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Protection market review - April 2016

Protection market news update for April 2016

Macro news and drivers

'Strong' Q4 protection sales driven by critical illness
Strong sales of pure critical illness policies helped boost protection sales figures in the final quarter of last year, according to exclusive analysis from Equifax Touchstone.

Tisa tackles protection issues with consumer forum
The Tax Incentivised Savings Association has established a Consumer Protection Policy Council. Operating alongside Tisa's other policy councils, the forum will focus on protection issues and collaborate with industry trade bodies and consumer groups.      

Regulation and legislation

Insurance premium tax increases to 10%
Chancellor George Osborne has announced that insurance premium tax (IPT) will increase by 0.5% to a rate of 10%. This is the second increase to IPT in less than nine months.

Calls for PMI premium cut after budget tax rise
Insurer WPA has called for a reduction in premiums despite repeated rises in the insurance premium tax over successive Budgets.      

Product developments and innovation

L&G enhances group IP mental health services
Legal & General has made changes to mental health support available through its group income protection policies. Insured employees will now be provided with a choice of therapy options, from face to face or telephone consultations, to secure video conferencing.

AXA PPP extends virtual GP
Intermediaries can now offer AXA PPP healthcare's virtual private GP service Doctor@Hand to SME and individual clients. The service enables patients to have secure video and telephone consultations with a UK GP at a time and location that suits them.    

VitalityHealth enhances e-billing
VitalityHealth has invested in Healthcode's services so independent practitioners and hospitals will find it quicker to submit e-bills for patients with a VitalityHealth policy.

LV= Extends business care service
Provider LV= is extending its business care service for protection policyholders to include advice on tax and VAT issues.

Holloway Friendly provides IP through Synaptic webline
Holloway Friendly has teamed up with Synaptic Software to provide its income protection policies through their online portal. The broker will now be able to search all Holloway Friendly products and get a quote in real time and then apply for the policy while they are still with the client.  

Consumer trends

Three in four employees overestimate value of statutory sick pay
Three out of four employees overestimate the value of Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) according to research from Legal & General. Only 24% of employees surveyed knew that SSP is currently less than £100 per week.

Consumers failing to claim on policies
Customer data from LifeSearch has warned that many policyholders are not claiming on their protection policies despite having a legitimate reason to claim.  

Experts corner

IPT increase should not see flood of changes
Simon Crewe says the increase to insurance premium tax (IPT) should be viewed as an opportunity for clients to future-proof their healthcare benefits.

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