I was reading an article on the BBC news site about how the sound of the Cuckoo heralds the start of spring.
But Cuckoo numbers are dwindling fast and without action their distinctive sound will be something of the past.
While reading, I cast my mind back to the times when many thought that Income Protection would become extinct, much like the Cuckoo, unless something was done to save it.
Through hard work and dedication from the industry the number of Income Protection policies sold in the UK is starting to rise.
The Income Protection Task Force is working to restore confidence in the product, both in the industry and with consumers, and providers are making various product and service enhancements. With the removal of all standard exclusions, improved underwriting services, and now online submissions for new Income Protection business, I feel that we have definitely turned a corner with the product.
However, there is still plenty to do to get us to a comfortable place.
The biggest threat to the long-term survival of Income Protection is getting the customer to understand why they need it and the benefits it can bring them. By continually focusing on this, I think we can get to that place where we have always wanted to be, a place where there is real demand for Income Protection.
A recession in full swing could be the call to action many people need to reassess their financial planning and again think about the steps they can take to protect themselves and their loved ones.
As customers get more tuned into the benefits of financial protection, you need to ensure that your skills in selling protection are in tiptop shape. There is plenty of online support to help you maximise your opportunities to sell Income Protection.
With this focus from providers on the future of Income Protection, make sure you are in the best position to take full advantage of any opportunities that come your way.
Mark Jones is head of protection at Friends ProvidentIFAonline
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