Crass advert damages the insurance industry

Peter Hamilton told the Protection Review Conference in London that the organisation’s campaign, featuring the words “Don’t Get Mugged by an Insurer”, proved that the industry is “fair game” for public criticism.

He said: “The industry has to overcome prejudice against insurance, which this fairly crass advertisement illustrates. We have to get people to trust us again.

“I believe firms are taking big steps forward in engaging with consumers, but it’s clear that more needs to be done”.

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Mr Hamilton said the industry had done “pretty well” to maintain life assurance sales over ten years in challenging circumstances. “The number of advisers in this space has gone down from 25,000 to 20,000, so the fact that sales have remained flat shows we’re not necessarily missing opportunities.”

A combination of factors, including faster underwriting, an increase in critical illness cover and more transparency over claims, were also cause for optimism, said Mr Hamilton.