UK life protection insurance market for regular individual premiums grew in 2017, driven by growth in the term assurance market despite the whole-of-life market declining. Term market growth was primarily due to increased sales of non-mortgage term assurance policies by independent financial advisors, although sales in the direct channel are also increasing, reflecting the demand to purchase life insurance conveniently online.
On the other hand, the whole-of-life market declined in 2017. Underwritten policies continue to be sold by independent advisors, while guaranteed acceptance over-50s products are sold direct without advice. Insurers are increasingly viewing inheritance tax liability as an opportunity to sell whole-of-life cover, with some insurers launching targeted advisor-sold policies to capitalize upon this.
In the future, life insurance will become more personalized. Insurers are seeking to understand their customers better through the internet of things to provide personalized premiums and be able to help customers actively manage risk and move towards prevention. Providers are already taking steps towards engaging in health and wellbeing, from offering rewards for displaying healthy behavior using wearable’s to providing added-value services such as access to virtual GPs, symptom checkers, and preventative healthcare.
Underwriting processes are being refined down to a few questions, which allows for easy distribution. Insurers are offering flexible policies which will give customers more control of cover levels, duration, and affordability. Targeted policies are also being launched for specific groups of customers, such as those who find it hard to access the market or health-conscious individuals who believe they may be paying too much for cover.