Advisers want critical cover and IP

Protection advisers have urged Scottish Widows to focus on developing new critical-illness and income protection products.

Widows offers a protection plan through its direct channels, which gives customers options including term life cover, critical illness with life cover and whole of life insurance. The firm, which pulled out of IFA protection in June 2008, says it has not yet decided which product areas it will focus on.

Axxis Financial Planning director Owen Wintersgill says: “Life insurance is a fiercely competitive market, so if Widows comes back solely in that sector it might well struggle to write business.

“It would be great if it could bring something new to the table. Critical illness and income protection are not particularly crowded, so it would be good to see a new entrant in these areas.”

Master Adviser senior partner Roy McLoughlin says: “This is a welcome re-admission into the IFA protection club. With consolidation and the withdrawal of companies from the market, new faces coming in have got to be good and we definitely need more innovation, especially on the critical illness and income protection side of things.”