Income Protection  

National Friendly broadens reach to advisers

National Friendly broadens reach to advisers

National Friendly has placed its income protection products on life insurance software firm iPipeline’s SolutionBuilder Portal to widen its reach to advisers.

SolutionBuilder enables advisers to compare quotes and product features between different life insurance policies. It claims to drive around half of all intermediary sales in the UK.

The Bristol-based insurer said it intends to use iPipeline’s portal to grow the number of policyholders taking out cover through its short-term income protection products. 

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“This partnership will offer maximum support to our intermediaries whilst boosting the distribution and visibility of our innovative range of income protection products,” said Oliver Jones, National Friendly’s sales and marketing head.

He added: “This is an important new market for us. We are confident this will be a successful launch, which will give advisers great solutions for their clients’ needs.”

For some years, the industry has been trying to grow awareness of income protection among advisers in order to encourage more sales across the market.

Some, such as Roy McLoughlin, former co-chairman of the Income Protection Task Force, have even dubbed the lack of awareness “embarrassing”, as reported last year by FTAdviser.

There were 2.16mn income protection sales in the UK in 2020, dipping 1.2 per cent - the first fall in the product’s continued growth since 2013, according to Swiss Re data. Data for 2021 is yet to be published by the reinsurer.

Some have also called for a “supply side revolution”, saying this is what is needed to get more advisers selling income protection. 

Last year, Tom Baigrie, chairperson of LifeSearch, told FTAdviser: “A supply side revolution is what’s needed, with training and support for every protection adviser so that talking about income protection to clients who’ve never heard or thought of disability insurance becomes second nature.”