Banks and building societies sold the most critical-illness and income protection policies in the year to March 31.
The product sales data for pure protection contracts cover standalone CI, CI sold as a rider benefit such as with life cover or a mortgage, and IP.
Sales of pure protection products were slightly down to 594,128 in the first quarter this year from 600,039 in 2010.
Sales of CI as a rider accounted for 79 per cent of total sales, followed by IP at 16 per cent and standalone CI at 5 per cent.
Banks and building societies edged a leading market share of the pure protection market over adviser firms, with 28 per cent, up from 22 per cent the previous year, while advisers took 26 per cent, down from 29 per cent. Mortgage brokers took 15 per cent and general insurance brokers 10 per cent. Life insurers accounted for 9 per cent while 12 per cent of sales were through “other” types of firms.
Master Adviser senior partner Roy McLoughlin says: “We will see protection sales by advisers increase after the RDR. I would like to think the public will go to a specialist adviser before they go to a bank.”