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Protection market review June 2017

Protection market update for June 2017


Life assurance terms for HIV-positive people double
Research by financial advisers Unusual Risks reveals the average length of policies taken out by HIV-positive people in the UK between 2014 and 2017 was 19 years - up from ten years between 2009 and 2013.

Advisers see pre-tax profits fall - APFA report
The advice sector's pre-tax profit fell by more than £50m in 2016, according to the latest annual market report from the Association of Professional Financial Advisers (APFA). Retained profit more than doubled from £61m to £127m in the advice sector between 2015 and 2016, despite pre-tax profit dropping from £835m to £779m over the same timeframe. APFA warned margins in the sector "remained thin".


ABI calls for independent pension commissioner
The government should bring in an independent retirement commissioner, the director of policy, long-term savings and protection at the Association of British Insurers has said.

Labour's medical insurance tax grab under fire
Labour's manifesto proposal to fund free parking in NHS England by increasing the tax on private medical insurance premiums has met fierce opposition.


IRESS updates whole of life service on the exchange
IRESS has updated its Whole of Life service on its online comparison quote and transaction portal The Exchange. IRESS said the Whole of Life user experience has been "completely refreshed" and aligned with the other protection products advisers are already familiar with.

Aegon is the latest provider to offer partially underwritten quotes through The Exchange, IRESS' online comparison quote and transaction portal. IRESS has extended its underwriting service to include all protection products on The Exchange.

Canada Life launches protection products through IRESS' the exchange
Two new protection products from Canada Life are to be made available to intermediaries through IRESS' The Exchange. The new term and decreasing-term protection products will be available in addition to Canada Life's existing whole of life product.

L&G improves solvency position
Legal & General reported it had improved its Solvency II position, with a surplus of £7bn and a coverage ration of 188 per cent. This risk margin is designed to allow a theoretical institution to take on the risks of the company after a one-in-200 year event occurs.

Standard Life reveals plan for EU hub after Brexit
The insurer and asset manager, which is headquartered in Edinburgh, has chosen Dublin as the base for its European Union subsidiary, according to the company's chairman Sir Gerry Grimstone.

Royal London makes funeral payment pledge
Royal London is  latest firm to sign up to the Protection Distributors Group's funeral payment pledge. The Protection Distributors Group (PDG) has been campaigning for insurers to do more to help bereaved families.


Mortgage debt exceeds the average life insurance pay out
People are likely to be under-protected for the amount of mortgage debt they have, an analysis by Aegon of both the ABI's and its own latest protection claims statistics has suggested.         

Mental health drives rise in employee protection queries
Group income protection benefits have helped rising numbers of employees with support for mental health concerns, data from Canada Life has found. According to quarter one data from Canada Life's group income protection customers, there was a 12.9 per cent increase in calls put into the employee assistance programme (EAP) in 2017, compared with the first quarter of 2016.

Elderly people needing care to increase 25% by 2025
The study, published by the Lancet Public Health medical journal, said cases of disability related to dementia will rise by 40% among people aged 65 to 84, with other forms of disability increasing by about 31%.           


Re-setting consumer expectations on claims
The life insurance industry finds itself in an unusual position. Despite the numerous reputational issues faced by the banking sector in recent years, more people still have a higher degree of trust in banks (22%) than they do in insurers (19%)[1]. Consumer scepticism seems to stem principally from the perceptions people have around policy pay-outs.

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