The sun's shining again on the mortgage market. However, this good news doesn't appear to have spread to the protection sector.
So why is this? Could it be that advisers face seemingly insurmountable objections to protection, do clients believe they already have financial safety nets in place?
Shattering false perceptions
Whatever's behind the mismatch between mortgage and protection sales, the case for marrying the two is clear. Put simply, without mortgage protection, many people face the risk of losing their homes.
With the introduction of the Mortgage Market Review advisers face significant risks too. The focus on affordability and sales being advised, could lead clients to expect that an advisers' service would include how repayments could be made should the unexpected happen.
According to the Health & Protection Insurance Survey 2013 from Drewberry Insurance Experts, when asked, "What's the risk of being unable to work for more than six months during your working life due to illness or injury?" respondents replied, "1 in 30". The reality is actually 1 in 10.
The Health & Protection Insurance Survey 2013 also indicated that people perceive pay-out rates for cover to be much lower than they actually are.
The art of effective questioning
Given the gulf between perception and reality, it's perhaps little wonder many clients are unwilling to consider paying for mortgage protection.
Effective questioning not only helps advisers understand their clients' needs, it also helps clients appreciate their situation and make informed decisions about their priorities. The goal is to ensure clients understand the consequences of not protecting their mortgage.
Let's wrap things up
With clients unclear about the risks of falling ill and dying - and dismissive about the likelihood of insurance companies paying claims - it's easy to see why mortgage protection is often overlooked and undersold. There is much advisers can do and say to reject the fiction, allay client fears, and stress the importance of protection.
However, even more importantly, now is the right time for advisers to view protection and mortgages, not as separate issues, but as two sides of the same coin.