Australians are increasingly happy to bypass financial brokers and advisers to buy some financial products online and this year for the first time, CANSTAR has researched and rated direct income protection policies.
Our inaugural research into Direct Income Protection looks at 13 policies offered by 11 insurers in the market, and drills down into 80 profiles covering a variety of ages, occupations, gender and smoking status. As with all ratings, we have analysed the combination of price and features offered by each provider to determine which direct insurance providers offer outstanding value for money.
When it comes to five star value, Virgin Money’s Tailored Income Protection policy streaked ahead in the features comparison.
We caught up with Head of Insurance at Virgin Money Australia, Ken Bryan, for a quick Q&A on the product following Virgin Money’s recent award – CANSTAR Outstanding Value Direct Income Protection 2015.
Q. It’s two and a half years since Virgin Money launched its income protection offering. What has take-up of the product been like? Has it met your expectations?
A: At Virgin Money we understand that when it comes to people’s insurance needs, one size doesn’t fit all. Research of our existing customers prior to launching our income protection offering helped validate this. It also helped us understand what customers expected from a Virgin Income Protection product.
Putting the customer at the heart of everything we do has paid off; the take up of the product has exceeded our expectations.
Q: Any strong trends in the demographic of those applying for cover?
A: Although Virgin could be considered a youthful brand by many our income protection covers a wide spectrum. Obviously the ability to tailor cover to individual needs and budget appeals to everyone.
As you might expect, life stage events play a role influencing people’s motivation to protect their lifestyle. Our customer base is primarily aged between 35 – 55 years old.
Q: In terms of customer feedback, what are some of the features of Virgin Money’s income protection offering that have really resonated with customers?
A: We carry out monthly surveys with our existing customers and their feedback is invaluable in helping us continually improve our service and offering. Customers love the flexibility of our product offering, there are a wide range of features with strong take up but our optional Involuntary Unemployment Cover has resonated well, obviously economic concerns play a role here.
CANSTAR congratulates Virgin Money on its win. Read more from the latest CANSTAR Direct Income Protection Insurance report here.