Income protection sales declined by nearly a quarter in 2013.
Swiss Re’s latest market snapshot report shows there were 90,794 IP policies sold, down by 24 per cent from 120,094 policies in 2012.
The reinsurer says year-on-year comparisons should be treated with caution as the introduction of gender-neutral pricing at the end of 2012 may have skewed the figures.
But sales across all product areas are still significantly down on previous years.
IP sales are down by 18 per cent on 2011 while critical-illness sales declined to 445,679 from 551,382 two years ago. Whole-of-life sales, meanwhile, fell by 21 per cent between 2012 and 2013.
Sales of term assurance fell by 17 per cent over the year, from 1.5 million policies to 1.2 million policies.
Swiss Re says in the report: “While disappointing in simple percentage terms, perhaps 2013 provides a more realistic view of genuine new business [than in previous years], with fewer opportunities to replace existing cover at lower cost.”