January 2016 was a momentous day for the more vulnerable customers in our society as the Association of British Insurers (ABI) and the British Insurance Brokers Association (BIBA) published a code of practice for the insurance market to provide support for potentially vulnerable motor and household customers at renewal. A copy of the Code can be viewed by clicking here.
A vulnerable customer is described as an individual who may be particularly at risk in their interaction with financial services providers, due to a set of circumstances, characteristics or processes that may affect their ability to make an informed choice. A customer in such a situation may be significantly less able than a typical customer to identify, protect or represent his or her interests.
I am pleased to say that Mason Owen Financial Services Limited has chosen to adopt the code of practice for our customers, though I would like to think that as a Chartered firm, we do not need a code of practice to exercise due care and consideration for all of our customers, vulnerable or otherwise.
A couple of weeks ago, following an informed discussion about dementia, I subscribed to the Alzheimer’s Society to become a dementia friend. The society itself is looking to encourage 4 million UK residents to become dementia friends with a view to spreading awareness and dispelling some of the myths concerning dementia within our society. The initiative also seeks to remove some of the stigma and fear away from dementia.
Being a dementia friend can be as simple as helping somebody to find the right bus, spreading word about dementia throughout society or simply encouraging up to 5 people to become dementia friends as a result of your actions.
Until the discussion about dementia I had no idea how the disease could be so diverse and affect people in such different ways, with perhaps the most striking misconception is that dementia is a disease of the old, but many people in their 30’s and 40’s are being diagnosed and already suffering from the disease.
People can obtain information, support and advice about dementia by visiting: www.alzheimers.org.uk or contacting the national dementia helpline on 0300 222 1122. There are discussion forums available at www.forum.alzheimers.org.uk and for any enquiries about becoming a dementia friend you can contact dementia friends at www.dementiafriends.org.uk or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or simply call 0300 222 5855.