Lifesearch has hit out at the FSA and the Association of British Insurers for failing to highlight the importance of protection for consumers.
Following the failure of the consumer protection insurance engagement campaign, Lifesearch head of sales Duncan McMillan says the regulator has not promoted the need for protection.
He says: “Last time I checked the FSA handbook, part of the mission and remit of that regulatory body was promoting public understanding of the financial system. I cannot remember a time when they genuinely did that positively in protection.
“Of course, they brought in Icob as a step to monitor and control protection sales better for the interest of the public. But has it worked? No.
“Clients still do not genuinely appreciate the difference between buying with or without proper financial advice so now we have a market flooded with non-advisers, price-only comparison internet sites and execution-only products.”
McMillan also says the ABI does not do enough to promote protection. He says: “If we cannot look to the industry’s trade body or our regulator, who do we look to?”
However, Mithrandir Consulting principal and former Swiss Re head life and health underwriting Jerry Brown says: “I am not surprised that the campaign did not take off, it is like herding cats. Yes, it is about time that the ABI got involved but there are too many vested interests there.”
Pru Protect director of protection development Kevin Carr says: “I am yet to hear a solid and unresolvable reason as to why the campaign could not proceed one way or another. Some of the rebuttals are little more than red herrings.”
ABI assistant director of health and protection Nick Kirwan says: “We have published several consumer leaflets which highlight the need for protection and the types of insurance available, which Lifesearch ought to be distributing to its customers.
“We always supported the principle of Tom Baigrie’s campaign idea, as he well knows, and we recently held a conference at which key protection issues were discussed. We agree that more needs to be done to promote protection but we need to work together to achieve this.”