Understanding Our customers Developing health needs
We have used a number of external partners to gain insights on how we innovate our processes and approach to dealing with customers who have health issues. These are a few of teh one's that we are particularly proud of.
Training BY LEADING HEALTH CHARITIES
Working with a number of charities we have provided valuable training for employees who handle calls from customers with a critical illness. We do this because these organisations are experts in their field and we believe we can deliver a better service to our customers by understanding the impacts on their health.
Our claims teams have been working with charities to enhance the service we offer to our customers. We also direct customers to relevant charities for additional support where appropriate. Organisations who have provided training and expertise to our front line teams include:
- The Samaritans
- Stroke Association
- Friendly Faces.
How we manage bereavement
Through call handling training with The Samaritans we’ve developed a greater awareness of how to communicate effectively with our customers. We’ve also learnt how to take care of our own people – helping customers who are emotional or distressed will affect our people. Some of them spend most of their day speaking to seriously and terminally ill people, their families and those who have recently been bereaved.
We think it’s vital to always consider their welfare so that they can continue to provide outstanding service and support to customers and claimants.
dealing with Cancer better
Macmillan has trained our front line employees so that we can safely direct people who are suffering from or have survived cancer to Macmillan for specific support.
Macmillan helped to inform our strategy to signpost experts rather than try to provide specialist support to customers ourselves. We have learned a lot along the way and are now better placed to help our customers and progress their life insurance claim quickly and sensitively.
In our US business we have also been carefully studying the risk that a family history of cancer may convey to those applying for our life insurance products. Our research demonstrates that simply coming from a family that has one or more members with cancer does not necessarily increase the cancer risk or mortality risk among all members in that family.
As of August 6, 2012, Legal & General America no longer considered family cancer histories as an adverse underwriting factor that would prevent applicants from consideration for our preferred classes (unless there are features of the family history that suggest a hereditary cancer syndrome may be present). Through their efforts more customers can potentially afford the financial protection they need through insurance coverage.
Dealing with family bereavement better
Some people are left vulnerable when a partner or carer passes away. If we’re asked to provide support by a claimant, customer or family member we can contact Friendly Faces. The biggest need is for families who are not local to their relatives to have confidence that they’re able to cope.
That’s where Friendly Faces come in. They can provide the first level of companionship. They’ll be there to help people back onto their feet and provide the family or care organisation to fully understand the individuals needs.
Dignity in the last few weeks of life
We are working with Macmillan and Legacare, a small social enterprise in the Northwest of the UK, to provide much needed help on calls to legal assistance in the last few weeks of life. This new and unique pilot will look to see whether a missing part of people’s palliative care can be delivered in key hospitals or remotely to all beneficiaries, including our customers across the UK.
It’s easy to underestimate what peace of mind can do to improve the quality of someone’s life. Legacare can do this in minutes by taking the load of legal worries away.
We are committed to ensuring that we too give people less to worry about by having simple and swift processes. Easy access to legal advice for people who have life threatening or life limiting illness allows them to make the most of their time rather than spend that time worrying about the consequences of their illness.
You can learn more about Legacare here
Healthy employees in healthy employers
Our long-term partnership with the British Heart Foundation means that in 2012 a further 12 health and wellbeing seminars to major UK employers were provided. This was in addition to running ‘Joint Health at Work’ regional seminars for employers interested in creating Healthy Workplaces with British Heart Foundation.
This long-term partnership has resulted in a movement with over 4,300 members interested in creating better and healthier workplaces.
Working with the British Heart Foundation has helped us to understand that the psychological impact and the importance of rehabilitation following a heart attack is often more complex and time consuming than the physical effects. Some people lose confidence and struggle to get back to their normal work and activities due to the subconscious fear of another incident. It’s important that we understand this when assessing or making claims.
Employees are also Customers
Quite rightly we are also learning about how we look after the wellbeing of our own employees, upon whom we rely to work with our customers. In 2012 we participated in the FTSE 100 Wellbeing Index, which is run by Business in the Community. The Index will give us an idea as to how well we treat our own employees in this space. Results are due in the first half of 2013 so we’ll update in our 2013 report.
A second opinion matters
Banner Life Insurance is the only US life insurance company to offer MediGuide, a medical second opinion program, free of charge to its policyholders (subject to state approval). If the insured is diagnosed with a qualifying life-threatening condition or disease, our third party partner, MediGuide America, will collect and assemble all medical records and obtain a medical second opinion. MediGuide’s resources comprise some of the finest teaching hospitals in the world, including:
- The Cleveland Clinic
- The Harvard Teaching Hospitals
- King’s College Hospital in London
- Charite Hospital in Berlin.
- Improving mental health in the workplace
independence on claim payouts
Our independent claims panel reviews every claim we assess that results in no payment being made. They challenge decisions that they believe would be very difficult to explain to someone outside our industry. We review all of their decisions to understand whether we are applying the spirit of the contract.
This has helped us ensure that we make the right decisions on cases as quickly as possible. It gives us greater confidence that we are aligned with the Insurance Consumer Act which comes into force on the 6 April.
