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Watts Residential Property Forecast

Posted on February 6th, 2020 by by Alison

Residential property prices are forecast to rise by 24% over the next 5 years in the North West.

Let us guide you through the property investment journey, helping you build a Buy-to-Let portfolio.

From First Time Buyers, HMO (House of Multiple Occupancy), and professional limited company Buy-to-Lets, Watts can help.

To find out more, simply gives us a ring on 01270 620555, or email us at advice@watts-ifa.com and one of our team of Mortgage Specialists will give you a call straight back.

Can a mobile app help skin cancer detection?

Posted on January 29th, 2020 by by Alison

Article by Barry Jones, Moneyfacts UK Protection Adviser of the year 2019

Mobile technology can be a big help in diagnosing what can be potentially serious medical conditions early. The Apple Watch is famous for picking up atrial fibrillation due to its constant monitoring of heart rate.

Recently I used an app called Skin Vision recently to check out a mole I’d had for quite sometime that I’d never got around to having checked out, but was on my list of things to get done. The app uses AI to analyse photographs users upload looking for classic signs of malignancy- irregular borders, asymmetry, differences in colour etc.

I was slightly alarmed when this was flagged up as ‘high risk’ and I then received a follow up email from the company the following day recommending I visit a Doctor to have it more formally checked out.

After a few weeks wait I got in to see my GP and was fortunate to be told that it was in fact a totally benign condition called seborrheic keratosis- something that looks similar to a melanoma, especially to AI. This is nothing to worry about at all, but its look-alike melanoma is.

I referenced the fact to my GP that I had been meaning to get it checked for a couple of years and had only been concerned enough to have it checked due to the apps response. The GP was honest enough to let me know that, had it been a melanoma and I had waited that long, I would no longer have been of this world (he actually pointed to the ceiling with his finger).

Point being, get things checked out without pointless delay, and AI medical tech is useful, even if it just gives us a nudge to see an actual human being.

Click here to download the Skin Vision app for yourself.

How does your BMI impact your life cover premiums?

Posted on January 29th, 2020 by by Alison

Article by Barry Jones, Moneyfacts UK Protection Adviser of the year 2019

Whilst it may not make for the most comfortable conversation, talking to your clients about their weight, and its impact upon their life insurance costs, is something that should form part of the advice process and can often end up with a real positive outcome.

Most companies fall into broadly similar underwriting stances, with lines drawn at certain BMI points impacting upon the cost or availability of cover. Being aware of these break points is important, and sharing them with clients can influence their behaviour in an often surprising manner.

As example for a typical male aged 5’11”, if BMI is over 43 then critical illness cover will generally be declined (this is a weight of 21 stone 7 pounds or above). Any weight of 16 stone 7 pounds or below will be accepted at standard cost, with a sliding scale between the two. If this same client was a weight of 18 stone 7 pounds, his premium would be increased by 50% of the initial quote.

Sharing this information with clients can have a profound impact upon their behaviour, and perhaps gives us a bit of an insight into the human mind, and what drives us. Clients understand that being overweight will have a long term negative impact upon their health, but may have buried their heads in the sand for many years- it can be hard to prioritise worrying about something that may impact you in the future but probably not today. If they suddenly end up paying what in effect feels like a financial penalty every month, this draws the issue into sharp focus and can help drive long term positive lifestyle changes.

Sharing this information with a client, and giving them specifics- if your weight is X then your premium would be Y- is a powerful and positive way of dealing with this common underwriting concern that can create hugely positive outcomes for all.

To know more about protection then simply gives us a ring on 01270 620555, or email us at advice@watts-ifa.com and one of our team of Protection Specialists will give you a call straight back.

The importance of the Small Print

Posted on January 29th, 2020 by by Alison

Article by Barry Jones, Moneyfacts UK Protection Adviser of the year 2019

There is always a gap between expectation and reality when the public are asked about life insurance companies willingness to pay out upon claims. Expectation is low, whereas reality is actually very high.

AIG in 2017 paid out 99% of all life claims and 93% of critical illness claims. Expectation levels are set at below 80% so clearly the industry has some work to do to build trust.

