Can the protection gap for Generation Rent be closed?

Can the protection gap for Generation Rent be closed?

Since 2007, the number of private-rented households has grown by 60 per cent as house prices have soared but incomes stagnated following the financial crisis.

This growing cohort of renters has become known as 'Generation Rent', but what does this mean for the protection market?

Homeowners across the UK are already underprotected and renters even more so, but since protection is traditionally sold at the point of a house purchase, what does the decline of home-ownership mean for consumers, brokers and insurers?

This week, FTAdviser deputy features editor Ima Jackson-Obot discusses this, and how the protection gap for renters can be closed.

Joining her are Abi Greenhalgh, director at Nest Financial Services, and Andy Walton, protection proposition director at the Mortgage Advice Bureau.

Walton said the size of the protection gap for Generation Rent was due to the fact they will not have had to seek advice during the rental process.

He said: "Somebody who is buying a mortgage by default is going to speak to an adviser and when they speak to an adviser they are going to generally review the customer's provisions and look at their ability to keep paying the mortgage. But that isn't the case with a tenant. In many, many cases, in fact the vast majority of cases, there is no adviser involved in the process.

"Of course the tenant has still got a commitment to pay the rent but who is checking what provisions they have got and whether they can continue paying the rent, and the answer is nobody."

Addressing how this issue could be fixed, Greenhalgh added: "I don't necessarily feel that the providers need to be more innovative. The basic policies already exist. If you wanted some form of life insurance or critical illness or income protection, it doesn't matter if you are a home owner or live in rented accommodation.

"As an industry we are getting better and there is a really good portion of advisers who are exceptionally good at having a very strong mortgage conversation and a very strong protection conversation at the same time.

"In general the biggest thing that can be done is wider, simpler education to the masses that these products exist and they do pay out, and they are worth the monthly cost and they are built to help and support you at the worst possible time."

To listen to the full podcast click play on the player above. FTAdviser's podcasts are also available on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher and Acast.