Lateral thinking on rehabilitation
As part of our ‘Gearing up for Work’ programme, we’ve committed to provide mentoring and employment experience within Legal & General to 200 people looking to access work.
As part of this commitment, we’ve partnered up with ‘’. Warrior, is a ground-breaking motivation, training and education programme that enables people suffering from deep depression and anxiety to rebuild their lives. Warrior predominantly focuses on ex-serving men and women who are struggling in their transition to civilian life.
We were interested to see what we could learn for our own approach to rehabilitation of people in the workplace.
It’s an intensive three-day programme, supported by regular workshops and networking groups over 12 months to maintain individuals’ progress towards a healthy, independent life.
We hosted Warrior at our Kingswood office in 2012 and as part of it, we ran our own ‘Getting fit for work’ day with the participants with our training specialists, Mike Brewin and Lucy Procter lead the group through a series of workshops which included:
- What do you want to do.: Where participants were encouraged to look at all the different options available to them, options that they maybe hadn’t considered before.
- Finding roles.Networking skills and searching for opportunities.
- Getting the job. Preparing a CV and interview skills
Mike Brewin said, “We were delighted to be able to support this event and run a forth day – it was truly motivational to see that our skills could be used to help others, and to see the value we could add outside of our day job.
We gained a lot from the event, and learnt to use our skills in different ways. The feedback we’ve received suggests that a number of delegates have now managed to secure employment, which is fantastic news.”
Charlotte Cole from Warrior said, ”I’m delighted that we will be working with Legal & General to share our knowledge to help them with the support they already give people through their own rehabilitation programmes. We’ve worked with 500 individuals to date and have built up a considerable bank of knowledge in this area. We want to add value in all our partnerships with organisations and are grateful for the support they can give us in terms of practical help such as venues and facilities for our workshops.”
These sessions have continued in 2013 and continue to inform our thinking on rehabilitation.
We’re also working with Warrior to share knowledge and give insight into treatments for stress that could be used in rehabilitation and work wellbeing.
Vanessa Sallows, Claims and Underwriting Director for Group Protection, reflects on the experience.
“It gave a greater understanding of the difficulties that servicemen and women face and, in particular, was useful from our perspective in understanding post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). This has helped the team to become more empathetic when assessing and managing the Group Income Protection claims for PTSD and the more severe physical problems, such as limb amputation. It has emphasised that motivation is key – an individual must want to improve their situation and be motivated to get better, improve their personal situation or return to work and this has helped in their management of all GIP claims.”
Connecting customers to emerging health issues
Our digital marketing team have been working with a number of charities to highlight areas of health risk that are less understood by the general public and our customers.
Sian Birks – Digital Marketing Manager comments on the experience:
“Since working on the cause related marketing campaigns I have gained a better understanding of how Cancer Research UK and The Institute of Cancer Research use the funds raised by Legal & General initiatives. I have been inspired by the work they do and how they can make a difference to so many people’s lives. It has also made me understand that we can really make a difference to charitable organisations and society in general whilst creating compelling customer propositions.”
You can see some of the campaigns here:
Taking advice ON Rehabillitation
In December 2012 we held our first Health Advisory Board meeting for our Group Protection business, which is designed to jointly campaign for Workplace Health in the UK.
We are pleased to be working alongside some of the leading lights on these topics, including:
- Professor Mansel Aylward, CB MD FRCP FFOM FFPM. Chair of Public Health Wales
- Mr Rickie Lovell National Manager at Physioworld
- Ms Susan Scott, Chair of the International Stress Management Association
- Mr Richard Pacitti, Chief Executive of Mind Croydon
- Mr Jonathan Naess, Director of Stand to Reason
- Ms Marjorie Wallace CBE, Chief Executive of SANE
- Mr Paul Jenkins, Chief Executive of Rethink Mental Illness
- Professor Cary Cooper, Distinguished Professor of Organisational Psychology and Health – Lancaster University Management School
- Ms Della Fox, Senior Manager UK Benefits – Fidelity Investment Management Ltd
- Mr Tim Taylor, Group Head of Reward – TUI Travel PLC
- Dr Sayeed Khan, Chief Medical Advisor – The Engineering Employers Federation
- Ms Sue Baker, Director of the Time to Change Campaign.
In particular they are looking at some key themes across workplace health, including:
- how do we work to get health, wellbeing and sickness absence onto the board agenda of companies?
- making the financial case for sickness and absence management.
- What could insurers do to support the return on investment case for workplace health?
Taking advice and being informed by such a group of experts is important to our understaning of emerging issues in the marketplace.
Gender diversity Changes
In 2012, with the EU bringing in gender neutral pricing, we made a lot of effort to support financial advisors and customers through these changes. In fact, we put the new approach to doing business in early
healthy living tools for customers
Our Retail Protection business launched their healthy living campaign. This set of tools provides customers and employees of our organisation with the ability to quantify their wellbeing and health and also come up with a plan to improve it.