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Future-proofing could close protection gap

Providers and IFAs paint a pessimistic picture of the protection landscape in this year’s Protection Review.

The annual review, edited by Bank House Communications and Le Beau Visage, contains a raft of criticisms from industry spokesmen who say the industry is not up to the revolutionary changes needed to plug the protection gap.

Bright Grey products dir-ector Roger Edwards says there is a lack of desire to challenge traditional thinking which is hampering any progress in the industry.

One option for change is to introduce future-proofing – where definitions are tightened to remove payments for mild and curable forms of illness and pay out when the illness becomes life changing – to CII.

One option proposed by Edwards is to develop impact-based definitions, where a specified impact on an individual’s lifestyle would be the trigger to pay rather than the illness itself.

Scottish Widows protection market director Nick Kirwan also backs future-proofing CI definitions.

He believes future-proofing will give insurers more confidence to predict future claims, creating a downward pressure on rates to help ensure that CII remains affordable.

Lifesearch managing dir-ector Tom Baigrie believes the Association of British Insurers should take on the CII claims issue with clear ex- planation as to how some rejected claims are spurious or caused by non-disclosure, as well as use claims data to better educate consumers. But the ABI does not see the benefit of collating this data and says there is no way of ensuring all figures can be compared fairly.

Edwards says: “Will anyone ever take the brave, long-term step of developing something new and relevant for consumers? The current environment suggests sadly not.”


Anomalies drive bond market

The rating downgrades of General Motors and Ford in early May have created value opportunities in bond markets, says New Star. Head of fixed-income strategy Theo Zemek says the market was moving as a whole before the downgrades, with all bonds following the key stocks. Since then, anomalies have emerged, providing opportunities for stockpickers. Zemek […]

ScotEq Intl pushes Poat out for IFAs

Scottish Equitable International has introduced a calculator for IFAs to work out clients’ pre- owned assets tax. For each bond value, the table summarises the annual tax benefit, the number of days before exceeding the 5,000 limit and the date by which the settlor needs to be removed as beneficiary to remain within this limit.

Stroud & Swindon ceo John Parker to resign by end of the year

Stroud & Swindon chief executive John Parker plans to retire by the end of the year.Parker will take planned retirement from December 31.Plans are for current finance director David Hill to succeed him.Parker, who has been the society’s ceo for the past 13 years has also been the chairman of the BSA for the past […]

Investment View: High summer – realistic expectations

This is meant to be a quiet time of year for catching up in the garden and long week-ends at the coast. Instead we are being bombarded with market-moving news. Given that many of those charged with managing the wealth of the nation are off on bucket and spade duty, the fear is unexpected events will have a disproport-ionate effect on the behaviour of shares.

Global energy: positioning for a recovery in the oil price Š

Richard Hulf explains how he and John Dodd have positioned the Artemis Global Energy Fund and where they are finding opportunities. Richard explains how he and John are changing the complexion of the fund to focus on the most efficient oil producers. As he tells journalist Alexis Xydias, in this environment of lower prices, he […]


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