‘Industry needs more income protection products in 2014’

The life office relationship director for London-based Lifesearch said there have been several positive initiatives in 2013, and some developments in the critical illness cover space, but there had been little in IP.

She said: “Whether 2014 sees much in the IP space is yet to be revealed. Some providers, having had to implement the European Union’s gender-neutral pricing directive and I minus E at the end of last year, have seen a drop in new business volumes this year, and they are still making improvements to their systems.”

However, she highlighted several initiatives created during 2013 to help advisers when making insurance recommendations, such as the new LV= risk calculator. LV= is testing this with a small number of advisers and is expected to roll it out more widely next year.

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She added: “We also approve of the special offer extension that the Pru revealed a few weeks ago, and we have had a new accounting tool from F&TRC. It has been relatively quiet this year, but I hope 2014 will see more new product launches and an improvement in new business volumes for providers.”

Industry view

John Bridge, sales and marketing director for Cirencester Friendly Society, said: “As an industry, we need to be better at providing products for the ordinary man in the street, and to educate him about the need for protection.”