The two committees, the Protection Development Committee and the Protection Strategy Committee, will be chaired by Legal & General managing director for protection Bernie Hickman and Norwich Union director of pricing Clive Bolton respectively.
The Development Committee will deal with immediate and medium-term issues including the drafting and updating of ABI statements of best practice and industry guidance. It will focus on all group and individual protection products, including long term care.
While the Strategy Committee will take a longer term view, acting as a forum for detailed strategy and policy debate. It will develop a blueprint for, and then create, the ideal political and consumer climate together with the right legal, regulatory and distribution framework to help meet consumers’ lifetime protection needs. It will also focus on all group and individual protection products, including long term care but will look at new and emerging protection markets.
ABI head of health and protection insurance Nick Kirwan says: “The new committees will build on the excellent work that’s already been done to improve the clarity and reputation of protection insurance, and to plan for the challenges that lie ahead in the protection market. Importantly, separating the day-to-day work from the longer-term strategic thinking will allow each committee to focus in more detail on their objectives. The ABI will co-ordinate the activities of both committees to ensure they are aligned.”
Hickman says: “It is vital that the protection industry works to close the protection gap in the both short term and long term. I am delighted to be given this opportunity to chair the committee driving forward the more immediate priorities for improving consumer confidence in protection policies. There are many important areas to address such as customer understanding of total and permanent disability in addition to continuing to promote consistency in the fair treatment of customers at the time of a claim. One of the recent successes of the previous committee was to introduce new guidance on non-disclosure, with the aim of reducing the proportion of declined claims and we aim to continue this good work.”
The first meetings of the committees are due to take place in June.