COVER magazine is interested in your views on the formation of a trade body to represent the protection sector.
It has always been commented on that this industry has no representation at the advice level, after all, even the PMI sector has the Association of Medical Insurance Intermediaries (AMII).
Tom Baigrie, chairman of LifeSearch, put it succinctly. He said: "If the present intermediated distribution landscape is to survive and grow, as consumers badly need it to, it needs collective effort."
Cover thinks this is a fair point. Protection has often not even been a main focus of the large life companies owning the sector's larger brands and has nearly always played second fiddle to other areas of financial services, such as investment, pensions, savings and mortgages.
However, given that all these rely on someone protecting their lifestyle in order to continue in rude health, this is the state of affairs that has led to the protection gap and genuine hardship as the welfare state retreats.
However there are questions; should it, as Baigrie feels, include providers, although focused on advisers? What about the networks? Should it be inclusive of all retail streams, advised or non, independent or tied, online or phone or face to face?
The providers are interested. As Richard Verdin, director of protection at Aviva, said: "There is an awful lot of stuff going on in the protection industry and unless you specialise in the important issues then it tends to not get dealt with. But we do need a representative voice."
But he added a trade body needed critical mass and financial viability.
Even dissenting voices are for something to be done. Steve Devine, of Protect, a provider facing networking body, said recently: "It would be better if representatives from existing trade associations and other key stakeholders, including consumer groups would get involved to form a protection insurance group."
Perhaps this is not possible, after all Association of Professional Financial Advisers (APFA), has confirmed it has no intentions of creating a stand-alone focus on protection. Many others are keen though and page 10 features a few more views on the subject.
To facilitate the discussion The Protection Review, which although broadly in favour is a neutral body, has created an email address to collate the views of the market and to create a pool of advisers that would in principle be open to the idea of engaging with the formation.
If you have an opinion, or wish to register an initial interest please email:
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