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NU exits pre-fund LTC to focus on immediate needs

Norwich Union has withdrawn from the pre-funded long-term care market and will instead focus on immediate needs.

The company says its review of the pre-funded LTC sector shows that the market has been in decline because consu-mers have other

financial priorities.

However, it says there has been strong growth in the immediate needs LTC market in recent years, with ABI figures showing an average increase of 30 per cent each year from 1999 to 2002.

Applications for NU&#39s future assured product received before close of business on January 30, 2004 will be accepted, provided that they are acc-ompanied by a new business illustration.

All pipeline applications must be underwritten and current on or before April 1, 2004.

NU said last month that it was reviewing its posi-tion in the pre-funded market at the same time as rival Bupa pulled out of immediate needs LTC.

Both companies follow Axa&#39s decision to pull out of pre-funded LTC by next year.

NU retirement market manager Dean Critchfield says: “As a result of the current market conditions for long-term care, we believe now is the right time to focus on the immediate needs sector where we see the prospect of stronger growth.

“We do not see the outlook for the pre-funded market improving in the immediate future.”

SureCare Financial Ser-vices managing director Alan Marks says: “I am shocked. There is not enough pre-funded long-term care being sold and it certainly worries me that providers only see a future in immediate needs. It shows that the general public has no belief that they will ever need it.”

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