UK Protection Insurance 2019: Critical Illness & Income Protection

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This report focuses on the major (and closely related) IP and CI product lines. It examines the market size of both IP and standalone CI products with regards to the changes in new contracts and premiums written. It also examines the most frequent and expensive reason to claim on these policies. It highlights the most dominant players in the market and their propositions, and provides market sizing forecasts up to 2024. Finally, the report discusses how the market is likely to change, with a focus on technology as a key influencer.

Both the income protection (IP) and critical illness (CI) insurance markets experienced strong growth in 2018. Combined, they increased their share of the total protection market for the fourth year in a row, accounting for 10.2% of premiums in 2018. This indicates growing demand for illness- and injury-oriented products. The IP and CI markets remain locked in a dynamic where products are sold rather than bought; as a result, the advisory channel has remained the main way in which IP and CI products are distributed. But consistent growth is occurring in the non-advisory channel (to a greater extent in the CI market), which suggests that over the coming years we may see a shift towards products being bought rather than sold.


– The number of new contracts in the IP market increased in 2018 to 149,193, up 12.2% compared with the previous year.

– The standalone CI market experienced measured growth in 2018, with premiums and contracts increasing by 2.0% and 9.2% respectively.

– Legal & General was the largest provider of CI products in 2017, accounting for over a quarter of new contract sales in 2017.

Reasons to Buy

– Understand the barriers of uptake for CI and IP, and learn how to increase consumer engagement.

– Explore how the distribution landscape is changing for these products.

– Discover who the leading providers of CI and IP are.

– See how the CI and IP markets are forecast to grow over the next five years.

Legal & General
Friends Life
Royal London
British Friendly

Table of Contents

Table of Contents


1.1. Market summary

1.2. Key findings

1.3. Critical success factors


2.1. Introduction

2.2. The total protection market grew in 2018

2.2.1. The growth rate of the total protection market slowed down in 2018

2.3. Growth in the IP and standalone CI markets slowed down in 2018

2.3.1. The share of IP and CI contracts in the total protection market has grown for the past four years

2.3.2. The IP market experienced subdued premium growth in 2018

2.3.3. UK households are being squeezed

2.3.4. The standalone CI market cooled down after two years of extremely strong growth

2.3.5. CI is much more popular when sold as a rider

2.3.6. The group life market experienced explosive growth in 2018

2.4. Cancer accounts for 63% of all CI claims paid

2.4.1. The average CI claim payment decreased by £2,000 but the total value of claims paid increased

2.4.2. Insurers should emphasize the frequency of successful claims in order to increase engagement with CI insurance

2.4.3. Mental health claims are the most expensive for IP products

2.4.4. IP policies with a shorter-term payout limit the cost of claims


3.1. The advisory channels still dominate product distribution

3.1.1. The independent advice channel is still dominant but lost some ground in 2018

3.2. CI has seen continued growth in the non-advised channel

3.2.1. The independent advice channel saw the number of CI contracts fall in 2018

3.2.2. CI comparison sites will aid the advisory process


4.1. The protection market is ruled by a small number of players

4.1.1. Legal & General and Aviva dominate the CI market

4.1.2. Aviva and Friends Life tie-up created a new market leader in the IP space

4.2. Competitor profiles for the leading CI and IP providers

4.2.1. Legal & General’s CI product gives policyholders access to a number of additional benefits

4.2.2. Legal & General’s IP product can be tailored to reduce premiums

4.2.3. Aviva offers two types of CI products to consumers tailored for different circumstances

4.2.4. Aviva’s Income Protection+ provides flexibility that allows product tailoring

4.2.5. LV=’s CI product is only available as a rider alongside term life insurance

4.2.6. LV= offers three main types of IP products to consumers

4.2.7. Zurich launched a new protection platform in September 2018

4.2.8. Vitality’s cover operates on a severity scale when assessing claims

4.3. The complexity of CI and IP products hinders uptake

4.3.1. Hybrid CI and IP products may need to be developed

4.3.2. The number of conditions offered by the top CI providers varies considerably


5.1. The number of new IP contracts is expected to fall post-2021

5.1.1. IP premiums will rise slower than contracts from 2020-22

5.2. Both premiums and contracts will grow in the standalone CI market

5.2.1. By 2024, the number of standalone CI contracts is forecast to be 27% higher than in 2018

5.3. Insurers will use technology to develop more personalized products

5.3.1. Protection products will begin to incorporate the Internet of Things to change the focus to claims prevention

5.3.2. Insurers will collect data from multiple channels

5.3.3. Genome profiling could become widespread in the protection market

5.4. Digital services will be increasingly utilized

5.4.1. AI will help to streamline the claims process

5.4.2. Protection products will benefit from hybrid robo-advice

5.4.3. Remote consultations should be standard


6.1. Abbreviations and acronyms

6.2. Bibliography

6.3. Further reading

6.4. Forecasting Methodology


List of Tables

Table 1: Total protection market split by mortgage- and non-mortgage-related products, 2011-18

Table 2: The number of new contracts in the IP and CI markets, 2011-18

Table 3: Premiums in the IP and CI markets (£000s), 2011-18

Table 4: Contracts and premiums in the IP market, 2011-18

Table 5: Contracts and premiums in the CI market, 2011-18

Table 6: Contracts and premiums in the CI rider market, 2015-18

Table 7: The composition of the CI rider market, 2018

Table 8: Uptake rates of CI as a rider across different products, 2018

Table 9: Number of contracts in the total group market, 2011-18

Table 10: Premiums in the total group market (£000s), 2011-18

Table 11: The cost of claims in the CI market, 2017-18

Table 12: IP claims landscape, 2017-18

Table 13: Distribution of IP products, 2014-18

Table 14: Distribution of CI products, 2014-18

Table 15: Top five providers by share of new CI contracts, 2016-17

Table 16: Top five providers by share of new IP contracts, 2016-17

Table 17: Percentage payout of claims by severity and Vitality serious illness cover by type


List of Figures

Figure 1: Growth in the protection market slowed down in 2018

Figure 2: The number of contracts saw strong growth, but premiums stagnated

Figure 3: There was significant growth in the number of new IP contracts in 2018

Figure 4: Growth in the standalone CI market slowed down in 2018

Figure 5: Cancer heavily influences the CI claims landscape

Figure 6: Mental illness claims are the most costly for insurers

Figure 7: The advised channel is dominant in IP sales

Figure 8: The restricted advice channel has seen consistent growth over the previous four years

Figure 9: Legal & General continued to dominate the CI market in 2017

Figure 10: Aviva accounted for the greatest share of new IP contracts in 2018

Figure 11: Vitality provides full cover for the most CI conditions

Figure 12: Growth of new IP contracts will slow down in the coming years

Figure 13: IP premium growth will slow down after 2021

Figure 14: The number of new standalone CI contracts will increase by 27% by 2024

Figure 15: Premiums in the standalone CI market will see a near-50% increase by 2024

Figure 16: Forecasting methodology

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