Uncertainty among advisers on the benefits of protection products is stymieing innovation and flexibility in the market, research suggests.
A survey based on interviews with 500 advisers in September found more than four in ten ‘do not know’ if they are fans of severity-based cover.
Previously, a so-called ‘price war’ which has developed in the protection arena was blamed for a lack of innovation and a growing protection ‘gap’, but the survey suggests other factors may be playing their part.
Despite the findings, the research also suggests almost six in ten advisers believe flexible and innovative protection products are the future of the industry.
Protection provider PruProtect says the findings could prove significant.
“This highlights that while innovation and flexibility is sought after, adviser education and support is needed if significant product developments are to succeed,” it says.
Sammy Rubin, CEO at PruProtect, adds: “The protection industry in the UK is shifting towards innovative business models, which tackle the market’s challenge to develop new ways to meet consumers’ protection needs.
“Advisers are integral to any change in the market because through them consumers can be guided to the benefits of having relevant cover that not only acts as a safeguard, but also supports and rewards their efforts in leading healthy balanced lifestyles.”
Advisers appear to support this view with almost half (46%) believing products clients can immediately engage or interact with would help them to sell more protection cover.
The research found a quarter of advisers currently sell protection to less than 25% of their clients.
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