SME flex growth will drive adviser group CI sales - Aviva

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Adviser opportunities in the development of flex benefits systems for smaller employees are set to further encourage growing group critical illness (group CI) sales, Aviva has said.

According to Steve Bridger, head of group risk at Aviva UK Health, the initial pull of selling group risk products was how the intermediary engaged with the employer from a consultancy point of view, and the development of benefits platforms was opening those opportunities out.

He said: "Historically the flex platforms have always been for larger companies but advisers now are moving into much lower threshold territory.

"It will open opportunities up for advisers to start talking about group CI but whether it actually encourages small employers with already tight purse strings might not be realistic at the moment."

Bridger said advisers were now developing their own platforms and brand the communication between employer and employee.

He added the group CI market would continue to grow alongside the development of technology with flex platforms.

Swiss Re's Group Watch reported in April that group CI premiums in 2012 showed significant growth of 8.7%.

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