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Taskforce wants IP kitemark to thwart ‘hijackers’

The Income Protection Task Force is pressing for an official kitemark to be created for genuine income protection products to stop providers “hijacking” the name to sell other types of cover.

Taskforce member and claim specialist Karin Lloyd says putting an official stamp on genuine IP products will increase consumer confidence in the product and prevent providers trying to sell accident sickness and unemployment or pay- ment protection insurance as though it were IP.

Speaking at the launch of an IPTF white paper last week, Lloyd said: “We have picked up the kitemark idea so that people know what they are getting and so they have confidence that the product they have bought is minimum standard and carries the characteristics that this kitemark system has.”

The paper says: “Sadly, sellers of accident, sickness and unemployment cover and PPI products have hijacked this name. The regulators should not allow this practice to continue when there is a clear intention to mislead.”

IPTF member and Master Adviser IFA Roy McLoughlin said that advisers are not confident enough to sell IP and need help when being introduced to the product.

But Personal Finance Society chief executive Fay Goddard argued that McLoughlin’s suggestions would offend many advisers.

She said: “It is about a holistic approach and meeting people’s needs, not about selling a product. This is a hugely undersold product but we have to recognise that you do not train people to sell the product, you train people to identify the need of the customer or client.”

The IPTF is also calling for greater standardisation of the elements of IP policies that are not competitively sensitive for insurers, such as deferral per- iods, in order to make the products easier for consumers to understand and compare.

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