In its annual report into group risk business in the UK, the report found moderate growth in group income protection in-force premiums, up 1.2 per cent to £649m in 2008 from £641m in 2007, and in group death benefits, which totalled £945m in 2008, up 3.8 per cent from £910m in 2007.
But the report suggests that the economic climate and uncertainty around regulation continues to be a challenge for the group protection market and sales via flexible-benefit arrangements are expected to slow as employers focus on core expenses.
The report’s author Swiss Re life and health technical manager Ron Wheatcroft says: “Market sentiment suggests that the group risk market must get its act together during 2009 if the negative expectations for market performance are not to become a self-fulfilling prophecy.”
Master Adviser IFA Roy McLoughlin says: “These figures are fantastic news. The protection gap is still many billions of pounds, but that sort of growth in the economic circumstances that we are currently experiencing is to be commended.”