Gender Directive had 'limited impact' on adviser business

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The Gender Directive has had ‘limited' impact on advisers' protection business, research has found.

A poll by Zurich of 500 advisory companies found since the legislation came in on 21 December 2012, fewer than a third of adviser respondents (31%) said the regulation had made their customers review their protection needs more urgently.

In addition, despite concerns about how gender neutral pricing would impact on some consumers and the industry, over half (56%) of advisers said their customers were unaware of the changes.

Meanwhile when asked whether they thought their customers who were aware of the regulation agreed with the principles of gender neutral pricing, over a third (37%) said no.

Although men were predicted to benefit from the changes, through cheaper cover, the majority of advisers say this has not driven additional business.

Advisers said the gender split of advisers' protection business has not changed as a result of the Directive. Nearly two thirds of those surveyed were still writing between 30% and 50% of their business for women.

Richard Howells, UK Intermediary Sales Director said: "In many ways this research is a good news story. Business levels haven't been affected by the directive and it seems consumers whether male or female continue to seek advice to solve their protection needs.

"The challenge we all have is to push on from here and create a bigger protection market. There are still too many people who have no cover or very little cover and that leaves people very exposed."

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