Taking over this month as COVER's new editor, I am delighted to see more product launches, marking a...
Taking over this month as COVER's new editor, I am delighted to see more product launches, marking a shift in confidence among providers after a year of doom-mongering headlines.
In an industry where product development is scarce, the news that we are soon to see not one, but three, new products hitting the market is nigh-on groundbreaking.
And to top it off, it also seems the products are going to be radically different to what is currently available - with real product developments being promised by the creators rather than the typical tinkering around the edges that has been the norm in the past.
So far, though, we are still pretty much in the dark as to what the products will look like with the firms involved remaining tight-lipped about their propositions.
However, widespread speculation suggests Prudential is likely to launch a staged benefit product. This would not come as a great surprise as the insurer has strong links with the South African insurance market, which has been active in developing staged offerings for the past couple of years.
More startling, however, is Which? revealing that it is planning to launch a stakeholder protection product later this year. Arguing that stakeholder pensions were a great success, Which? believes stakeholder protection could help make cover simpler and more affordable.
The private medical insurance (PMI) market will also be seeing a new product launch as Legal & General Healthcare has revealed it will be rolling out a new PMI product this month.
Product innovation is always a good thing. However, whether the products will offer much more than just that is another question. I guess only time will tell if they will deliver.
Johanna Gornitzki, editor
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.