Swiss Re report
A modest increase in term assurance sales has done little to brighten Swiss Re's annual report of new business across the individual protection market.
The report, entitled Term & Health Watch 2007, revealed that, apart from a 3.7% increase in term sales, other product lines have seen a downward trend. New critical illness (CI) sales fell by over 7% between 2005 and 2006, while income protection (IP) saw the most disappointing sales, falling 11% over the same period.
Ron Wheatcroft, technical manager at Swiss Re, said sales of CI had been declining steadily since 2002 and that premium increases and bad press around entitlement and payment of claims had done nothing to help buy-in.
IP sales were, however, given an even gloomier outlook, with the report suggesting that a "radical re-think" was required to market the product more effectively.
"There can be no greater testimony to the inability of the long-term protection market to meet the needs of its customers than the continued failure of product providers and distributors alike to get to grips with raising long-term IP to its rightful place in the hierarchy of needs," said Wheatcroft.
The news that the ABI and British Medical Association (BMA) agreement on GP report (GPR) fees has broken down will usher in a period of uncertainty.
Lack of innovation investment in the UK insurance market has been highlighted by recognition of RGA's work in the US.
Protection business in 2012 and 2013 will be affected by events this year and some fundamental changes to the way customers policies are priced into the next. Richard Verdin explains.
Employee assistance programmes are in the spotlight due to a schizophrenic approach by government. But as Sue Weir points out, they are backed by solid research.
How will people buy insurance in future? Greg Becker visits the US for developments in online distribution.