News

10 reasons to provide legal services with an insurance policy

Businessman using smart phoneAt Epoq, we regularly carry-out surveys to get feedback from users of our service to make sure we’re providing the best possible service for our clients and their customers.

Below are some comments from our last survey which highlight the value policyholders derive from our online legal services when attached to an insurance policy.

  1. “An excellent addition to the insurance [insurer] provide.”
  1. “The fact this is available to me will definitely be a big factor for me when it’s time to renew next year; a really good service to provide.”
  1. “Excellent service, particularly as included in the price of the insurance.”
  1. “Fantastic that I could get an up to date tenancy agreement included in my cover, I’m delighted, well done.”
  1. “Excellent idea, making [insurer] stand out in the insurance industry.”
  1. “This service is remarkable, and I think that you would attract more customers if it were advertised more prominently.”
  1. “Great idea, certainly an added bonus to my policy that will make me think twice before going with another insurer.”
  1. “It’s a valuable service and would certainly place [insurer] at the top of my list of future home insurers. Thank you!”
  1. “Excellent add-on service, thanks!”
  1. “Fantastic service & I wasn’t expecting it, an added bonus for switching to [insurer]!”

To find out more about our added-benefit legal services, call 020 8731 2424 or complete our online enquiry form.

Sometimes it just makes sense…

APW 51“The global banking industry faces new challenges from disruptive bank alternatives, creating a pivotal opportunity to regain relevance with customers. With the emergence of new competitors offering easy, personalized, trusted products, traditional banks’ connection with their customers is fragile. Banks must strengthen their relevance with the disruptive and convenient products customers want, while striving to rebuild the trust that was once an intrinsic component of the relationship.” *

I have a confession. In my role I have to read an awful lot of research reports, white papers and a wide range of other published material about the industries my business works in and around.

Sometimes (ok maybe often) when I am faced with a report on something like “the latest trends in insurance” or “what’s really new in the legal profession?” I get a horrible sinking feeling; not because the topic is not of interest – it always is. And not because I fear that I will somehow be out of my technical depth – sometimes I am but most good research these days is much more accessible than it used to be.

No, it’s more that I frequently find myself either thinking “there’s nothing new here” or maybe “I think I kind of knew this already” or on very rare occasions “I just think this is plain wrong”.

So you can perhaps imagine how I approached the article below entitled “EY Bank Relevance Index” – not only did this have the potential to test the ‘out of my depth’ statement but I also imagined it would probably be a re-hash of lots of other thinking about the banking space. I imagined that it might end with a bland and frankly disappointing set of conclusions.

I was wrong – from start to finish this paper (at least from my point of view) gets right to the point and stays on it. It focuses right in on the need for banks to give a new breed of customer exactly what they want, in the way they want it or face being ousted by the new disruptives.

A slight digression if I may – and a word about disruptives. Over here at Epoq we have been in the business of providing banks, insurers and affinity groups with white labelled legal services for about 16 years. Our unique combination of technology, content and expertise was itself seen as disruptive in the legal market ‘back in the day’. Way back in the late 90s there were practically gangs of lawyers armed with torches and pitchforks claiming that somehow what we were doing was akin to a dark art. As if giving consumers and businesses a better, cheaper and frankly more engaging way of dealing with legal affairs was a bad thing.

Wind forward to today and nobody would really think of what we are doing as disruptive any more; we just simply have a different (and yes I would still say better) method of delivery which appeals to a certain type of end-user and which crucially (and somewhat ironically) gives our partners a way to fight back against the so-called disruptives.

So, if you are involved in the banking sector and you want to know what’s coming and what to do about it, read the article below. I am convinced that it will throw up at least one or two things that you haven’t really considered up to yet. You never know, it might just make you think about talking to someone like Epoq about how to get ahead of the game.

* EY Bank Relevance Index

Andrew Walker, Commercial Director, Epoq

Epoq North America Launches Novel Legal Service Benefit Offering for Brokers

LawAssure Lets Advisors Capitalize on Rise in Legal Services as Employee Benefit

Grahame Cohen 2011 (2)Troy, Michigan (07/07/2016) – Epoq North America has announced the launch of LawAssure for Brokers, a ground-breaking approach to legal services as an employee benefit. LawAssure is available to qualified group benefit brokers and advisors as well as to insurance carriers, third party administrators (TPAs) and others that support broker networks.

