Cheltenham, UK 23 January 2020 –
iPipeline® – a leading provider of next-generation solutions and services to the life and pensions market – today announced a 69% increase in Q4 2019 year-on-year for new business growth in the UK processed through SolutionBuilder, with 30% of protection policies being enabled by SSG Digital® Platform.
The company witnessed a 50% year-on-year increase in income protection (IP) sales and a 48% rise in the volume of multi-benefit new business. In addition to increased volume, the amount of cover written during Q4 grew, with average premiums for policy applications up 5% year-on-year.
During 2019, Mortgage Brokers have been outperforming Independent Financial Advisers (IFAs) in the level of IP new business sold, however, the latest results reveal that IFAs are increasingly realising the value and benefits of the product for wealthier clients. Q4 year-on-year IP sales through IFAs and Wealth IFAs increased by 47% and 71% respectively, while sales through Mortgage Brokers rose by 54%.
The data also reveals some evolving trends in terms of gender and age. While the percentage of women purchasing Term Life cover remained level at 47% during 2019, the proportion of women applying for IP grew from 38% at the beginning of 2018 to 41% by the end of 2019. Over the same period, people aged between 25-44 accounted for a growing number of protection sales, with this demographic comprising 63.3% of total sales volume in 2019, up from 59% the year before.
Alongside protection sourcing growth from SolutionBuilder, in 2019, 30% of UK protection policies were enabled by the SSG Digital Platform – the company’s self-service, end-to-end platform. The SSG Digital Platform has enabled providers such as Aviva, Foresters Financial, The Exeter and Zurich to digitally transform their businesses and accelerate growth within the protection market.
Ian Teague, UK Group Managing Director at iPipeline, commented: “2019 has been an outstanding year for the protection industry and we are proud our digital solutions have helped grow the market and contributed to this success.
“While the past 12 months have seen Mortgage Brokers taking the lead in selling income protection, it’s great that IFAs are starting to close the gap. We are also delighted more women and younger people have been buying protection products. The industry needs to build on this in 2020 and continue to focus on encouraging underserved markets to engage with protection by developing new and more personalised products and by using technology solutions to improve customer outcomes.”
Roy McLoughlin, Associate Director at Cavendish Ware and co-Chair of the IPTF, said: “A new decade and already great news for IP. 2020 certainly feels in a better place than 2010 for protection and nowhere is this positivity more felt than in IP. It feels like the advisory community is awakening from its ambiguous relationship with IP and putting it at its rightful heart of all protection planning. It’s important we all make efforts to amplify this message and these figures indicate this is occurring.”