UK Group life and IP shrink as CI grows - Swiss Re

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The group life and long-term disability markets shrank last year according to Swiss-Re.

However, premium income did rise in the critical illness sector.

The re-insurer's annual Group Watch report shows that death benefits premiums fell 5.1% to £897m, from £945m in 2008.

This was the first time since it began monitoring the market, and reversed the trend which had previously seen premiums steadily increasing.

Long-term disability income premiums also fell by 12.5% from £648m to £567m, while critical illness receipts climbed 6.6% to £48m from £48m.

It also noted that in-force sums assured for both death benefits and long-term disability income increased, indicating that the market has become more competitive.

The re-insurer concluded it was encouraged that there are signs of emerging confidence that the market will see an upturn, but also acknowledged views are mixed on when this will happen.

The authors also noted that although the survey findings reinforce the group risk market has improved its profile, those involved still have work to do as there continues to be a clear need to take this to a new level.

They suggest the key elements that the industry needs to address are:
taking key messages direct to employees;
establishing better links with Government agencies to ensure the implications for group risk are not overlooked when new legislation and regulations are being considered;
using those links to work more closely with Government where there is a common interest in doing so.

The report concludes by emphasising this need to converse more pro-actively and constructively with Government.

It says, at the very least, if tax incentives are not available, the industry need to move to the point where there is clear and consistent messaging from the Government that consumers will need to provide for themselves and how they might go about it.

This should include provision by or facilitated in the workplace.

 

 

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