Only 6 per cent of life insurance policies are written in trust by advisers and direct sales channels which could lead to consumer detriment in future.
Research conducted by Money Marketing with six providers found that less than 10 per cent of life insurance policies are placed in trust, with just 6 per cent of policies on average being written in trust.
Hargreaves Lansdown head of protection research Jonathan Briggs says this is concerning because consumers could be hit hard by inheritance tax if their policy is not written in trust.
Bright Grey, with 5 per cent, and Liverpool Victoria, with between 2 and 5 per cent, reported the lowest percentages of life policies written in trust. Standard Life estimated that one in 10 of its policies are written in trust, with Scottish Equitable at 7 per cent, Friends Provident 6 per cent and Scottish Widows at 8 per cent through intermediaries but 80 per cent through its salesforce.
Aegon Scottish Equitable protection spokesman Mark Locke says: “This is one area where advisers should be setting themselves apart from direct sales forces. These figures are worryingly low and something does need to be done about this.”
CBK principal Peter Chadborn says: “This is a shockingly low percentage. There are a couple of reasons why policies might not be written in trust, for example, if it is mortgage protection or if more pension term assurance is being written instead. But this would still not go a very long way to explain why the figures are so low.”