greg Levine, Chief Operations and Growth Officer for Vitality.
Why now is the time to talk about indexation
If advisers ignore indexation, the level of cover they put in place will decrease over time - often without clients realising it - writes Nick Telfer, Protection Development Manager at Vitality.
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2 VitalityLife Claims and Benefits Report 2022
3 VitalityLife Claims and Benefits Report 2022
4 The Adviser guide to driving better business, Vitality, 2022
5 VitalityLife Claims and Benefits Report 2022
6 Active Vitality Plus members between June 2021 and May 2022
7 VitalityLife Claims and Benefits Report 2022
8 VitalityLife Claims and Benefits Report 2022
9 VitalityLife Claims and Benefits Report 2022