Coronavirus has prompted a 76 per cent jump in the demand for wills in the last two weeks, reveals one of the world’s largest independent financial advisory organisations. deVere Group says the dramatic increase for its wills service has been driven by people’s “minds being more focused” on certain aspects of financial planning due to the current pandemic.
The sharp surge in enquiries comes as deVere launches a free online wills service for clients. It is also offering a discount to UK Citizens when drawing up their will – now at a cost of only £15.
deVere Group CEO Nigel Green comments: “Like too many aspects of financial planning, including retirement planning, drawing up a will is not something that most people rush to do.
“It remains ‘on the back burner’ until something, such as an illness or a change of circumstances, focuses minds. The virus has also made people think about how their loved ones might cope after they pass away, so insurers and brokers are seeing an increase in demand for Life and Healthcare insurance.
Fabric in the USA reported a 50% increase in enquiries in March, while LifeQuotes reported a 29% rise in new policies being issued. In India online spedcialist Policybazaar reported a 35% increase in health cover, and Digit reported a 50% jump in Life/Health business. This activity was in contrast to many traditional Indian insurance companies who, because they sell face-to-face via agents, have seen a drop in sales by about 50%.
Nigel Green continues: “In these highly unusual and worrying times, we should all be playing our part.
“For this reason, we have launched a free online wills service for clients. We have also reduced the fee to just £15 to non-clients for a month.
“With the company absorbing the costs, except the storage in an insured facility, we hope this step will encourage even more people to create a will.”
Terms, conditions, limits and exclusions apply to this free online wills service for clients and the reduced costs for non-clients.
Mr Green adds: “Pandemic or no pandemic, the importance of having a will cannot be underestimated – and they’re not just for the elderly.
“Circumstances can change for anyone at any time and for so many different reasons as this pandemic is, unfortunately, proving to be all too true.
“Having a will gives you the peace of mind of knowing that the rewards of your life’s work – both financial and sentimental value – will be handled according to your wishes.
“You’ll be helping your loved ones avoid going through the burden of unnecessary stress, legal hurdles and potential tax issues during a time of grief. It can help them retain the quality of life you have created together.”
The deVere CEO concludes: “We can expect the uptick in demand for wills to continue throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, which has triggered a growing number of people to get their affairs in order.
“However, a will should always play a part in any successful financial planning strategy.”