Sourcing software provider iPipeline has seen a 36 per cent increase in the number of completed new business protection applications in the first quarter of 2017 compared with the start of 2016.
Based on provider supplied data about completed sales, income protection is one of the fastest growing product lines for iPipeline.
Transactions increased by 25 per cent between the fourth quarter of 2016 and the first quarter of 2017, and by 60 per cent from the first quarter of 2016 to the first quarter of 2017.
Whole of life and over 50s plans saw the strongest growth, with a 200 per cent increase from the first quarter of 2016 to the first quarter of 2017.
Multi-benefit plans have been particularly popular when buying family income benefit.
In March 2017, 60 per cent of family income benefit transactions and 32 per cent of income protection transactions were generated as part of a multi-benefit plan.
iPipeline also noted that when income protection is sold as part of a multi-benefit plan, it is most often written alongside decreasing critical illness.
Among the longer-term trends, iPipeline noted multi-benefit sales have increased significantly, from 2 per cent of protection transactions in July 2015 to more than 12 per cent in March 2017 (which in effect reduces the total number of transactions recorded per client).
There has also been a movement towards single life plans over joint life plans, increasing from 63 per cent of term policies in January 2013 to 72 per cent in March 2017.
Mark Dennison, principal at LightBlueUK, said: “It is good to see income protection increasing as it is usually the most important protection product for people of working age.
“Hopefully, these positive figures will be replicated across the industry and we can continue the upturn in sales of recent years.”