Income Protection  

Insurer plans to expand into income protection market

Insurer plans to expand into income protection market

Inchora is set to expand its range of insurance products over the next 12 months, with new income protection products and more help for the rental sector.

According to Paul Foody, chief operating officer for the Inchora Group, and Timothy Dodd, managing director of Inchora Health, the aim is to start to build on its Cignpost life solution with more tailored insurance products.

Cignpost is a life insurance product designed with renters in mind, which provides straightforward term insurance. The Cignpost system has been live for four months, building on a two-year relationship with iptiQ, part of Swiss Re.

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Mr Foody (pictured) said: "The aim is to start to build on this with more income protection (IP) relevant products over the coming months. These products would be targeted at the rental market."

Inchora Home, part of the Inchora Group, is also looking to develop insurance products at some point to help landlords and buy-to-let investors, if tenants cannot pay or cannot come up with the full deposit. 

Mr Dodd said the group was also anticipating rolling out a consumer-facing variant of Cignpost Health, which is a nurse-led, GP supported service.

This has an app and Private Diagnostics Insurance which is already available for employers and their staff. However, he said the plans were to extend this service to individuals no later than the first quarter of 2019.

Overall, Mr Dodd said while the workplace PMI market had been a positive force, the way in which employer-sponsored schemes supported employees would need to evolve and adapt, especially as technology would allow for better targeting of products to staff members. 

He said: "The health insurance market needs to evolve to meet the needs of employers, and employees/patients. Premiums are rising, largely due to the cost of cancer treatment, and this can be cost-prohibitive for employers who would like to provide some form of cover to care for their employees to improve their wellbeing and recovery times in getting back to work.

"Health insurers and employers have long offered rewards or reduced insurance premiums to those who take positive steps to manage risks to their health, but in the future Inchora expects the use of this kind of data to increase, alongside the development of new types of insurance products that target the specific needs of employees, and employers."

According to Mr Dodd, the health insurance market as a whole will "not only see an evolution in products but also a move towards harnessing data and analytics to better tailor products", which will be driven by technological advances, such as the widespread adoption of wearable technology, such as activity trackers. 

Alan Lakey, director at Highclere Financial Services and founder of CIExpert, said: "Inchora seems to be an expanding company that has focused on PMI primarily and it will be interesting to see what their new products look like. 

"Selling IP is enormously difficult, for all of the reasons that people like me have banged on about for 25 years or more, and focusing on rentals as opposed to mortgages would appear a harder task.