LawAssure’s low price point can help group benefits brokers and advisors address the rise in this type of benefit.  According to the 2016 Employee Benefits Report from SHRM, the percentage of employers offering legal services has increased to 25% this year – up from 13% two decades ago.

New Type of Legal Benefit Can Fill Gap

“While employers have increased the use of legal services as an employee benefit, the vast majority haven’t added it because it’s been pretty expensive to do so until now,” noted Grahame Cohen, CEO Epoq, NA. “LawAssure gives brokers and advisors an inexpensive way to fill this gap with a new type of legal benefit.”

“Brokers and advisors see LawAssure as a way to create more competitive proposals; add value for their Clients and facilitate engagement with employee participants. Sponsoring LawAssure as a gift is also a great way to strengthen their relationships with Clients,” added Cohen.

Why Legal Service Benefits Matter

Most American households (70%)1 face a legal issue every year. Handling legal problems can be frustrating for employees – distracting them at work, lowering their productivity and negatively impacting an employer’s bottom line. Adding legal services to employee benefits plans make sense for businesses that want to help ease pressure on its employees and its bottom line.

How LawAssure is Different

Attorneys’ fees can quickly add up at $100-$500 per hour for employees who face legal issues prompted by divorce; the birth of a child; loss of a parent or spouse; a health crisis or a host of other situations. Traditional legal service benefits are less expensive, but they typically cost the employee $20 per month ($240 per year).
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Epoq launches new added benefit legal service for protection policyholders

woman with children (2)A new service specifically designed for the protection industry, which gives policyholders a simple, online way to deal with legal issues, has launched today. Legal for Life has been created by Epoq to provide an added benefit service that can be used regularly by protection customers, thereby keeping clients in touch with their policy benefits and aiding retention for advisers and insurers.

Legal for Life was developed to complement protection products after extensive research and consultation with advisers over the past year. The service is accessible online and can be included alongside a protection product to help insurers and advisers to:

  • Create product differentiation
  • Personalise offerings according to customer needs
  • Engage with policyholders more frequently to aid retention
  • Build customer loyalty and trust

Unlike current legal benefits add-ons, Legal for Life goes beyond the standard helpline and offers a range of customisable legal documents, contracts and letter templates, which are easily accessible online. This means protection clients can conveniently prepare their own wills, trusts and powers of attorney, as well as access an extensive library of jargon-free online guides to consumer laws and regulations.

As its name implies, Legal for Life also covers more everyday life activities and events like neighbour disputes, contracting with builders, requests for refunds, flight delay compensation demands and parking fine disputes.

 And, for those who do need it, there is a team of experts on hand 24 hours a day for legal advice over the phone.

Dave Jones, Business Development Director at Epoq, said: “Our research among protection advisers last year showed that 81 per cent of advisers believe that clients would find a legal service that helps them to handle legal matters, like making a will or power of attorney, of value. We have successfully implemented similar white-label legal products for other sectors, but following our research it became clear that our service is especially important in protection because it provides value even if the client never makes a claim.”

Damian O’Connor, Managing Director at Roxburgh Financial Management, said: “The value of added benefits comes down to product differentiation and consumer benefit. For an insurer, these additional benefits make sense because it offers the clients something of real use that goes beyond a price tweak or obscure critical illness condition. As an adviser we know that clients do appreciate and use these benefits and it’s very useful for retention to know that they have an ongoing reason to value their policy beyond just peace of mind.”

-ENDS-

For more information about the Legal for Life service, visit www.legalforlife.co.uk or don’t hesitate to call Dave Jones on 020 8731 2424.

Employee benefits for the ageing workforce

APW 51Take a look at your work colleagues. Are they looking a bit grey? Getting on a bit? It wouldn’t be surprising if they are: the first of the post-war ‘Baby Boomers’ hit retirement age around 2010 and there is a huge population wave fast maturing behind, many of whom are planning on working on into their retirement years.”

I am sitting here reading the article* from which the excerpt above was taken and I am struck by two things.

First, how did I get to be in the age group this refers to? No seriously, it seems such a short time ago that my wife and I were embarking on our life together, getting a house, then thinking about kids; stuff that lots of people do.

And now, in what seems like the blink of an eye, here we are part of the workforce that’s apparently “looking a bit grey” (can’t argue with that mind you).

The second thing though, which is less about my own aging crisis and more about the job I do, is the evident need for better planning for later life and beyond in this age group.

