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Bupa benefits from crunch

Bupa’s individual protection sales leapt by 37 per cent in February compared with the same period last year.

Protection experts believe the credit crunch has led more advisers to focus on protection business as an alternative income stream to mortgages. Aegon Scottish Equitable has recently seen protection sales rise by around 15 per cent but the majority of providers have not seen a significant change.

Bupa recently relaunched its income protection plan, improved its adviser extranet and introduced an expert underwriting system.

Advisers can now write income protection business online which has contributed to nearly 70 per cent of its protection business being traded electronically.

It has also decided to adopt tele-interviews full time following a pilot with a number of adviser firms using MorganAsh.

Bupa Individual Protection product and marketing manager Steve Casey says: “We are thrilled. We have been listening to what advisers want and as a result our service and products have improved in the past year. Given the current squeeze, I also believe that mortgage advisers are giving protection far greater prominence.”

Direct Life & Pensions Richard Verdin says: “Bupa has been very busy on the intermediary front as well as making some product changes. I also think the fact that mortgage advisers are selling more protection would have contributed.”

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