With all the doom and gloom of the credit crunch, highlighted so visibly by the recent demise of one of our best known high street retailers, you'd be forgiven for wanting to hibernate this winter, hide under a duvet and wake up when it's all over.
However Christmas is coming and we should not forget our festive cheer, so let's not dwell on all the recent negativity and remember that there are still reasons to be cheerful. O Come all Ye Faithful!
It's actually during uncertain economic times such as these that the need for protection becomes much clearer and more evidently important. With advisers under increasing pressure to diversify income streams, protection can offer you some great opportunities to generate more income.
With over half of all working Britons (52%) not having sufficient savings to support their families were they to find themselves out of work, how would families cope with paying the mortgage payments let alone Christmas if the main breadwinner fell seriously ill or died? Now is the time to promote the importance of protection and how this can help protect your clients' lifestyles.
According to some reports, around 2.6 million homeowners are planning to remortgage in the next six months. With lending criteria tightened and a reduced number of mortgage deals now on offer, many of these clients will experience difficulties in obtaining a competitive remortgage.
Those with impaired credit ratings, low income multiples and lower deposits requiring higher loan-to-values will particularly struggle. As such, these clients will look increasingly to face-to-face advice, rather than going direct to the lender in order to get expert guidance. This provides a great opportunity for advisers to revisit these existing clients, review their whole financial portfolio and promote the benefits of protection.
Furthermore, now is also a great time to present the case for Business Protection to any business clients. Over 10,000 UK businesses failed in the first half of this year, a 17.5% increase compared to the same period in 2007.
With the credit crunch continuing to bite, senior managers should be focussing even more on ways to control and minimise risks to their business. Business Protection could help.
The current testing times will undoubtedly continue into 2009, but there is still business to be had and for those firms who adapt to these changing market conditions and raise their offering, 2009 could be extremely rewarding. Let's look forward to a better New Year!
Mark Jones, Head of Protection, Friends Provident
The views expressed in this article are those of its author and do not necessarily represent those of the company he represents, IFAonline or any other Incisive Media affiliated organisation.IFAonline
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