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1 BUSINESS PROTECTION INSURANCE UNDER SOLD Insurance is a cost a business is always looking to reduce, so the suggestion that your business needs more insurance is not an easy one to make. However, Mark Meads from AEGON SE is saying just that. He's concerned that most businesses have no kind of insurance in place to cover against the loss of a key person or stakeholder, and as a result would find themselves in a very difficult position in the event of a worst case scenario... AEGON Scottish Equitable Long-Term Savings, Pension & Protection Products Tele: +44 (0) AEGON Scottish Equitable provides long-term savings, pension and protection products. We're part of the AEGON Group, one of the world's largest listed life insurance and pension companies, with assets of around 368 billion ( 248 billion). This includes all revenue-generating investments. We re dedicated to providing individual protection solutions, offering a simple, menu-based range of products to cover family, mortgage and business protection.operating through financial advisers, we strongly believe in the benefits of our customers receiving financial advice. Our protection products come with a choice of main and additional benefits, so we can tailor cover to suit your clients needs. Our protection is flexible, so clients can adapt their cover throughout their lifetime as their lifestyles change. We know that financial advisers have different ways of working, so you can do protection business with us both online and through our customer service centre. We re always reviewing the market and our proposition to make sure we re providing the products and services that advisers and clients need. We recognise the importance of supporting advisers, and offer technical help via our underwriting helpline. This service gives advisers direct access to our experienced team of protection underwriters. Our smart underwriting philosophy underlies our approach to processing business. MARK MEADS Tele: +44(0) Head of Sales, Individual Protection Direct: +44(0) AEGON SE Mark Meads joined the financial services industry in 1992 as a financial adviser with Prudential. From there he went on to work for Bristol & West, working in sales and sales management, before joining BUPA in 2000 where he was responsible for the sales teams in the individual protection business. In October 2006 he joined AEGON Scottish Equitable as Head of Sales for Individual Protection. Here he s responsible for shaping the sales strategy, as well as heading up the specialist protection sales teams that look after the intermediary community. Mark has also represented AEGON at industry forums and regularly contributes to industry press on protection-related issues. The protection sales teams at AEGON have specialist knowledge in the area of business protection and this will continue to be a strategic focus going forward. Mark is keen to make sure that AEGON can contribute to closing the protection gap and sees the promotion of business protection as a key factor in supporting this.

2 BUSINESS PROTECTION INSURANCE UNDER SOLD John Silkin (ProConnections): Hello, I m John Silkin and welcome to ProConnections. For obvious reasons insurance is a cost that businesses are always looking to minimise. The suggestion therefore that your business needs more insurance is never an easy one to make but the fact remains that the vast majority of UK businesses do not carry any kind of insurance against the event of a key person or stakeholder of the business being unable to continue their role. With a business s key people often being its most valuable and critical asset this is certainly a curious fact and one that surely needs addressing. There are not many firms who deal in this kind of insurance as it s a very specialist field but one that does is AEGON Insurance, one of the world s largest life companies and possibly the country s leading provider of key person insurance and business protection insurance. So we ve asked Mark Meads who heads up AEGON s Protection Insurance Division to join us today and explain the types of cover available and how one should go about assessing what cover one s business needs. Welcome to ProConnections Mark. Mark Meads (AEGON SE): Thank you. John Silkin: So Mark why is business protection insurance so important? Mark Meads: When we are looking at protection cover in general and specifically focusing on businesses, what businesses tend to do and business leaders in terms of key people in businesses like partners or shareholders, they don t think twice about looking at the fire cover and the theft cover covering their fleet of vehicles or looking at public liability but what they don t tend to think about so often is looking at the people and how important they are to the business and what they sometimes you know don t consider is what the effect would be of losing some of those key people or even one of the key directors and the effect that would have on the business as a whole. So I think that is why it is so important because it is and could be a drastic effect on a business if they were to lose a key person or even a partner in the business. John Silkin: Absolutely. So if people are agreed out there that it s cover that they should be seriously considering because the logic of that can t be lost on anybody, how do you go about assessing your needs? Mark Meads: Well I think what you need to do is and the best way to do that is we feel is to have and engage with an independent financial advisor. They are trained to look at people s needs, assess what their issues are and go into that in a bit more detail. I think it s important to look at every factor of the business and by having a professional doing that it actually guides and helps the business owners and business leaders to be able to make a good sound decision on what protection cover they need going forward. John Silkin:OK. So you seek independent financial advice to help you really assess your needs perhaps who should be insured, perhaps what other components of the business might need protection. So our listeners would have an understanding of what they would be looking to seek advice against. Can you just give us an overview of the type of policies that are available and how one would go about finding one that s most suitable for your business? Mark Meads: OK. I think there is basically 3 key areas to look at. These are key man protection, shareholder or partnership protection and business loan protection. If you look at these in individuality, you ve got key man protection which is basically looking at the key people within the business and I m not talking about the partners or the directors here although they may be key people it s generally people who are in the business who would have a major effect on the business if you were to lose them through illness or death or what have you. Basically if I can give you an example you might have say a certain industry whereby you have a sales professional who works for your company and it s probably taken you a long time to get hold of this person, they re working for you at the moment and they ve got all the key contacts within your industry and if you were then to suddenly lose them what would be the effect on your business, that is what you need to think. Now if that person were to die or to be off sick for a long time you would need to cover that person. That s what key man cover covers you for you can actually insure against losing that person for either illness or death or any other critical illness and

