James Ware may not be the first hard-working 26-year-old to own his own home. But by getting on the property ladder early, he has put himself one step ahead of most of his peers. And thanks to his financial adviser, he also saved a great deal of time and effort along the way.
Unlike most millennials, who are typically well into their thirties before taking out a mortgage, James took the plunge when he was just 24. He knew it was a big decision, but with his career going well and no other financial commitments to speak of, it felt like the right time.
“Rather than scouring the market myself, I wanted to get a recommendation from someone I could trust,” he explains. “So, booking an appointment with a financial adviser just seemed like the right way to go.”
At first, he wasn’t looking for assistance with anything other than his mortgage. But as he talked things through with his adviser, James started to think about other aspects of his finances, such as how he might cope if he fell ill and what he’d do if his personal possessions weren’t properly protected.
This encouraged him to consider a number of different products – from Critical Illness Cover and Life Cover to Mortgage Protection and Home Insurance.
It didn’t take long to decide which options were the most appropriate, but James says that speaking to an adviser made the process much easier.
In the end, he got a great deal on his mortgage and all of his insurance policies set up without having to lift a finger.
It only took about an hour, but it left him feeling confident that if anything went wrong, his property and his investment would be well-protected.
Like a lot of young people, James leads a full and active life and is grateful to anyone who can save him a bit of time. So even though his mortgage is now in place, he continues to use his adviser for his home insurance renewals.
“I’m quite time poor”, he reflects. “I have a full-time job and I’m studying for my MBA, which means my days, evenings and weekends are often taken up with other things. And although I could probably save £10 here and there by going online and sourcing a policy myself… that isn’t as valuable as my time.”
When reviewing his policy, the conversation with his adviser lasts little more than 10 minutes. And as James is quick to recognise, “That’s precisely the point – he manages to educate me in 10 minutes, what it would take me two days to figure out myself.
The process is so simple and straightforward. Plus, the fact that my Paymentshield policy comes highly recommended, gives me confidence that it’s the right product for me.”
As much as James values his time, he isn’t one to cut corners – especially when it comes to his finances. He knows how important it is to protect the money he works hard for and believes that speaking to an adviser is a no-brainer.
“I know my generation goes online for just about everything”, he admits. “But it can be so impersonal. Maybe I’m a bit different because I prefer to speak to people face-to-face. I just think you get better results that way. Don’t get me wrong, I do go online and research products and prices myself, but when it comes to something as important as my home, I feel much more comfortable talking to an expert – it’s not just about the cost of the cover; it’s about getting a recommendation that I trust.”
When asked about his priorities for choosing a home insurance product, it’s interesting to hear that James puts price at the bottom of the pile. It’s not that he doesn’t consider it relevant, just that he sees service and product benefits as more important… still, he’s astute enough to realise that this isn’t a typical view of someone his age.
“I’d say that different generations look at it differently”, he muses. “In my experience, younger people see home insurance as a need-to-have rather than a nice-to-have, which is why price is so important. I suppose they haven’t accumulated as many possessions as older people, so it’s more of a functional purchase than an emotional one. Perhaps older people have more belongings that they want to protect, which means it’s more important for them to get the right policy with the right benefits.”
While this makes a lot of sense, James also observes that young people may be focusing on price because they assume that most products are the same. Likewise, he suggests they could be paying for benefits they don’t need without realising there are other options.
“When I first spoke to my adviser, there were a lot more options than I imagined. I didn’t go for a comprehensive policy, because I didn’t need one. But I did take out additional benefits that were relevant to me. My adviser, highlighted the importance of tailoring the product to my needs and helped me to make an informed choice – based on both cost and benefits.”
A question of trust
There have been a lot of changes in the financial services industry over the last decade, but regardless of age, gender or status, trust continues to play an important role in the decision-making process.
James appreciates that there is a very real need for insurance products, but he also understands how important it is to work with an insurance partner who will support you when you need them most. And this isn’t just about the benefits – it’s about the service too.
When you’re paying for something that you very rarely use, it’s not unreasonable to expect a high level of service.
Of course, until you make a claim, it’s hard to know how things are going to pan out.
That’s why James prefers to get a recommendation from someone who knows the market. “It’s one of the main reasons I speak to my financial adviser about home insurance”, he confirms. “The fact that he trusts Paymentshield gives me a great deal of confidence. It reassures me that they will be there for me when I need to make a claim.”
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