Guest blog: Threadbare safety nets mean better protection products are needed for families

Guest blog by Jim Islam, CEO of OneFamily.

Jim IslamIt’s now one year on from Beagle Street joining the OneFamily Group, bringing a highly recognisable insurance brand under the wing of one of the UK’s largest financial mutuals. This meant that OneFamily has been able to grow the support we provide to the underserved over the last year and will continue to do so.

Serving the underserved is especially important at a time when the safety nets that people might have expected to be there are looking increasingly threadbare during a period of uncertainty for many families.  It’s becoming more apparent that individuals will need to take an even greater responsibility for their own financial resilience and financial protection.  

We know that nearly 7 in 10¹ people have no life insurance, perhaps it’s because some premiums are too high or because the products are too complicated.  But a lack of suitable solutions can create immense difficulties in people’s lives. Put simply, this is financial exclusion.  

As we look to a new year with continued financial difficulty for many, protecting against life’s big challenges becomes even more important – especially for the financially vulnerable. But I see OneFamily as playing an essential role in filling that gap, to be the trusted provider that supports those who are underserved elsewhere. 

Afterall, everyone should have access to affordable life cover, it’s a basic financial need for anyone encountering a major life event such as the birth of their first child or getting a foot on the housing ladder. 

In the UK there are 24 million adults who have one or more characteristics of vulnerability related to poor health, low financial capability, low financial resilience and significant life events.

I believe that the key to financial inclusion these vulnerable adults is education; for example, by supporting young people to understand the importance of life insurance, and provide simple, transparent help when looking for solutions. And this is where I think businesses like OneFamily and Beagle Street have a social responsibility to step in, to support their customers and find ways to provide a steadying hand. 

As a modern dynamic mutual, we are owned by our members for our members. We don’t have shareholders to pay, so we can reinvest our profits to provide even better services for our customers and community. Putting our members first is built into our values and ethos, so we actively listen to them and shape our services to fill their needs. 

But businesses can always do more to serve the underserved. And that is precisely what we intend to do with the life insurance market.

¹ FCA Financial Lives Survey 2020  p60 “Even the most common, life insurance, was held by only three in ten (31%)”

To find out more visit: www.onefamily.com

The views, opinions and positions expressed within guest blogs are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent those of the BSA.