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    Add Value to Premium Checking with Voluntary Protection Products

    Increasing non-interest income to help cover costs and introducing new services while also staying true to your financial institution's mission can be tricky. One way to do so is by introducing new products that complement your current offerings and bring value to your new and existing consumer base. To that end, voluntary protection products, often available in combination with premium checking accounts, are a great option for financial institutions to add to their product and service portfolios.

    Why offer voluntary protection products?

    You're probably already familiar with voluntary protection products, even if you don't recognize the term. Voluntary protection often takes the form of small-ticket protection, such as insurance or extended warranties for cell phones, discounts, and emergency services. It also encompasses small, specific-purpose protection, such as travel insurance.

    Since selling these products on their own may be more labor intensive than your financial institution would find worthwhile, adding bundled voluntary protection benefits to your premium checking account product is a sensible solution that provides a great opportunity to make these accounts more robust and feature-rich and allows you to charge a monthly fee. Your members and customers will receive valuable protection they often would go without otherwise. In addition, the extra benefits provide ample proof that your premium checking product is worth a little extra money.

    Consider adding voluntary protection products like these to your premium checking accounts:

    • Accidental death and dismemberment insurance

    • Cell phone insurance covering loss or damage

    • Credit card loss, theft, and replacement assistance

    • Discounted dental and vision services

    • Emergency cash advance services

    • Emergency lodging in the event a home is not habitable

    • Extended warranties that double manufacturer warranties on appliances and electronics

    • Legal assistance with access to attorneys and forms

    • Online shopping and entertainment discounts

    • Online wellness benefits

    • Prescription drug discounts

    • Price protection and reimbursement on items discounted after purchase

    • Reimbursement for auto or home insurance deductibles after accident claims

    • Roadside and emergency vehicle assistance

    • Tax preparation and advice

    • Telemedicine physician access and virtual visits

    • Travel agency assistance and discounts

    • Travel insurance for trip cancellation, common carrier accidents, and delayed or lost luggage

    • Warranty registration and tracking

    Assuming your institution already offers homeowners, auto, and life insurance, voluntary protection products are a natural and complementary addition to your product portfolio. As your members and customers work with your institution to insure their homes and vehicles, withdraw funds to pay for purchases, or set up new checking accounts, you can suggest upgrading to premium checking, which brings the opportunity to purchase insurance for other household items and events.

    How to promote voluntary protection products

    Here are some good ways to get the word out that your financial institution's premium checking comes with added voluntary protection benefits:

    • Advertise the availability of mobile phone, travel, and other common protection plans via posters, signage, and message displays in your branches to create awareness and interest.

    • Educate your staff to talk about and suggest these non-traditional protection plans while communicating with members and customers in person, by phone, or via online chat.

    • Add banner ads to your website and mobile site, rotating messages about the availability of insurance for mobile phones, weddings, events, trips, and home appliances within your premium checking product.

    • Use digital marketing channels to send offers to members and customers when your system flags a potential sales opportunity, such as when they establish a new residence and are likely to buy items needing extended warranties.

    • Ask current and new members and customers if they're aware of the many valuable protections included with your institution's premium checking.

    Voluntary protection products can help deliver valuable benefits to members and customers, generate income, and draw positive attention to your premium checking. We hope these tips help you increase demand for your premium checking products! For more information on adding voluntary protection products to your portfolio, visit our website.

    Joan Cleveland, CLU, ChFC, REBC

    Joan Cleveland, CLU, ChFC, REBC leads SWBC Life Insurance Company as President and CEO. With more than 30 years of experience in the life insurance industry. She holds her Agent licenses for Life, Accident, Health Insurance, and has multiple FINRA securities Licenses. Joan is a frequent industry speaker and media spokesperson. She is a member of the Board of Directors of the Consumer Credit Insurance Association, the Texas Association of Life and Health Insurers, as well as the Life Insurers Council. In addition, she is chair of LIMRA’s Strategic Marketing Issues Committee.

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