Over the last six months or so we have seen a surge in the number of online wills we are providing through our partners and intermediaries. It’s always been a strong part of what we do, and typically, these partners have either been general insurers, banks or ‘industrial’ will writers looking to improve their own process.

Now though, we are seeing more and more demand from life insurers (who are keen to help their clients all through their adult life not just at the end) and even more strikingly from benefits providers.

You see, for many previous generations things like wills and powers of attorney have been a bit of a taboo, not something one talked about in polite company; the generation this article talks about though (and the one I am such a reluctant part of) is very switched on to the need to get the affairs in order.

And as employers take an ever greater interest in finding better and more useful ways to support and enhance the general wellbeing of their most valuable asset, so it follows that something as core as a will can be seen as a meaningful ‘gift’ to an employee.

As the writer of this article says:

“Most advisers working in employee benefits, whether with small to medium enterprises or large multinationals, are going to need to factor age into the range of products and services they offer clients. Even those industries, such as IT, currently considered youthful, will in time succumb to the inevitable.”

The will as a benefit may seem a little macabre; but trust me, as a 50 something husband and father I can’t think of anything I’d rather my employer gave me as a benefit than the comfort of knowing my loved ones are protected in the event of my demise.

Now where did I put my cycling helmet – there’s life in this old dog yet?

Andrew Walker, Commercial Director at Epoq

 * Cover Magazine June 2016

How valuable are added benefits on protection policies?

Dave JonesEpoq’s Dave Jones explains why added value benefits on protection policies matter. This article first appeared on the Cover Magazine website in April 2016.

Imagine you’re driving alone at night in a downpour. The engine splutters and gasps its last and you pull over into a lay-by.

You’re not mechanically minded and the conditions mean it’s impossible to be making your first attempt at fixing a car!

Luckily you’re a member of a well-known breakdown service. So you call them up and give them your policy number and it is good news – they’re putting a cheque in the post to cover the repairs! The only problem now that you’re stuck miles from home – the cheque isn’t of any use right now.

This analogy is an accurate reflection of the Life market. The amount of claims paid versus claims declined is far better than the general public believe and, while paying claims is the most important thing an insurer can do, it’s not the only area where they can provide value to advisers and their clients.

There are also simple yet important areas where insurers can help clients’ families in the event of a death claim, or help the insured person directly in the event of a critical illness or income protection claim.

With retention being so important, I’d suggest there is also a third area that is important, which is attaching free added benefits to policies that can be used whether or not they claim.

People often see protection as a gamble – ‘if I never claim haven’t I just wasted all my premiums?’ If they have an added benefit attached to the policy that they can use and use regularly they will see value straight away and keep engaging with the policy, making it less likely that the policy will lapse. Vitality’s rewards program is a good example of this type of approach.

It was with this in mind that we conducted adviser research in 2015 to see how important advisers considered these type of benefits to be.

Of the participants, 94% said that added benefits were valuable to clients, with the most popular reason being that it helps with sales (56%).
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Press release: Direct Line for Business Choose Epoq Legal to Enhance its Business and Landlord Insurance Propositions

New legal document service offers policyholders greater protection for their business

DL4B Legal Documents ServiceLondon, 12th April 2016 – Leading UK insurance provider, Direct Line for Business has chosen Epoq Legal to provide value-add legal services as an enhancement to its landlord and small business insurance products.

Launched in February this year, the Direct Line for Business Legal Documents Service gives new and renewing landlord and small business policyholders access to Epoq Legal’s extensive suite of online legal documents, a comprehensive jargon-free guide to the law and a document review service provided by Epoq’s affiliated law firm, MyLawyer Solicitors LLP. In combination, these services enable Direct Line for Business’ customers to deal quickly and easily with a range of legal needs, including compliance with landlord and tenant regulations and employment laws.

Nick Breton, Head of Direct Line for Business, said:

“At Direct Line for Business we aim to provide outstanding value and recognise that many landlords and small businesses need help to deal with the numerous legal and compliance matters they face every day. We partnered with Epoq Legal to develop our Legal Documents Service to give our landlord and small business customers a valuable addition to their insurance policies. The service provides our customers with a practical and easy-to-use tool which they can use regularly to help them manage their legal needs, as well as save them money.”

