Skip to main content


By 13th May 2021June 1st, 2023Protection, Broker Hero, Blog

We want to showcase you, our broker heroes, and the difference you make to your clients’ lives through the protection solutions you put in place. Our next broker hero showcase is Steve McKernan, Castle Mortgages.

Steve’s Story

When I arranged my own mortgage I arranged life and critical illness cover, family income benefit and income protection for myself. I also arranged the same for my wife to complement our Standard Life endowment.

I have paid for these policies for 27 years and on occasions have come very close to cancelling when times haven’t been so good, especially given the short term left on our mortgage. Last week my wife was diagnosed as having stage three breast cancer. She will be operated on within the next two weeks. 

My wife actually thought I had cancelled the policies, but my family will always come first. I would rather give up golf than providing for my family. I know that when she comes out, our mortgage will have been paid off courtesy of Standard Life. We will now have another lump sum in three years’ time as a result of the endowment maturity (not trying to tempt fate of course). Even though the endowment had a shortfall I have always maintained the payment at a higher rate meaning that we would have been debt free in three years’ time. 

I wanted to share my story to highlight the importance of protection. During hard times we all need to remember there’s a reason we took policies out, so advisers and customers alike need to keep them. We need to be a product of the product, remembering that policies aren’t a short-term gain.

When advising clients on their mortgage it can be easy to pull away from these conversations if there’s a chance you think you might lose the business. But what I’d say to this is: how would you tell your children that one of their parents has cancer and they’re going to lose their home too?

My top tip is to write on the customer’s policy document envelope the reason why they took the policy out before you post it to them. This could be keeping their children at the same school or staying in their home close to family. This will make customers think before cancelling their policy. Plus you’re less likely to get clawback and more likely to maintain persistency.

Want to be part of it?