Vitality has received the highest number of gold ratings in Protection Guru’s product analysis this year.
The product categories in which Vitality rated gold included critical illness with and without children’s cover, mortgage protection with critical illness, and income protection.
Protection Guru noted Vitality had received 14 gold ratings mainly because of the large variety of products the firm has on offer.
AIG and Royal London followed with 10 gold ratings each.
Overall 68 gold ratings were awarded to providers in eight protection product categories.
According to Protection Guru, the ratings are designed to give clarity on providers’ protection propositions and help advisers identify the strengths of each.
Adam Higgs, head of research at Protection Guru, said: “With so many products on the market, advisers and consumers are confronted with an overwhelming amount of choice.
“Through our independent analysis of the products available, combined with our unique and comprehensive analysis of critical illness propositions, advisers can feel confident that they are choosing a product that truly takes account of their clients’ individual circumstances.”
Products were benchmarked across 10 features to reflect the areas that advisers consider most relevant when selecting cover for their clients.
The benchmarked features included added-value benefits, what cover is put in place for a terminal illness, and claims processes.
The features were those most frequently selected by advisers using FTRC’s cover comparison tool and iPipeline’s SolutionBuilder product features report in the past 12 months.
Ian McKenna, director and founder of FTRC, said: “By analysing and weighting provider propositions against features that advisers deem most important for their client, the ratings ensure that providers are developing and improving products which truly reflect the needs of the consumer, and helps advisers in finding the right product for the client.”
A total of 16 providers participated in the ratings this year, each benchmarked across eight protection product categories, including critical illness (with children’s cover), critical illness (no children’s cover), life protection, mortgage protection (life only), mortgage protection with critical illness, income protection, family income benefit (life only) and family income benefit with critical illness.
Critical illness propositions were analysed by a panel of independent medical practitioners, benchmarking providers’ claims definitions to establish the likelihood of a client being able to make a claim for each condition, along with how much would be paid.
Bryan Chipchase, protection specialist at Precise Protect, said: "Protection Guru has fast become the most trusted resource amongst advisers by providing invaluable analysis of the market.
“Their use of independent medical professionals to identify which critical illness policies are really best for customers puts them head and shoulders above any other protection research service in the market.”
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