Protection insurers are well placed to partner with digital planning services to help customers deal with difficult conversations regarding their wishes at the end of their lives, according to GlobalData Financial Services. 

Innovation has reached the end-of-life planning market. A range of start-ups have recently launched digital platforms to help individuals log their values and preferences and decide what happens if they get ill or pass away.

US start-up Cake is a free online service that asks questions including what kind of care individuals would want if they get ill, what they want their funeral to look like, and whether they want their Facebook profile deleted when they are gone.

Individuals can upload legal and financial documents such as wills and enter the details of important people in their life and share this information with them, in addition to lawyers and healthcare providers.

Tomorrow is a US-based family financial planning app that includes services such as estate planning, creating a will, discussing legal guardianship, creating a trust fund, and buying life insurance.

There is great potential for UK protection insurers to partner with similar services, which are well placed to encourage customers to think about end-of-life planning.

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Protection insurance is already discussing protecting the financial needs of customers in the event of illness or death, and so extending this conversation to other areas of end-of-life planning is a natural opportunity.

End-of-life planning platforms could also act as introducers to protection insurers’ products, or as concierge services storing the details of protection products held – which would be useful for loved ones needing to make a claim.

Protection insurers need to be sympathetic to customers, as when they make a claim they are often grieving or having a hard time. Providing a service where loved ones have the details of all protection insurance policies stored in one place would therefore be beneficial, as it will ease the claims process.

There is also an opportunity to develop a more holistic, joined-up digital service between healthcare providers, protection insurers, and legal professionals when it comes to end of life.

Digital platforms could ease the process for loved ones, simplifying paperwork requirements and legalities between players. Individuals deciding in advance what they want to happen will help all players act accordingly.

There is great potential for protection providers to extend their services and prompt the discussion of end of life outside of customer finances.