The Income Protection (IP) Task Force has reaffirmed its faith in the Association of British Insurers' (ABI) treatment of IP after the body ruled out a Best Practice inquiry into the sale of the product despite doing so for critical illness (CI), writes Peter Carvill
Peter Le Beau, managing director of Le Beau Visage and the co-founder of the IP Task Force, said he believed the ABI was equally committed to supporting IP as well as CI.
Regarding whether the ABI preferred one product, Le Beau said: "I don't know if that is a deliberate plan. The IP Task Force has welcomed the ABI to several of its meetings, and Nick Kirwan has attended. I think the ABI is as committed to supporting IP along with CI, and there should be no reason why not."
He added: "We have an open relationship with the ABI and they are supportive of what the IP Task Force does."
Nick Kirwan, chairman of the ABI, said the body was ruling out an investigation into IP because it could not identify areas of consumer detriment and without this, any probing would consequently fall foul of anti-competition laws.
He said: "We don't have the permission of the Office of Fair Trading and the Financial Services Authority to look at IP."
Kirwan added the ABI had looked briefly at investigating the product: "We've done some work on looking at whether or not there is consumer detriment. When you make a case to the regulators, you have to start with why consumers are losing out and you have to be able to say and quantify that it is consumer detriment."
He said: "With IP, we've had a number of discussions around consumer detriment and how you would quantify that and the bottom line is that so far it has been difficult to identify the real cause."
Kirwan said the ABI was now looking at total permanent disability and that it would be updating the Statement of Best Practice for CI next year.
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.