Advisers forecast a rise in protection sales

The Adviser Confidence Index, which tracks expectations among advisers for mortgage and protection sales, polled 297 advisers and found that only 13% thought protection sales would fall over the next quarter. The remaining 29% predicted that protection sales would remain at the same level.

Legal & General suggested that adviser focus is increasingly switching to protection as mortgage applications are harder to come by.

“Those advisers that regularly write protection business will have a head start and they will be looking to expand, especially into relatively untapped areas such as business protection,”the report said.

Overall, 60% of advisers surveyed said they expect business next quarter to pick up on the past three months, while 24% expect it to stay flat and 16% think it will fall. Stephen Smith, L&G’s director of housing, said this can partly be attributed to the new prospects advisers see on the horizon – namely the remortgage market and the protection market.

“Protection is a good prospect because consumers should be looking to protect both their life and their lifestyle with the appropriate cover as the issue of debt and expenditure becomes an increasing preoccupation for many households,”he added.

Protection sales may also be given a boost following the publication of the 2008 Budget. Stephen Haddrill, director general of the Association of British Insurers, said people will be facing a tougher economic climate.

“Many people face higher taxes and tough news about the economy,”he said. “Consumers need to protect themselves, especially those who hold part of the UK’s £1.4 trillion of consumer debt. They should review their finances and consider whether to insure themselves against losing their job or becoming ill.”

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