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LTC firms look to forge local authority links

Long-term care insurers will move towards greater co-operation with local authorities in an attempt to reach elderly potential customers, predicts Continuing Care Conference former chairman Des les Grys.

Speaking at an IPPR conference on A New Contract For Retirement last week, Le Grys said product providers are aiming to exploit existing relationships between pensioners and local councils.

He also said some providers are looking to develop products combining equity release and LTC elements to enable pensioners to pay for care without selling their home.

These ideas have been unsuccessful until now, Le Grys said, because pensioners would have had to pay for both the equity-release product and LTC insurance, thereby not realising full value for their money.

In his address to the London conference, Le Grys pondered whether there is a role for the Government to act as an reinsurer of last resort to encourage the development of these schemes.

B&W Deloitte director Icki Iqbal told the conference that many insurers have not paid much attention to developing their LTC offerings because they are not proven money-earners. He agreed with De Grys&#39s prediction about future cooperation between providers and local authorities, saying it is the way he sees the market growing.

De Grys said: “I think we are more likely to creep step by step towards personal care in order to allay Treasury fears over costs.”

Iqbal said: “Insurers have far more problems at the moment than worrying about a product which does not make any money.”

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