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Protection market review March 2017

Protection market update for March 2017

Macro news and drivers

DWP fails to give clarity to claimants
Department for Work and Pensions documents are so complicated it is "horrendous" trying to understand them, even for professionals, the marketing director of Canada Life Group Insurance has claimed.

Major insurers neglecting mobile users
A study of 18 major insurers and aggregators by financial experience design agency Dock9 revealed more than a quarter (28 per cent) are failing to design websites for mobiles and tablets.      

Government must campaign for group income protection
Government should create a campaign to boost group income protection, if the burden on the state is to be reduced, an industry body has claimed.

Insurance CFOS concerned with technology issues
Results from a new survey have revealed that insurance CFOs are mainly concerned about legacy systems and staff skills when it comes to capitalizing on the tech revolution.$FILE/EY-global-insurance-cfo-survey-2016.pdf       

Regulation and legislation

Government to change financial advice definition for regulated firms
The government is to change the definition of financial advice for regulated firms - replacing, with effect from 3 January 2018, the two existing interpretations with a single one based on the Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (MiFID) definition of a personal recommendation.

ABI warns insurance tax hike will hit homeowners
The Federation of Master Builders (FMB) and the Association of British Insurers (ABI) have issued a joint statement claiming that any further hike in the insurance premium tax rate will result in higher prices for construction companies and other small or medium sized enterprises (SMEs).     

Product developments and innovation

Openwork protection reports lead to increased sales
Openwork has introduced personalised risk reports to help advisers emphasise the importance of protection to clients taking out a mortgage. The new system combines customer specific mortgage and protection costs with a risk assessment based on individual applicants' circumstances over the course of the mortgage.      

Scottish Widows updates critical illness definitions
The insurer has changed its definition regarding additional payment for cancer in situ requiring surgery. It has also combined Alzheimer's disease and Dementia into one definition, as both are assessed in exactly the same way at claim stage.

Ellipse covers cohabiting partners in revamped group CI
Ellipse is now covering cohabitant partners of employees opting for spouse cover as part of a raft of changes on the insurer's group critical illness (group CI) product.      

Zurich pledges job cuts won't hurt advisers
Zurich's plans to axe 240 jobs in a restructuring of its business in January, bringing together its life and general insurance businesses under a single leadership team, should have no impact on financial advisers, according to Peter Hamilton, head of retail operations.

Protection portal launched for armed forces personnel
A bespoke online protection service has been launched to enable armed forces personnel and their families to overcome the challenges they can face in finding protection..       

Consumer trends

Scottish widows highlights cancer awareness campaigns
With three national cancer awareness campaigns taking place in March - Prostate Cancer, Ovarian Cancer and Brain Tumour - research by Scottish Widows has highlighted how millions of Britons are under-protected should serious illness strike.

Experts corner

Don't duck the client conversation on protection
Discussions around the subject of income protection can be tough to initiate with clients but, says Steve Bryan, those discussions need to be had all the same.

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