Critical illness contracts, by necessity, are complex animals with pages and pages of small print definition to meet, and this required complexity is probably part of the cause. If something is too long to read, and too complex for the average person to understand, they have to place trust that a modern contract has clean, easy to meet definitions and will perform in the manner that it is required to.

The good news is that most contracts available today will do that, but even with that, there are always key differences between contracts that a good, whole of market, specialist adviser should be able to assist with.

Every company will tick the box in providing children’s cover, for example, but most offer differing sums. Some will cover children from birth. Some from day 14. Some list children’s specific conditions such as Cystic Fibrosis, Down’s Syndrome etc, some don’t. What is the definition of an eligible child- do step children count? When does cover end? Is it 18 or as late as 22?

The small print, in this instance, could be the difference between a claim being met, and not.

With a product that can be expensive it can be tempting to use an online system and source the cheapest option. The danger here being that no advice is offered and, using the children’s cover as example, the box is ticked and they all look the same.

When we advise clients upon these products sometimes the cheapest option really is the best, but a sound, up to date and in depth understanding of the small print of the covers available should be a mandatory requirement of advisers to be able to build the trust levels of the public to meet the reality.

To know more about protection then simply gives us a ring on 01270 620555, or email us at advice@watts-ifa.com and one of our team of Protection Specialists will give you a call straight back.

Do I really need income protection?

Posted on January 29th, 2020 by by Alison

Article by Barry Jones, Moneyfacts UK Protection Adviser of the year 2019

Income protection should really be the most common cover that people have in place, yet the percentage of people that take this cover up is persistently low, and perhaps that is because advisers are not prioritising it themselves and explaining it correctly.

You may be lucky enough to work in the public sector and benefit from the traditional 6 months full pay and then 6 months half pay and feel that you have adequate employer protection, but most people are not in this position.

The average client I sit with to advise has between 1-3 months sick pay from their employer and would then be reliant upon statutory sick pay- currently £92.05/week- not a sum that many people could manage to live upon. Those clients who are self employed do not benefit from even this.

Income protection effectively replaces your salary if you are signed off work by your GP, after a pre-set waiting period- typically aligned with your employer provision. It is a cost effective solution to ensuring that you can still pay the bills and look after yourself and your family whilst you are unwell. This may be a short term illness, or more serious long term ill health.

So why wouldn’t you want and need this cover?

There are a few people who do not need this cover, specifically those who say:

“I can self insure this risk, I have enough money in the bank to never need to work again”

Or, “I’m lucky enough that my employer will pay me forever”

Or, and the least likely one here, “Don’t worry, I can guarantee I will never be ill, and if I was I would definitely be able to continue to work through it”

With that aside, if you actually need to go to work to be able to live, and how many of us can not say that is true, insuring yourself to protect your household against this not being possible should really right at the heart of adviser’s discussions.

To know more about protection then simply gives us a ring on 01270 620555, or email us at advice@watts-ifa.com and one of our team of Protection Specialists will give you a call straight back.

Watts are Protection Adviser of the Year 2019

Posted on January 14th, 2020 by by Alison

In September we were honoured to win the Moneyfacts Protection Adviser of the Year 2019!

Watts has provided more than £60 million of cover for clients and seen our workforce grow to 15 in 2019 with more advisers are set to join in 2020.

Watts Director Barry Jones, a specialist in business and personal protection, said: “We’re delighted and proud to once again receive national recognition and to help put Nantwich and South Cheshire on the map for business excellence.

“What makes us different is the way we deal with our clients. We’re not a call centre – we get to know people on a personal basis and build long-term relationships.

Above all, Watts is a family-established business that has kept hold of its origins and beliefs through a period of rapid growth. We care for our clients as part of our extended family and provide limitless aftercare for any future issues they may have.

We are not a transactional business, we seek and thrive off long-term relationships in a way that few businesses can truly claim to do.”

Watts owner, Andrew Watts, added:

“We are immensely proud. When I started out 26 years ago, Moneyfacts was the go-to read for people in the industry and to stand on its awards stage as the country’s best Protection Adviser was an immensely proud moment.

We were up against big names in the city and are delighted not only for ourselves but for Nantwich.”

If you want the Best Cover for your family, contact the Best Team!

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