Comprehensive cover was the leading consumer choice in the UK in 2018, accounting for 42% of income protection purchases, according to GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company.
The company’s latest report: ‘How Customers Purchase Income Protection 2018’ reveals that job security concerns pushed consumers to favor comprehensive cover over just unemployment or accident and sickness.
Take-up of comprehensive cover increased by 9.4pp from 2017 as it overtook accident and sickness only in 2018. Income protection was most popular among adults with responsibilities, with 64.8% of customers having children and 68.8% owning a house with a mortgage, as their reliance on a guaranteed income is greater. Unsurprisingly, having a child was also the biggest trigger to make a consumer take-up income protection insurance as consumers take on a certain level of risk not having it in such situations.
Ben Carey-Evans, Insurance Analyst at GlobalData, said: “Comprehensive cover overtaking accident and sickness cover in 2018 shows that consumers are increasingly worried about job security. Although unemployment remains low in the UK, the uncertainty that surrounded Brexit throughout 2018 has almost certainly increased people’s concerns about the security of their jobs.”
Brexit uncertainty has had a knock-on effect on the way consumers have been purchasing income protection. Price comparison sites were the leading channel in 2017, but declined significantly in 2018. This has seen the broker and bank channels in particular, pick up large chunks of business in 2018.
“Customer preference moving away from the single lines of accident and sickness and unemployment to comprehensive cover has heightened the need for people to receive advice. While the more simple lines can be bought through comparison sites, comprehensive policies are more likely to require the consumer talking to someone, whether that is a broker or someone at a bank or insurance company,” Carey-Evans said.