Reinsurer Gen Re reported a significant increase in protection sales in the first half of the year.
According to the reinsurer’s latest Protection Pulse report, issued to the protection market today (8 November), total protection premiums are up by 5 per cent this year compared to the first half of 2015, with income protection sales up by more than 18 per cent.
Sales of mortality (life cover) were up by 2 per cent, critical Illness cover sales were up by 7.5 per cent and income protection sales were up 18.7 per cent.
Jules Constantinou, life/health regional manager for UK and Ireland at Gen Re, said: “It has been a great start to the year. The headline figure that protection sales premiums are 5 per cent up on the first half of 2015 will be gratefully received by those of us interested in growing our market.
“The number of policies sold has grown as well, with Protection Pulse recording over 835,000 policies sold in the first six months of the year, up 3.3 per cent on the previous year.”
Emma Thomson, head of customer care at LifeSearch, said: “It is very encouraging that sales are up on last year, especially if it is mostly genuine new business.
“The 18 per cent increase in income protection is also particularly great to see.
“There has been a more positive mood in the market over the last year or so, with more activity across distribution and manufacturing, spurred on by the Seven Families campaign.
“We need to build on this momentum, increasing awareness and demand further by developing propositions that will appeal to new consumers.”
Gen Re’s report comes after last week the Department for Work and Pensions said insurance providers should work harder to develop better and more affordable group income protection products for smaller employers.
In an 88-page Green Paper issued by the DWP and the Department of Health (DoH), the government called on the insurance industry to create appropriate products that will get more employees covered by a workplace-based policy, and reduce the burden on the state of long-term sick pay.
The document, called: Improving Lives - The Work, Health and Disability Green Paper, set out various measures to make sure UK employers do more to invest in their employees' health and wellbeing.