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&#39Slashing protection rates is a competitive illusion&#39

Aegon Individual Protection has slammed rivals which slash product rates to boost short-term market share, claiming these tactics are a competitive illusion which sell IFAs short.

Managing director Janet Wyles says companies in the protection market which regularly reprice their ranges to gain a competitive advantage are failing to provide IFAs with relevant products which meet the needs of their clients.

She says relatively simple gimmick-free products should be seen as the barometer of success in the protection market and not the fleetingly enhanced market share which some firms seek to achieve.

Wyles says new entrants in particular should always take account of factors other than price and look to secure a strong position in the IFA market by offering innovative products and high-quality admin.

Scottish Life is preparing to enter the protection market in late summer with the launch of a yet to be named business.

Wyles says: “Short-term price cuts are a competitive illusion. What IFAs really want are relevant products which genuinely meet the needs of their clients without being overcomplex or gimmicky.”

Dennehy Weller managing director Brian Dennehy says: “When the market is pretty competitive, prices are not as important as good service and underwriting. But IFAs talk to each other- if there was a firm just cutting prices but neglecting everything else, it would not see our business for dust.”

•Profile, p45

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