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Is the end nigh for critical insurance?

Income Protection Task Force co-chairman Peter Le Beau has questioned the future of critical-illness insurance products.

In an article in Money Marketing, Le Beau says the ABI’s recent CI statement of best practice has complicated the product. He says: “This is a lot of change and when a product needs this much change, one wonders how viable a product it is. There comes a time when it just becomes too difficult to ensure a product still retains not only its sales appeal but also its logic as a financial solution. I wonder if we have reached that time with CI insurance.”

Bright Grey and Scottish Provident propositions director Roger Edwards says: “The product is not doomed as a result of these proposals but we are potentially getting ourselves into a situation where we may make CI inadvertently harder to sell.”

Aviva protection director Richard Verdin says CI says: “Pricing changes, claim experience, saturation and appreciation of the detriment of churning have all had their part in sales declining from their peak.”

ABI assistant director of health and protection Nick Kirwan says: “If anyone has got ideas to simplifying this, we would be delighted to hear them.”

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