The Direct Line for Business Legal Documents service utilises Epoq Legal’s sophisticated document automation system and covers a number of legal areas such as employment, health and safety, business start-up, ecommerce and debt recovery. For landlords, the service provides the documents necessary to help protect a landlord’s interests, including a tenancy agreement and repossession notices.  Furthermore, Epoq’s affiliated Lexcel accredited law firm, MyLawyer Solicitors LLP, will review the documents and, if required, speak to the policyholder and amend the document to ensure it meets his or her needs, all within three working days.

Hillel Horwitz, CEO of Epoq Legal, said:

“We are delighted that such a high profile insurer has recognised how the quality of our services can enhance their brand and add significant value to their customers. Based on our research of solicitor prices, we’ve estimated that each business user of this service will save over £900 and each landlord over £300. That’s a huge extra benefit to policyholders. Furthermore, through our affiliation with MyLawyer Solicitors LLP, customers can be assured of friendly, knowledgeable and jargon-free legal advice to help them deal quickly and easily with their legal matters.”

– ends –

For more information, contact Emma Hopson at emma@epoq.co.uk or on 020 8731 2424.

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Whitepaper: Creating value for insurance customers

Creating value for insurance customersInsurers in the UK have been under the scrutiny of the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), which is looking to create more effective competition in the market and better outcomes for consumers. At the same time, insurance customers are often disengaged and disloyal, increasingly shopping around and switching to a cheaper provider.

How can insurers address these dual challenges and ensure they satisfy the regulators, as well as the commercial imperative for engaged and loyal customers?

In our latest whitepaper, we describe how insurers can create and demonstrate value to both their customers and the FCA by extending the scope of what an insurance policy provides.

Simply download your free copy from here

For more information about our services, please don’t hesitate to get in touch; call 020 8731 2424 or email us.

Downloads: Value-add legal services for the banking sector

Woman working on her laptop at sidewalk careAccording to the EY Global banking Outlook Report 2015*, today’s banks are going to have to fight harder than ever for the customer relationship, or risk becoming a utility. The report also states that customers are becoming used to more personalised products and recommends that banks provide customers with truly differentiated offerings if they are to thrive.

In our last post, we described how financial services and legal needs are often linked at certain points in the life of an individual or small business and that by offering legal services alongside financial products banks can build customer loyalty and lifetime value.

In particular, we believe that when offered by banks value-add legal services will:

  • Create proposition differentiation
  • Enable product personalisation
  • Facilitate customer engagement
  • Build trust and customer loyalty
  • Increase retention rates and lifetime value

To find out how in more detail, simply download our new e-brochures or call us on 020 8731 2424 or email emma@epoq.co.uk

* EY Banking Global Outlook 2015

Creating customer loyalty in the banking sector: the role of legal services

Happy family on rugFinancial and legal services are often inextricably linked at important life events, such as getting married, setting up home, having children, getting divorced, or buying or selling a property. These are all points at which individuals might need a financial product – a loan or mortgage, for example, or help with managing their day-to-day finances. The same applies for small businesses which will encounter many moments throughout their development which require specialist financial and legal help.

For banks and building societies, these life events provide a valuable opportunity to offer their customers a more connected service; one which is tailored and transparent and caters for legal as well as financial needs.

And as consumers – both individuals and SMEs – are becoming more used to personalised products and experiences, the need for the financial sector to improve their customers propositions has become essential if they are to create customer loyalty and increase share of wallet.

Digitalisation too has become an important factor in the development and delivery of products and services, as a new generation of tech-savvy consumers reach the age when they need financial and legal services and expect immediate online access.

Why legal services?

As we’ve mentioned above, there are often times when the provision of a financial service can be enhanced by a related legal product. For example, customers needing a loan to build an extension on their house will also benefit from a professionally-drafted contract to protect their interests when dealing with builders. Likewise, couples setting-up a joint bank account could be offered a cohabitation agreement or if they have children, a Will.  For a  buy-to-let mortgage customer, a suite of relevant legal documents will help ensure compliance with landlord and tenant laws, and a travel insurance customer could get help in claiming compensation for a flight delay.

The availability of these services from a single point significantly enhances the customer experience, especially when delivered online or via the phone. It also makes access to legal services much more affordable for consumers, many of whom think law firms are expensive and inaccessible.

For the bank or building society, offering legal services alongside a financial product not only demonstrates a commitment to giving customers great value, it also enables regular and – crucially – relevant communications which help to build customer loyalty and lifetime value.

To find out more about how to provide our legal services alongside financial products, please call us on 020 8731 2424 or email emma@epoq.co.uk.