3 that then would give you an ability to be able to protect the business financially whilst you found a replacement for that person. The next area to look at is shareholder or partnership protection and basically what you have here is that is for the key directors and the key partners within the business. There are 2 facets to look at when you are looking at this type of protection. One is to look at is there a business will in place, effectively what would happen to that person s shares if they were to die does it go directly to the family or is there the ability for the existing shareholders to buy the existing shares back from the family if there was a death. What you are looking to do is bring yourself within control so if for instance you have a partnership where you ve got 2 people who have got separate families and they work together but they don t have any sort of family contact, if one of them were to die or have a serious illness and could no longer work you could then put in place a policy that would actually cover the other person to be able to buy their shares out because to be fair the remaining relatives (a) may not want to get involved and the existing partner probably wouldn t want the deceased s relatives to be involved in the business so what we are saying is it gives you control over what you are doing, it gives you control over the decisions you make. The other one to look at is one of the areas that is very often not covered but is key to protecting a business is loan cover protection. So businesses take loans out all the time, they even have directors loans so if you had a director who loaned some money into the company and that director then died presumably the remaining relatives will want that money back into the estate. How would you actually repay that money if that person were to die or suffer a very serious illness? John Silkin:Well that s very interesting everything you ve said there and I think right at the beginning it was an interesting distinction that you drew between key person insurance and then shareholder s and stakeholder s insurance. I think a lot of people would be interested to understand that there is a distinction there and many people think that key person insurance is what you take out for the directors or the other partner so those are very useful insights Mark. If I own a business how do I know which type of arrangement I need? Mark Meads: Well again this is where we would recommend you talk to an IFA, an Independent Financial Advisor to look at again your individual circumstances because every business is different, they all have different arrangements and all have different things they want to talk about and want to look at covering so it s not just a straightforward decision of being able to say exactly what is right for each business as a whole, you need to assess them individually so again I will refer you back to the Independent Financial Advisor. They will then look at your needs, look at what your business is doing, look at where the risks are and then make recommendations on that and they ll help you choose a provider. Obviously we hope that to be AEGON as we are specialists in business protection however they do have the ability to choose from a number of different companies that may be suitable for your individual needs as well. John Silkin:Are you allowed to tell us because of course financial advice is key to this process and most of your business and perhaps all of your business comes via IFAs, are you able to tell us at all what particular components or parts to AEGON s business protection insurance make it more attractive than others on the market in your opinion perhaps? Is that something you are able to talk about? Mark Meads: Absolutely. I think if you look at why it is important when you are putting this type of cover in place, generally they are larger sums assured than your average mortgage loan or your average personal protection cover so what generally tends to happen is you do need to look at more in-depth underwriting, you need to look at financial underwriting because when we consider a risk you need to be able to assess the person s health, the person s financial stability and the level of cover is it appropriate, do they need that amount of cover. Now we at AEGON have got years and years of experience of dealing in that and what obviously you want to do is make the process as smooth as is physically possible so we may not always be necessarily the cheapest although we are always very competitive but we do have the expertise to be able to streamline that process to make it as simple as possible to put that cover in place and that is where we really do stand out in the marketplace. John Silkin:It s a question of ease of implementation because it is an area which you specialise. Mark Meads: Indeed, indeed. And again that expertise is vital in terms of making sure the process is slick and you know what you are on about. The other thing is that we ve got very good underwriting limits whereby to insure with us you would need to go for a medical and maybe other companies. That I think does make it attractive to a number of people and also we re the only company currently who does key man income protection so that type of protection I talked about which benefits the company we re the only company that currently does that.

