Advisers believe sales of individual protection could grow by an average 18% over the next two years, but are split on how to drive market expansion, new research from MetLife UK shows.
Its study found growing optimism among advisers about their ability to increase protection for more customers – nearly two out of five (38%) say there is a definite opportunity to help more customers over the next two years while 40% say there could be.
However the research identified adviser concerns about potential roadblocks to market expansion, with worries about affordability and the relevance of products to everyday lives seen as the biggest issues.
More than two out of three (67%) of advisers said clients would be more interested in individual protection policies if they were more affordable and the same number said clients are put off buying protection products because they do not believe they will need them.
Advisers say more than half (51%) of prospective customers are reluctant to buy protection policies because they are concerned about providers’ claims records, while 56% of advisers warn clients do not believe the current range of products is relevant to their everyday lives.
MetLife’s MultiProtect accident and hospital cover product, which is designed to complement traditional protection policies, addresses these concerns with cover starting from £8 a month and a strong record on paying claims quickly and efficiently.
Richard Horner, Head of Individual Protection, MetLife UK said:
“The individual protection market is seeing strong growth and the optimism among advisers about opportunities to grow the market is very welcome.
“There are however significant concerns advisers are hearing from their clients about the relevance of existing products available and issues about affordability and claim payments, which providers need to be address.
“The reality is that there are affordable product options and the risks that they cover are part of everyday lives, while the industry’s record on claims is strong with providers committed to making the claims process straightforward and paying claims in a timely manner.”