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What are insurer perks?
Like any other decent business in the 21st century, life insurers want to add extra value to the products they sell. It’s so you, the customer, feel reassured with your purchase, stick with it (i.e. don’t cancel), and tell your friends.
In the industry we call the add-ons value-added benefits, but that doesn’t mean a whole lot out in the real world.
Basically, they’re perks. They’re freebies. It’s buy the car and get free wheel trims. It’s buy the phone and we’ll throw in Spotify. It’s an extra something on top to sweeten the deal.
These life insurance perks are services that are open to you (maybe even your loved ones) and free to use; in some cases, as often as you want. The problem is that too few people know about or use their life insurance perks.
On the whole, people don’t use their free virtual GP appointments. Their free mental health consultations. Their prescription delivery services. Their gym memberships. Their nurse consultations. Their nutrition appointments.
The big question is why not?
Why do insurers do it?
Policy perks can be free to customers but, as with any freebie, someone somewhere always picks up the tab. In this case, that someone is the insurance company. And they don’t do it purely out of selflessness - it makes sound business sense.
First, it’s obvious: buy that and get this free is appealing. It can make the difference between someone signing on the dotted line or not. There’s also competition between providers: most life insurers offer some perks so Company A needs to ensure their perks – their value-added benefits – are competitive versus Company B.
But here’s the rub. By giving customers swift access to doctors, counsellors, nutritionists, wearables and gym memberships it increases the likelihood of a) customers engaging in their own health and wellbeing and b) it can mean catching physical and mental health issues early. Or at least earlier than they’d otherwise be caught given waiting times – especially right now – within the healthcare system.
In essence, perks are there to protect customers’ health. They’re there so medics can intervene in good time. Risky health behaviours (think weight, diet, exercise, smoking etc) can be addressed, and illnesses (mental and physical) can be identified and, ideally, treated, more swiftly.
For insurers, the upshot is customers taking an active interest in their health. It means less illness, fewer missed workdays and, ultimately, not as many customers have to make claims on their policy.
So insurer perks benefit all parties. But then very few customers know these perks exist and, if they do, they tend not to use them. Which is a shame, ‘cos access is easy.
How do I use them?
If you have a life insurance policy – be it critical illness cover, income protection, life insurance itself or anything else – the first step in understanding the perks available to you is to check your paperwork, or call us on 0800 316 7253 and ask.
We’ve got a rundown of most insurers’ perks here, but our list comes with the caveat that it may not be 100% up-to-date, as insurers change their policies fairly often.
Once you know your perks, and let’s assume you and even your loved ones are eligible, you may have to call your insurer to book (typically through a Customer Care hotline) or there may be an easy online portal.
In most cases it’s pretty simple. And with some insurers there aren’t any limits on how often you can use your perks: you may be able to use them every week and they may be open to your loved ones too.
A solution for now
Not to get too grand about policy perks, but it’s no secret that public services – especially healthcare services – are stretched as we enter the new year.
Booking health and wellbeing consultations will probably involve a wait. If you want to skip the wait it means going private … and that means cost.
Both are unnecessary if you’re sitting on perks that entitle you to head straight for answers, support and solutions.
Right now, it feels a bit of a no-brainer.
So here’s a new year’s resolution: aim to #StayPerky for 2023. Check your policy, use what’s yours and think health and happiness for the year ahead.
Sophie began as a Protection Adviser at LifeSearch in 2017, helping customers to Protect the lives they love. She now brings her experience to Protection Content within the Marketing team. Sophie’s a passionate Street Dance teacher in her spare time, and teaches children and adults all the right moves.See all articles by Sophie Cussons
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