Norwich Union is pulling out of the long-term care market, blaming falling sales and the high costs of providing quotes.The latest blow to the market leaves only three providers active in LTC – GE Life, Axa and Partnership Assurance. NU, which had been in the LTC market for 10 years, will continue to service its existing book of business on its immediate care plan but will not take on new business after November 20. In the 1990s, NU was one of the pioneers of LTC insurance under the direction of Sandy Johnstone, who is now an LTC consultant. Head of annuities Scott Brown says: “The growth that we were anticipating in this market has not been realised over the last few years, meaning that it is no longer commercially viable to incur the cost of this product.” Nursing Home Fees Association managing director Phil Spiers says this is short-termist as the potential of the market has yet to be exploited. He says: “I do not think NU realise the potential of the market. We estimate advisers are only reaching about 4 per cent of the potential market at the moment.” Long-term care specialist Symponia is playing down the impact of NU’s withdrawal. Managing director Jeremy Davies says: “Norwich Union withdrawing is no loss to this market at all. Both its service and quotes are dreadful.” Other providers believe that in the long term, there will still be a strong market. Rival Partnership Assurance Chairman Ian Owen says: “Living longer but in poor health, coupled with a population spike created by the baby boomers moving through retirement, means there will be a growing care market.” NU says: “Applications for immediate care plans received prior to close of business on October 13 will be accepted, provided they are accompanied by a new business illustration. All applications received by close of business on December 24 with a valid quote or requote will be honoured.”
The Treasury select committee is taking evidence looking at the responsiveness of the FSA to the needs of consumers and progress in relation to its Better Regulation Action Plan as part of its regular scrutiny of the regulator.
Investors in student halls of residence can put their property in a Sipp but HM Revenue and Customs has laid down strict criteria to avoid exploitation. Following the Chancellor’s last-minute decision to ban residential property in Sipps, the Finance Act 2006 included an exemption for “a hall of residence for students”. The exemption caused some […]
A strange development occurred in the oil market last week. With prices easing as fears of further disruption in the Gulf of Mexico receded and with a potentially major new find in that region, the price of Texas crude was actually lower than at the same time last year. This was the first time this had happened for more than two and a half years.
Lloyd’s of London specialist insurer Hiscox is moving its operations to Bermuda to benefit from lighter regulation and lower taxes. Chairman Robert Hiscox criticised the UK’s heavy regulation.
By Josh Ausden, Head of Client Investment Strategy, Neptune Short-term yen strength has hurt the Neptune Japan Opportunities Fund but recent events have only added weight to our conviction that the Bank of Japan will act to ease policy, boosting multinationals’ profits and weakening the yen. In recent weeks the performance of the Japanese stockmarket […]
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