This article first appeared in Health & Protection, the publication for intermediaries, consultants and brokers in the world of healthcare, protection and financial advice.
As the first in a series of profiles with Health & Protection Awards 2022 winners, Cavendish Ware associate director Roy Mcloughlin explains why the adviser’s role has never been more important as customers seek solutions to navigate the cost of living crisis.
McLoughlin also speaks about the “humbling” experience of winning the Best Protection Adviser title and what he believes are the reasons for his success.
Speaking to Health & Protection, McLoughlin (pictured centre) explained he is definitely seeing more advisers talking about protection as cost of living concerns mount among customers.
“I think there is naturally a willingness to discuss protection,” McLoughin continues.
“Because in insecure times people are looking for solutions and one of those solutions is protecting oneself when things go wrong.
“On the back of Covid that indestructability, that idea people had of ‘it won’t happen to me’ has been challenged and I think people are naturally looking for solutions, but they don’t know what that is.”
Consequently, McLoughlin adds that this is where the role of the adviser is crucial.
“I still believe that very few people wake up in the morning and say, ‘I want protection’. What they’re looking for is something that they are not quite certain about and it’s our job to illustrate what that looks like.
“When we are insecure about life we are more willing to look at solutions to it happening.”
And according to McLoughlin, employers who do not look after their employees may well see people vote with their feet.
“I also think there are questions from some of how well they will be looked after by their employer – plus the insecurity of work with some people,” he adds.
“It’s made people question far more deeply than they ever have done before about what happens to their income for example if something went wrong.”
The greatest accolade
Reflecting on the October night he picked up his Health & Protection Award, McLoughin described the experience as “fantastic”.
“Firstly, it was a total surprise and there’s nothing better than being in a room of your peers because one does have a profile and as you walk up and collect the award and walk back.
“There’s nothing better than seeing people who you know. To win something from your peers within your peers is in many ways the greatest accolade.
“I was in complete shock and elation at the same time. I’ve been lucky enough to win a few awards over the years but I’ve never known about one and I’ve never expected one.
“It’s lovely to be just shortlisted but when the name’s read out the heart is beating and you’re shocked. It’s hard to explain. You feel humbled.
“Humbled is a strange word but you also feel a little bit embarrassed. I’m sure everyone saw that when I was walking up, I had a big red face.”
In terms of why he was recognised by his peers, McLoughlin believes the case study provided with his entry was key to winning the award.
“I don’t want to go into much detail because I know the story I told to win this one and it’s not appropriate to tell that now,” he says.
“It was a situation where we thought the insurers were being unfair and we hopefully made a big difference, because the outcome was a very satisfactory one for the client which arguably they would not have got without the intervention of ourselves.”
“So, it’s not just about us, it’s a case of ‘here’s something that we have done for somebody that’s made a massive difference to their life’
“Thankfully I was able to tell the story, albeit anonymised, about mental health and that clearly is one of the biggest issues of the day.”
Hugely altruistic stream
But McLoughlin also felt the judges may have recognised his work with other organisations and committees – particularly the Protection Distributors Group (PDG).
“We’re very lucky in our industry that we’ve got people, not just myself, who are happy to go out and spend their time training others how to spread the word and sell protection,” McLoughlin continues.
“So there’s a hugely altruistic stream – not just me, lots of other people do that and what a wonderful industry to work in where people are helping technically their competitors.
“That doesn’t happen in most industries I can assure you and I think that’s part of it. Also I’m quite integral in building the PDG where we’ve come together voluntarily, no-one drove this – we worked this out ourselves – for the greater good of the customer but also bringing other IFA firms together.
“So I’m guessing things like this are a big help.”
Importance of signposting
And looking into the future, McLoughlin notes that the sector can count on him continuing to inform sister sectors about the importance of protection cover.
“I’m going to continue spreading the word. I’m going to continue training and I’m going to continue to work with PDG and other organisations,” McLoughlin adds.
“The more people we can convince – particularly on the wealth and the mortgage side via signposting – and signposting is one of my obsessions, the better.
“That’s for the greater good of the industry because we’ve got to convince our sister industries that protection should be underlying every single piece of advice.”
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