Protection advisers say Unum’s decision to pull out of individual income protection is a heavy blow to the self-employed market.
Unum pulled out of the sector on March 2 but said any quotations previously issued would be honoured, provided the completed application is received by March 30.
The provider said it is planning to concentrate on its employer-paid benefits proposition, adding that it believes the workplace is the best place for customers to get IP.
Advisers argue that losing one of the biggest providers in the sector will hit self-employed borrowers.
Highclere Financial Services partner Alan Lakey says: “This has taken another choice for the self-employed away. Unum is one of the biggest income protection insurers in the country so it is a blow to see it leaving.
“It sends a worrying message that employee benefits are the way forward and individual plans are not working.”
London & Country sales director Michael Aldridge says: “Individual IP is already quite a restricted market in terms of variety and this is another example of the shrinking choice in the market. It is disappointing to see such a big name leave.
“Self-employed people arguably need this type of cover more than anyone so it is not a good move for these people to lose that choice.”
However, Income Protection Task Force executive member Roy McLoughlin says: “Unum is a committed player in the income protection market but it has always been much better known for its group proposition.”