Trying to navigate the world of financial and legal services can be a minefield. At Hannah, we believe things should be straight forward and easy to understand. That's why, through great advice and harmony with our customers, we help to ensure the right decisions are made for you and your family.
My name’s David Thomson. Back in the 1990s, I worked for two of the country’s largest estate-agency chains, arranging mortgages and insurance for clients looking to buy or remortgage property. I arranged hundreds every year. I was possibly the UK’s top mortgage adviser.
Every day, when a client walked in to the estate agency, I’d be introduced as the ‘independent mortgage adviser’. This was only partly true. I had free rein on mortgages, but was tied to just one insurance company. Surprise, surprise, it was the one that owned the estate agencies.
It’s a story retold across the vast majority of the UK’s financial providers.
The policies I was forced to sell offered terrible value for money. What’s more, the company’s critical-illness policy covered only nine illnesses, when other policies were available that covered 30 or more.
Provided we arranged the mortgage the client wanted, they paid very little attention to the insurance. After all, the insurance company had been in business for more than 150 years and people believed they provided the cover they needed.
How wrong they were. Even worse, when a client took their policy to an Independent Financial Adviser, the IFA would cancel the policy and recommend another. But it was always the cheapest on the market – never the best. I had a slogan for the IFAs: ‘cheap price, no advice’.
Everyone has different needs but for sure everyone wants to have the speed and quality of care that gives them the best chance of recovering from a serious llness. It’s the job of our personal advisers to find out just what your needs are, talk about them with you and let you know how best they can be fulfilled.
The market was crying out for a company with advisers who knew the small print of every insurance contract and could explain it simply, too. A company that could compare insurance contracts so that people could easily spot the differences between policies.
I set up Hannah. And started changing people’s lives.
Soon after, one of my advisers arranged a mortgage for a client, explaining that he needed to change his critical-illness insurance policy from third party to fully comprehensive.
He was reluctant – he’d bought from a household name. But my adviser showed him the flaws in the policy and he changed providers. Two months later, his wife developed skin cancer, a condition not covered under the original policy. Thanks to Hannah, the clients had their mortgage paid off in full. “It’s changed our lives,” they said.
In another instance, another adviser placed a follow-up customer-service call with a client who bought critical-illness cover only because the adviser was so persuasive. It turned out to be the best advice she ever had. She was in remission from breast cancer. She’s still grateful to this day.
So, ask yourself: if you’re about to buy an insurance policy, will you truly be getting the best deal?
David Thomson - Chief Executive