The role of insurers and financial advisers is ‘critical' to the advice challenge on long-term care (LTC) fees, delegates heard at the 2014 COVER Forum.
Delivering the afternoon keynote speech Baroness Greengross OBE, chief executive, International Longevity Centre UK, and, crossbench peer, House of Lords, discussed the challenge of providing a long-term care insurance industry in the UK.
Greengross highlighted despite the new Care Bill obliging local councils to guide those entering care towards advice, many advisers have little to no experience of care fees funding as a part of wider financial planning.
She also told delegates: "There aren't any products. We know there are immediate needs annuities but they are quite expensive. It depends on you. It's about delivering more advice to people and there will be more navigation for people to go to, when crisis occurs. Your role becomes increasingly important. There are 1.3 million people needing long-term care in the UK at the moment and 475,000 people fund their own care."
She added: "Do you have the knowledge, certainty and contacts to advise your clients in the right way on these enormous challenges? I hope you do."
Meanwhile Greengross said she could see products and advice channels in the future combining long-term care insurance, impaired life annuities, critical illness, equity release and pensions.
She added: "In my view there is a huge role for insurers and pre-funded products in the future. But we can't get it at the moment.
"Local authorities must improve signposting and so it's got to be for people, here, to you. That must happen."
Greengross also said she would like the government to focus policy on "active, healthy ageing."
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