A study of advisors in the UK shows what sort of protection products they think will be most popular in a world shaped by COVID-19 and the associated mayhem.
Wealth advisors predict that critical illness cover and income protection will be the hottest product growth areas over the next two years now that the virus pandemic has concentrated minds on health and the need to stay solvent, a survey shows.
A study by HSBC Life (UK), part of HSBC, drawn from 108 independent financial advisors focused on protection sales, found that half (50 per cent) of them said that critical illness cover will be the top seller, followed by 47 per cent giving income protection. Other strong categories are term life (46 per cent); mortgage protection (38 per cent), and health cash plans (34 per cent), followed by accident and sickness (32 per cent); private medical (31 per cent); long-term care (28 per cent), whole of life (20 per cent), and total permanent disability (12 per cent).
The study, which was conducted as the coronavirus crisis forced the UK into lockdown, found that advisors specialising in individual protection forecast 14 per cent growth for the advised protection market by 2022. They also predict that their own firm’s protection sales will expand by the same amount over the period. Almost two thirds (65 per cent) of advisors questioned believe that there is an opportunity to grow the advised market substantially in the next two years, highlighting the optimism among advisors in spite of the current uncertainty. Almost all advisers surveyed, expect some growth in the market.
“The cover that protection offers customers is increasingly seen as invaluable, with people recognising that looking after themselves and those they love is a vital investment. Recent events have only served to underline this thinking. We have recorded a 30 per cent increase in visits to our life insurance webpages, emphasising increased awareness and demand for protection products and reinforcing the opportunity for advisors,” Mark Hussein, CEO of HSBC Life (UK) Ltd, said.
The research was carried out between 1 March and 25 March.