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Protection market review February 2017


Protection market update for February 2017.

Macro news and drivers

ABI launches health insurance guide
The Association of British Insurers (ABI) has published a guide that illustrates the value of private medical insurance (PMI) and cash plans to consumers.     

PMI Handbook 2017 published for intermediaries
Private Medical Insurance (PMI) publisher, Craigdallie of West Sussex, has published the 2017 PMI Handbook for professional advisers seeking information on the different plans available in the UK market.     

Stress test shakes up insurance industry
This so-called 'dry run' project tested 28 London-based insurers and brokers on their resilience to a series of different fictional loss events, such as an unprecedented cyber-attack, a highly destructive hurricane, and one of the largest falls in stock markets.     

Regulation and legislation

FSCS deposit protection level returns to £85,000
The amount the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) protects for deposits in banks, building societies and credit unions today increases from £75,000 back up to £85,000. Joint accounts will in turn benefit from the rise with a new limit of £170,000.

Product developments and innovation

VitalityLife to discount premiums based on health engagement
VitalityLife is offering customers an upfront discount and annual premium discounts if they monitor and improve their health, as part of two new developments for its protection customers.     

LV introduces fracture cover to income protection
The changes include introducing fracture cover, with payments up to £2,200 and a death benefit of £10,000. Both of these will now be automatically included as part of the contract, at no additional cost, and with no further underwriting or application forms.     

Royal London partners with Post Office for life products
The British insurance giant has partnered with Post Office Money to give customers a wider choice of life insurance products and simplify the application process.     

VitalityLife innovation
VitalityLife has announced an innovative new development for the protection market: Vitality Nurse - the company's own range of medical screening and nurse services whose sole purpose is to improve the underwriting process.     

L&G pays out £180m through early warning system
Legal & General paid out £44 million in 2016 as a direct result of its Early Warning System and has now paid out a total of £180.7 million from 2,411 claims as a direct result of the introduction of the system in 2010.      

Consumer trends

Public still believes protection is 'too expensive'
The State of the Protection Nation study of 2,000 people found that while a quarter of UK adults have a life insurance policy (26%), just 6% have critical illness cover and 4% have income protection insurance.     

Employers overestimate income protection cost
Employers overestimate the cost of group income protection (GIP) schemes by almost 140 per cent, according to the latest research from Legal & General (L&G).      

SMEs overestimate group life insurance costs
Small and medium businesses (SMEs) are overestimating the cost of group life insurance, according to a survey conducted by group risk insurer Ellipse.      

Experts corner

The reality cheque: living on SSP for a week
Amanda Curwood, head of tactical projects at protection intermediary LifeSearch, has been living on statutory sick pay for a week to promote the values of income protection and better understand the realities of life on a strict budget. This is the story of her week.

The positive outlook for the year ahead
With 2017 now fully underway, there is a certain buzz in the world of protection, with progressive new initiatives underway and much to look forward to for the year ahead, write Swiss Re's Maxine Udall.