4 John Silkin: Oh really that isn t a product that other companies would do? Mark Meads: I mean it was more widespread a couple of years ago but I don t think the take-up was great so a lot of people haven t continued to do it but we still see a reasonable take-up so we continue to do that. It is not as good as we would like and this market isn t as big as it should be you know so there is a big gap to fill and we re trying to help people understand the importance of this as are IFAs out in the community as well. John Silkin:That s an interesting comment that you just made and of course is reflected with the interview that we undertook with the ABI s Chairman of the Income Protection Committee talking about the uptake of this product and we ve got some opinions there from the ABI. Your personal opinions Mark on why the income protection or things like key man insurance for the business is not better taken up, why would that be because it sounds like a very logical product to have? Mark Meads: Because it is relatively complex in terms of insurance whilst people think life cover as being pretty straightforward the types of trust you need to put in place and the arrangements need to be in place can be a little bit complex and there s not many IFAs that specialise in that marketplace. John Silkin:Right. Mark Meads: What we re seeing happening is that more and more IFAs are taking that up. I think that will help to fill that gap and it is estimated the last figures I saw which was from what is the Swiss RE which is quite a common report in our industry there was a 500 billion protection gap within the business protection world. John Silkin:So there s a lot of business out there to be done. Mark Meads: There is yes. John Silkin:We talked about the sort of levels of cover and the importance of working with a company like yourselves who has got access to the sort of specialist underwriting that really one would want in place in order to take out these policies not only as you mention through the smoothness of implementation but of course perhaps also the piece of mind that you are working with an insurer who can pay out if worse case scenario strikes. So how do you go about calculating the levels of cover one needs? Mark Meads: Well again it depends on individual circumstances and your Independent Financial Advisor will help you with this but to sort of simplify it overall if you are looking at loan protection obviously that is pretty straightforward because it would just cover the amount for the loan whether it be a business loan from a bank or a directors loan you know you would want to cover those areas but the other area and it is probably the more complex area to look at is with regard to the valuation of a business. If for instance you are putting a partnership protection plan in place for the benefit of one of the partner s families you would need to make sure that you had regular valuations on the business to make sure that the amount of cover in place is relevant to the value of the business at that time so we would recommend looking at that every couple of years to make sure that the actual level of protection is relevant to the actual value of the business at that time. John Silkin: Of course and what you said earlier about loan protection just to be clear on that point if one has for example offered a loan into the business of let s just for arguments sake say 30,000 and the business has paid back 5,000 of that by the time the person is looking at loan protection insurance because people may have already loaned money before they listen to this interview and are inclined to uptake this sort of insurance, just to be clear on that for our listeners if you take out a policy then that will insure you for the remaining 25,000 for example and then worse case scenario does strike, the policy will pay out the 25,000 providing it s all drawn up and written up correctly? Mark Meads: Absolutely yes. What you tend to do is probably do it on a short term say a 5 year term and then again the key to all of this is regular reviewing. I say every 2 years but probably every year is best to sit down with your Financial Advisor and make sure that your plans are still relevant and your loans outstanding are properly covered and the ones that may have been paid back no longer need that cover. John Silkin: What would be the next steps that one needs to take to insure that you ve got the proper protection in place? People listening to this, they agree and they OK so how do I actually go about putting the protection in place. What are my first steps?

5 Mark Meads: What the best thing to do is hopefully there may be an instance where you do have a financial advisor who you use and well you need to ask them if they are prepared to look at this type of protection for you. Most will, although most may not be experts but what you will tend to find is they ll know other people who may be experts in the business protection world that could help them. The other thing to do is if you ve got solicitors or accountants they may have links with Independent Financial Advisors who could again help them with this type of cover and putting it in place. So again going through the professional route is probably the first point of call. If you haven t got any of those type of contacts it is the good old Yellow Pages and look at a local independent financial advisor or choose 2 or 3 and make initial phone calls to see who you d be comfortable with. John Silkin: And if I do approach my IFA or my business s current accountant which is frequently the case where a lot of this advice comes from and they are receptive to the idea of helping me negotiate this topic and put in place the cover, they can easily recommend to me or help me implement AEGON s? Mark Meads: Indeed yes. AEGON are recommended on and what you tend to see each IFA will have access to a quotation portal where they will go in to get these types of quotes once they ve decided on the level of cover required and we are recommended on all the main portals so anywhere that they went in for a quotation they would be able to look at AEGON and compare and contrast their costs and plans against any other people. John Silkin: OK. So really the next step is for people to make contact with their IFA, discuss this, perhaps ask their IFAs to listen to this interview as well and then really do something about it as quickly as possible really because as you said there is this massive protection gap so there s a lot of businesses out there who are uninsured or underinsured as it were aren t there? Mark Meads: Absolutely yes. John Silkin: Out of interest Mark do you have any idea on the sort of figures that we are looking at, I mean is underinsurance rife within smaller companies? Mark Meads: It is very low. I would imagine we are looking at a maximum of 10%-15% of small to medium size companies would have this type of cover in place and fully up to date. So you know it is something that isn t often thought about but can be serious and does need to be addressed. John Silkin: Absolutely. Absolutely. Well it is a very interesting topic and one of course that really does need urgent attention so thank you very much Mark for talking with us on ProConnections and bringing us to our tables as it were. Mark Meads: It s a pleasure.

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