Providing third-party nurse advisory services via, income protection, critical illness, life insurance and PMI products, improves customers’ view of their insurer, according to new research* from RedArc, and insurers could use this fact to help promote better uptake among their clients.
In a recent survey of individuals who had accessed these services via their employer:
- 98% rated the service as good or excellent and
- 96% said it lead to them having an improved regard for their insurer
- All respondents said they were given useful information and/or appropriate guidance on how to resolve their difficulties or concerns
Personal nurse advisers work with insurers, intermediaries, employers and membership organisations, adding value to insurance products and employee assistance programmes, to provide long-term practical advice and emotional support to help people and their families cope in times of physical and mental illness, disability, trauma or bereavement.
Christine Husbands, managing director for RedArc says: “The financial assistance provided by insurance products is well understood, but insurers could do more to promote the softer side of their benefits. For example, the long-term practical advice and emotional support provided by nurse adviser services can be every bit as important as financial assistance, if not more, in aiding recovery or enabling people to be the best they can, whatever their circumstances.
“These statistics give insurers a means to explain how their products go further than just a pay out – but can really help them build a better relationships with their clients.”
Participants of the survey were invited to share their experiences and this selection of responses highlight the general sentiments of individuals who have benefited from such a service:
- “At a very difficult time, this was a really good added extra and very good that it wasn’t about the money. You can’t buy someone to talk to who seems to genuinely care what you’re going through.”
- “When my husband and I took out this life insurance policy we had no idea that 1) we’d need it and 2) that this amazing personal nurse service was part of the product/service. I do tell anyone that has asked my advice on insurance that it is a great company.”
- “You don’t realise what an excellent benefit this is until you have to use it and I thank them for looking after my welfare.”
It’s good to talk
A range of questions relating to the quality and usefulness of the service achieved the 98% success rate and individuals also highlighted the value of being able to talk to someone outside of their immediate family and friends, with 78% of people saying that this aspect was important to them.
Other factors included:
- Better understanding of their health condition
- Better understanding of how they need to manage their health condition in future
- Emotional and practical support – particularly around how the condition could impact on family life
- Independent support away from both their employer and insurer
- No time limits on how often or how long they can access the service for
- Felt more able to go back to work
Christine Husbands continued: “Sometimes there are things that patients want to air, either about their condition or perhaps worries about their future, that they feel they just can’t say to those closest to them. Having a non-judgmental, friendly but experienced shoulder to lean on at these times is hugely important and can also stop mental health conditions arising on the back of physical ailments, or reduce the incidence of mental health conditions recurring. Insurers would be wise to include such non-financial support in their approach.”
*Research conducted among 262 of RedArc’s clients during March