Vulnerable customers



Deliver an e-learning package for all Legal & General employees to understand their role in dealing with vulnerable customers in 2016


Deliver a ‘critical friend’ review of at least one product and process a month to improve our work with vulnerable customers by the end of 2016


The needs of vulnerable customers

As part of our commitment to doing business better we move forward with understanding customer vulnerabilities and supporting our people to better serve and support our customers.

Our research shows 25% of contacts with our customers contain some form of vulnerability. We are ultimately judged by our customers on our ability to deal with the obvious and hidden or emerging vulnerabilities affecting their lives.

E-Learning – Ruth’s story

We have developed and delivered an e-learning, that has been completed by 88.6 % of our people. With our design partners BYG, this was short-listed for ‘Excellence in the Design of Learning Content’ at the Learning Technologies Awards

We successfully build on our on-line toolkit to support employees and for team managers to embed the learning, this includes how to successfully implement your business areas strategy.

Supporting employees with focused training.

A unique process for us is to partner with the charities to deliver training focused around the vulnerability their service user’s face.

  • Our Debt recovery team have worked with Stepchange with customers dealing with financial difficulties.
  • Our Life Claims team have been working with Marie Curie on terminal illness and caring.
  • Our Group Protection team and other relevant business areas are all involved with our “Time to Change" pledge on mental health issues.
  • Our mature saving business, retirements and claims have been working with Silverline for customers dealing with loneliness and isolation in older people.
  • Over 200 employees attended the dementia friend’s awareness sessions and became ‘Dementia Friends’.

In November 2016, we saw the Macmillian Horizon Centre open in Brighton, Mature Savings raised £33,000 to help build this non-medical support Centre for people diagnosed with cancer across East and West Sussex.

Critical friends helping us with our processes

In 2016 we committed to get ‘critical friends’ to review of at least one product and process a month to improve our work with vulnerable customers. We have used a number of critical friends to help bring in challenges and ideas for serving these markets including The Age of No Retirement, Intergenerational Foundation, UK Active, Alzheimer's Research UK, Shelter, a number of Credit Unions and the Elderly Accommodation Counsel to name but a few.  Our approach in 2016 has been to use this feedback to refine our existing products rather than bring out new ones.

We are particularly proud of workshops such as:

  • Saving/investments – West Sussex Credit Union (now BOOM) / Step Change
  • Age of No Retirement (AONR) – conscious and unconscious age bias in marketing our products
  • Social media – Shelter, Elderly Accommodation Counsel

Some thoughts from our ‘critical friends’:

“The definition of “vulnerable” can be as simple as “I haven’t been here before” or that someone is facing an unfamiliar situation. Ultimately, it’s difficult to tell if people have vulnerabilities – particular via online channels – so all responses have to be robust.” –

John Galvin - Chief Executive – Elderly Accommodation Counsel

“We recognise that the way that we present information has got to change: people don’t want to and often can’t wade through pages with 2000 words on anymore. We have decided offering choice is the best approach………give customers different ways to interact and don’t force them down one particular channel.”

Stuart Moore - Head of telephone and online advice services – Shelter

Market Inclusion

As a financial services business we are there to provide safety nets for the countries and populations which we serve. This currently covers the US, UK and through our joint venture in India.

We are increasingly seeing governments and shareholders asking us to play a stronger role in the provision of these safety nets to harder to reach parts of the population. We continue to track and act upon the market inclusion data in these markets, work with thought leaders typically from the not for profit sector to shape our views and deliver products and services that include more people.

UK Market Inclusion

Since our last report on market inclusion we have had a number of changes to our business which has changed the shape of the products we offer the UK Population. For example we sold Cofunds, Suffolk Life and Legal & General International Ireland which tended to be businesses that provided financial services for higher net worth clients.

We have new business lines actively solving some of the UK’s issues around health, housing and an ageing population including Legal & General Home Finance (Equity release mortgages) and Legal & General Homes (providing modular housing).

In 2016 we have taken the opportunity to relook at the segmentation of the UK population and contrasted it with how well our products provide financial safety nets serve people.

The harder to reach segments 'Struggling young families' and 'low income older couples' are a concern for us. We either do not have a suite of products to serve their needs or they are not in the market for any finance products. We are currently working with our marketing teams to challenge our distribution, product and services strategy with these groups.

You can see our market inclusion data for 2016 here

In the US business we are still to develop a market inclusion model but expect to see a similar analysis by the end of 2017.

From a UK government policy perspective we have been working with the Financial Inclusion Commission to see how we can better serve the increasing population looking to travel through cancer treatment and continue to work with UK government to bring family resilience products into the market through employer payroll to help families in work financially deal better with redundancy, illness and disability.

Market Inclusion in India

Our joint venture business India First Life has made amazing progress at bringing traditionally under or non-insured events for rural communities into a situation where financial safety nets now exist for millions of people.

Even as financial awareness gradually takes on a more important position among the Indian urban population, much is to be achieved in terms of shifting the attitude of bulk of the population residing in the country’s rural pockets.

For insurance to reach the masses, India needs a financial inclusion model that is fair, transparent, cost-effective, regulated, and one that leverages existing banking and government infrastructure.

Where next?

Our segmentation work will continue to drive the need to innovate distribution and product design in our business. We are particularly focussed upon how we can innovate products and services to improve how people become more resilient to mental health problems.

We are looking to deliver this level of analysis for our US life Insurance Business to understand our market inclusion agenda as it grows.

There are also increasing opportunities to learn from our IndiaFirst business paying particular attention to the simplification of products and how those could be provided in UK and US markets.