News

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.”

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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.

Epoq 2015: a round-up of our publications, research & events

Epoq - Building Value in the Life Sector (2)As the end of the year is fast approaching, we thought it would be a good time to do a round-up of all the whitepapers, research and case studies we created during 2015. Just click on the links below to download and read more.

Whitepapers
Building customer trust & lifetime value in the life sector
The rise of the novice landlord – an opportunity for insurance providers
Increase trade, increase risks – the challenge for today’s SMEs

Webinar
Building value in the life sector

Research
Do added-benefits help advisers sell protection products and give clients greater value?

Round table
Just how valuable are added-value benefits?

Case studies
SME legal services needs

If you’d like to discuss any of the issues raised by our papers or research, don’t hesitate to get in touch by email or phone 020 8731 2424.

Wishing you a very happy and prosperous 2016!

Press release: Everest Delivers Custom Legal Documents to Clients

Will Prep compliments core funeral concierge services

Last Will and TestamentHOUSTON, TEXAS…November 17, 20015 — Everest, The First Nationwide Funeral Planning and Concierge Service (everestfuneral.com), today announced it has partnered with Epoq Legal (epoqlegal.com) to provide Will Prep, its newest online planning tool. The new offering compliments Everest’s 24/7 concierge service and other online planning tools, providing individual clients in the United Sates and Canada with unlimited access to a suite of sophisticated and secure online legal documents, including Will Prep.

“Integrating Will Prep into our concierge service and online planning tools is a valuable addition for our clients,” said Mark Duffey, CEO at Everest. “Epoq is clearly the market leader in providing highly customized, user-friendly legal documents. Leveraging technology is at the core of our respective product offerings and serves our mission of helping Everest clients.”

Will Prep’s robust yet easy-to-use online document system provides a comprehensive set of personalized legal documents that allow individuals to protect themselves, their property and loved ones. The browser-based system allows users to instantly generate legal documents through an intelligent Q& A system.

Grahame Cohen, CEO Epoq Legal North America comments: “Epoq’s online legal services platform is designed for brands to enhance their own products and value, bringing their customers a high quality legal document preparation service. Providing accessible legal services to the customers of major brands for nearly 20 years now, we understand the importance of making access to the law both easy and affordable and are delighted to be partnering with Everest and to make sure its customers plan ahead and protect their loved ones.”

Will Prep includes essential legal documents such as a will, power of attorney and health care directive, in addition to other helpful legal documents.

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Keeping members engaged and loyal: the challenge for membership organisations

Man sitting on sofa holding paperworkThe challenge of finding ways to keep members engaged and loyal is one faced many membership organisations.

Typically, these organisations will provide a range of benefits that help members address professional concerns through advice lines, training manuals, seminars and workshops, as well as offering discounted rates for related products and services. In this way, membership organisations position themselves as a trusted source of professional advice and guidance.

But could organisations do more to help their members protect against a number of risks – both professional and personal – and in doing so, engender their loyalty?

By providing access to a legal service that gives more than legal advice and offers an easy-to-use tool to deal with a number of legal matters – from complying with employment law to protecting loved ones with a Will – membership organisations can create a compelling reason for their members to engage with them.

LawAssure from Epoq is conveniently available online and over the phone and includes hundreds of customisable legal documents, contracts, agreements and letters, covering both business and consumer legal matters. It also has lawyers on hand for legal advice over the phone 24/7 and comprehensive jargon-free guides to laws and regulations.

The service effectively provides a one-stop-shop for a member’s legal needs and is one that they can use regularly and at a time and place that suits them. What’s more, the service will save members £100s, if not £1000s in legal fees.

For the membership organisation, offering LawAssure as a benefit demonstrates a commitment to helping members to protect their interests – both professional and personal – and provides the opportunity to engage regularly, via legal updates, for example, with its members.

To find out more about the services we can provide membership organisations, download our factsheet or call Andrew Walker on 020 8731 2424.

As SMEs grow, does insurance alone provide sufficient protection for their business?

Businessman using smart phoneAs the UK economy improves, small businesses look to grow by investing in product development, increasing production and employing more people. Whilst these activities are essential to growth, they also increase the SME’s exposure to a number of risks, both financial and legal.

Insurance, of course, play a critical role in helping SMEs protect against these risks, but does insurance alone provide sufficient protection?

From choosing the right legal structure when starting-up, to complying with employment and data protection laws, SMEs need expert legal advice, as well as practical ways to manage these risks. Yet, fearing the cost of legal advice and practical help, many small businesses will either ignore the problem or try to deal with it themselves, often with serious consequences.

The solution

Give SMEs access to a comprehensive yet affordable legal service alongside an insurance policy. The Epoq service, for example, includes online access to hundreds of customisable legal documents, contracts and policies, a 24/7 legal advice line and extensive online guides to every aspect of business law – all for a fraction of the cost of using a traditional law firm. When combined with an insurance policy, these services give SMEs a much more robust solution to their everyday business risks. What’s more, the service can be used by SMEs on a daily basis – not just when things go wrong and they need to make a claim.

To learn more about the legal risks facing SMEs today and how we can help manage them, take a look at some of our case studies.

For more information, please email us or call on 020 8731 2424.