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Roger Edwards: Help us decide the future for CI cover

Bright Grey and Scottish Provident are holding a critical illness summit meeting in London next month to discuss why CI sales have been falling in recent years and what can be done to ensure more people protect themselves and their families.

They are looking for IFAs to attend the meeting, to be held on September 14, and help debate whether price or public awareness are the biggest barriers to take-up and what needs to be done to improve the situation. Below, propositions director Roger Edwards explains why they are holding the summit and calls on IFAs to attend and make their views heard. IFAs looking to attend the summit should contact


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There are 12 comments at the moment, we would love to hear your opinion too.

  1. They don’t need a conference for this—-the sales were mainly tied to house purchases which have declined in number.
    The cost and limitations on the cover also have a detrimental impact on the number of sales/purchases. People won’t pay big premiums for something that may be of no use to them

  2. I agree with John, however I would add the fact that there are fewer people SELLING protection due to strangulation by regulation and coupled with rapidly declining consumer disposable income and lack of confidence the result is inevitable. A 19% increase in utility bills is enough to panic the hardiest of homeowners, thank goodness I locked into a capped rate!

  3. Proactive advice would mean that sales aren’t so closely aligned to mortgages. What about the declining welfare state?
    Doesn’t have to be big premiums either.

  4. I have never had a problem in explaining CIC to clients, but have had problems (and they have increased over the years as providers ‘fine tune’ their literature) explaining to them the definitions attached by providers to the many illnesses which could befall them. For example – ‘When is a heart attack not a heart attack?’ When all the small print has been read and a medical dictionary procured to identify the specific elements involved in the attack, and then to answer the clients’ question. Yes, cost can also be a sticking point, but can be overcome when you look at the mass of statistics relating to serious illnesses. Until the providers offer a product which ‘does what it says on the box’ and is easily understandable, with no possibilities for re-interpretation of the condition, I regret that there will be little increase in the number of people taking up this valuable protection.

  5. Underwriter Support 25th August 2011 at 12:56 pm

    Petr – I wholeheartedly agree, selling CIC just to tie in to a mortgage is very lazy. It could just as easily be sold for personal protection.

    Paul – Moves have been made more recently to improve explanations in CIC literature but there has to be a certain amount of specific technical definitions in place in the policy conditions to guard against spurious claims.

  6. This is exactly the sort of debate we would like at the summit – and especially from IFAs. If you are in London that day – please do come along and pake part.

  7. I echo Peter Chadborn’s comments.

    Also, one problem with CIC is that the deluge of conditions could be reduced quite easily by consolidating many of the individual conditions where claim wordings or outcomes overlap

  8. CI cover is vastly important to people’s lives, so this initiative should be welcomed and supported.
    John’s observation on the link to house purchase is right – but thatshouldn’t detract from the fact that CI cover should be seen as a benefit in its own right.
    On price, the only issue issues are: Is the product of (potential) benefit, and do I have the money, “yes” or “no”?


  9. If the decline of the cic market has been taking place for the last 10-years I don’t think that the current slump in house sales can really be to blame (although it’s unlikely ot be helping).

    Could the decrease be linked to the increase in web-based sales, whereby there is a complete lack of human interaction for the initial quote and application stages?

    Or maybe it’s down to the non-advised sales route whereby the “advisor” is really unable use their experience to offer any practical solutions when taking a client does not feel that life & cic for the full mortgage is affordable?

    Maybe if providers either stopped dealing with the non-advised brokers completely in favour of the advisory route persistancy levels may increase, premiums could potentially come down and more holistic advice would ensue, resulting in better uptake of both CIC and IP?


  10. I think phil and Alan have hit it on the head. The contract and all it’s increasing definitions are confusing.There is a real need for someone to put their foot on the ball and stop this conditions race. Do we truly understand what is being covered? The people advising on it need to be wholly convinced it is of value and fit for purpose then price should be secondary.

  11. personally I’ve been trying to highlight PHI more to my clients as in some circumstances be more appropriate than CIC. Maybe CIC has been oversold in the past and PHI is now emerging. Be interesting to know if PHI sales have declined at the same rate as CIC

  12. CI is percieved as being expensive and having a low pay out rate, simple!

    Why are medical records not scrutinized before cover is agreed?

    CI holder to Insurers ” I’ve just been diagnosed with a Brain Tumour”

    Insurers to CI holder ” upon inspecting your medical records we see your mother took you to the doctor when you were 4 years old in 1963 with a headache, non disclosure – BYE!”

    I believe this is how this product is percieved by the public and until this perception is changed people won’t buy it.

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