Consumer education is key to narrowing the protection gap in the UK, according to The Protection Review 2004 published last week.
Le Beau Visage director Peter Le Beau expresses concerns over income protection policies and says UK consumers do not have a realistic view of disability risk.
He says: “If the message about the relative risk of disability and death issues has not got through now, one doubts that it ever will.”
Opinions on how to bridge the estimated £130bn IP gap are divided, according to the report, ranging from making uniform definitions more similar to those agreed on for critical-illness cover to lower deferments.
The report says the intermediary market is desensitised to the product and believes it is unable to revise its opinion significantly to bring about a major change in sales of the product.
Le Beau says he is also pessimistic on the future of long-term care insurance, which is described as “the product that never happened.”
Writing in the report, ABI chairman of LTC committee Peter Barnett says the Government has kicked LTC into the long grass and would like to leave it there.
The report concludes that LTC needs will remain but the rising costs of advice and lack of consumer education will do little to help. Critical-illness cover and private medical insurance have performed well although innovation is needed to continue to grow. The report asks product providers to offer efficient service to advisers and consumers to instil confidence in the market.
Protection Review 2004 co-editor Andy Couchman says: “We need to get the message out to the public. The industry is not appearing to talk with one voice.”
The MTA list
Life company networks that have received their MTA letters
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Life company networks that have not yet received their MTA letters Axa Assurance, Friends Mortgage World, MGM Assurance, Norwich Union, Zurich.
IFA networks that have received their MTA letters
Bankhall, Banking-Insurance Services, Burns Anderson, Berkeley Wodehouse Associates, Enable, Interdependence and M&E Networks, Lighthouse IFA, Mint, Personal Touch Insurance, Sage Financial, Sesame IFA networks that have not yet
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BDS Mortgage Group, Manchester Building Society Mortgage Brokering Services, Members Mortgages, Mortgage Intelligence, Pink Home Loans, Premier Mortgage Management, Squirrel, Trinion.
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All Types of Mortgages, Best Advice Mortgage Network, Blue Pearl UK, Complete Mortgage Network, Custom Made, Domain, Ethical Mortgage Solutions, First Home Loans, Genesis, Guaranteed Home Loans, Home Loan Partnership, LifeQuote, Lime, Mortgage Marketing Centre, Mortgage Next, Mortgage One, Mortgage Support Network, Mortgage Times, Network Data, Network One, Next Generation, One2One Mortgages, Optoma Interpartners, Paymentshield, Professional Mortgage Network, Professional Mortgage Partnership Network, The Mortgage Operation, The Mortgage Union, Trustguard Homeloans.