Which? believes insurers must put more effort into encouraging employers to offer income protection as an employee benefit if they are serious about closing the protection gap.
Consumer advocate Vera Cottrell told the Osney Media Protection Summit in London last week that very few employers offer income protection as an employee benefit but it is much more valuable than private medical insurance, which is a common benefit for staff.
She said: “There is a real opportunity for group income protection. Not many employers offer it but it is a better deal for employees than PMI, in my opinion, because the NHS provides healthcare.”
Cottrell said she suspects some employers believe income protection will not attract the same calibre of employees as PMI or other employee benefits. She said lack of awareness means consumers do not see income protection as a good deal.
Friends Provident group insurance director Bob Cheesewright added: “The market has seen regular compound growth but it has been impeded by the unintentional constraints of the age discrimination changes. There is however some reason to hope this will change and the sooner it happens the better.”