Protection market review December 2018.
MACRO NEWS AND DRIVERS
Critical illnesses take more than £15bn a year out of the UK economy - Britain’s four biggest critical illnesses take more than £15bn a year out of the UK economy, with the impact of cancer on UK workers alone causing a £9.3bn impact to the economy, according to new research from Legal & General.
Is Brexit uncertainty driving income protection interest? - ActiveQuote has reported a 76% increase in income protection queries (IP) compared to the same time last year, spurring the head of partnerships at the insurance comparison site to offer the chaos of Brexit as a possible explanation.
Insurance firms to ramp up consultant spending - According to a new report by Barnett Waddingham, spending on consultants by insurance companies is expected to rise over the coming year. The ‘Perspectives on Value’ report, which researches the views of 100 leading figures across 45 UK life insurance companies, cites complexity and structural challenges as the primary drivers behind the forecasted increase.
Why is income protection undersold? - Income protection is arguably the most important type of protection cover, as we are all more likely to be off work due to illness or incapacity for a prolonged period of time than either dying or becoming critically ill during a predefined term.
REGULATION AND LEGISLATION
Boots travel insurer faces investigation over deaths - The company behind Boots travel insurance is being investigated for medical negligence and fraud after the death of customers who were denied emergency flights home, according to The Times.
One week left for SMCR conversion notifications warns FCA - The FCA has warned (re)insurers that they have one week left to submit conversion notifications for the SMCR (senior management and certification regime) in order to be fully compliant.
Zurich blasted for spying on client - Zurich Assurance Limited has been ordered to pay a claimant £4,000 in compensation after unfairly placing her under the surveillance of a private investigator.
PRODUCT DEVELOPMENTS AND INNOVATION
L&G 'plugging obvious gaps' in CI proposition - Updates include increasing additional payments for critical illness extra (CIx) to 25% of the sum assured up to a maximum of £30,000, and children's critical illness extra (CCIx) to 50% of the sum assured, up to a maximum of £30,000.
Smart Pension to launch financial well-being app - According to the provider, the application will include a bite-sized e-learning platform around topics such as compound interest, tax and transaction fees. It also noted that in some cases, the output could even suggest savers should slightly reduce their pension savings in favour of another product, such as life insurance.
Aegon outsources administration services for 1.4m customers - Aegon has announced a 15-year contract with IT company Atos to service and administer 1.4m of its non-platform business customers. The clients hold a variety of different types of protection policies.
L&C rolls out protection platform - London and Country (L&C) has rolled out UnderwriteMe’s protection platform to its advisers in a move to support its protection network alongside its mortgage service.
Phoenix contacts clients over protection claims - Phoenix Life has contacted one million of its life and protection customers to remind them of their cover, prompted by a low level period of claims.
Seven in 10 carers do not have life insurance - Scottish Widows – Carers - non-professional people looking after family or people who are sick, elderly or disabled - are not prepared financially for the issues that could arise if they fell ill or passed away, research from Scottish Widows has revealed.
Do you spend more on cover for your phone than protection for you family? Some do and they can end up paying a terrible price – Only one in 71 adults has a little-known type of insurance that covers bills if they become too sick to work – far fewer than the number who pay to protect their pets and even their mobile phones.
One in five experience a decline in mental health with age - One in five over-50s have seen their mental wellbeing decline as they got older, a poll shows.
GDPR six months on: where does the industry stand now? - On 25 May 2018, the data protection landscape changed forever. With a level of hysteria akin to the Millennium Bug, the implementation of the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) had brought with it both fear and anticipation.
Debbie Bolton: When rejecting claims is the right thing to do - AIG Life's head of underwriting & claims strategy explores honest disclosure, underwriting responsibility and doing the right thing for customers.