Income Protection  

Individual protection market grows 5.9%

Kevin Carr, co-chair of the IP Task Force, said the continued market growth, especially for IP was excellent news for the industry.

He said: "Many industry bodies, portals, insurers and reinsurers have been working hard to raise awareness of income protection and projects like Seven Families have made a real difference. 

"But the most credit goes to the advisers who are avoiding the easy route of just selling life cover and making sure their clients are appropriately protected with critical illness cover and income protection as well."

The general sentiment of providers and advisers was positive, according to the report, and many respondents to the Swiss Re opinion survey — which polled 36 protection professionals — mentioned innovation and disruption as a highlight for 2018.

One provider said: "It was great to see new entrants with very different propositions and distribution strategies, shaking up our traditional thinking and offering more choice."

Looking forward, many providers thought that there was huge potential to grow advised sales in the sector.

Responses to the report included that "utilising digital channels to deliver quality online advice" was a key area and that there was "still a huge potential for advisers to develop better online protection advice tools".

There also needs to be a move away from ‘mortgage cover’ to ‘housing cover’, according to many respondents.

The Building Resilient Households Group will be making a case for all households to consider buying protection, not just mortgage holders and respondents to Swiss Re agreed.

One provider said: "All working families could insure against the gap arising due to being off work sick, rather than just those who own their own homes with a mortgage."

Another thought "clearer messaging" to show the "value of protection to protect rent as well as mortgages" was needed.

imogen.tew@ft.com

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