Swiss Re have announced a 4.1% increase in the overall number of protection policies in 2014. Their report, looking at figures across the industry, found that 1,667,818 new term life assurance, whole of life insurance, critical illness and income protection policies were sold.
The number of new guaranteed acceptance whole life policies fell by 1.2%, but the number of new non-linked whole of life insurance policies increased by 13.8%. The non-investment whole of life insurance market in the UK has for many years been in the shadow of term life insurance when it comes to product sales in the UK. Recent price and policy enhancements from providers such as Vitality and Zurich have undoubtedly aided this growth. Ageas Protect who recently became part of the AIG group have also now launched their whole of life insurance contract indicating further growth in 2015 is realistic.
Term life cover only and term life with critical illness cover both saw increases the former by 5% and the latter by 5.6%, while across all critical illness categories the increase was 4.4%.
The report said: “In many ways, the 2014 results come as a pleasant surprise. Against a background of some firms withdrawing from providing advice and with consumer confidence remaining quite fragile, it would have been no surprise to be reporting a further decline, continuing the trend seen in the 2013 data.”
The top provider for term and critical illness policies was Legal & General, in both markets Aviva and Friends Life held second and third places, with Lloyds Banking Group (LBG) fourth. AIG took the fifth spot for term sales while Vitality took it for Critical Illness policies. For new whole of life sales the largest provider was Sun Life direct, followed by Aviva, Legal & General, LV= with Vitality in fifth place.
Friends Life was the largest provider in the income protection market followed by LV=, L&G, LBG and Exeter Family Friendly.