Sorry for interrupting, this website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Learn more
Accept & Close

Life and Protection - Intermediary Focus - UK - October 2013

“The next 12 months will remain challenging for intermediaries, but there are reasons to be cheerful. The recovery in both the UK economy and housing market finally appear to be gaining strength, while certain regulatory changes may also create fresh opportunities to grow protection business.”

– Sarah Hitchcock, Senior Analyst – Financial Services

Some questions answered in this report include:

  • How is the new regulatory framework impacting on the protection advice industry?
  • Is the introduction of simplified protection products viewed as a positive development by advisers?
  • What impact will welfare reforms have on the protection industry?
  • Should protection advisers be concerned about the growing influence of price comparison sites?
  • How confident are protection advisers feeling about the next 12 months?

The UK intermediary market is mature and remains heavily populated, despite heightened consolidation activity over the past few years. It is also undergoing huge upheaval, with firms having to adapt to a host of new rules and requirements. Topping this list is new regulation linked to the Retail Distribution Review (RDR) introduced in January 2013.

Although pure protection products fall outside the scope of RDR regulation, the majority of advisers active in the protection sector are still impacted. Many are affected directly, because they also advise on pensions and investments; and others indirectly. For example, some firms specialising in protection have reported rising competition from advisers active in other sectors, as well as from unqualified advisers moving into protection as a way of remaining in business.

Simultaneously, protection is starting to attract interest from direct-only operators and price comparison sites. Although the majority of protection sales are intermediated, product providers are increasingly keen to explore new ways of reaching a wider audience and tackling the protection gap. This includes developing more simplified propositions for the direct-to-consumer market.

This report explores how these competitive pressures and changing market conditions are impacting on the protection advice market. It draws on a mix of trade and desk research in order to provide a comprehensive overview. Additionally, the report presents the findings of Mintel’s latest IFA survey, conducted by NMG Consulting. The survey offers insight into how protection advisers have performed recently and how they view their future prospects. It also reveals the areas in which advisers would like product providers to make further improvements.

Market definitions

The focus of this report is on intermediaries who advise on life assurance and other protection products, such as critical illness cover and income protection. In a regulatory context, retail intermediaries can be either directly authorised (DA) or appointed representatives (AR) of a DA firm.

DA – are individual advisers or firms who are directly authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), which means they are responsible for, among other things, the professional indemnity insurance, compliance and liabilities of their firm.

AR – individual advisers or firms that are appointed by a directly authorised firm (known as the ‘Principal’). Under the terms of this contractual arrangement, the Principal accepts responsibility for the regulated activities undertaken by its appointed representative. Many ARs are ‘tied agents’, ie individuals or firms that are limited to selling the products or services of one or more companies.

New intermediary classifications

Prior to the introduction of the RDR regulation in January 2013, there were three main distribution channels:
IFAs – independent firms that give advice across the whole market
Tied – advisers who recommend the products of either one company or a select number of companies.
Non-intermediated – products sold directly to the customer without intermediary intervention

As from January 2013, the main distribution channels are as follows:
Independent advice – refers to IFAs who review all products and options available across the whole market
Restricted advice – refers to advisers whose advice will be restricted in some way – for example, they may only offer products from a specific provider or range of providers (ie single and multi-tied advisers), or their advice is restricted to a certain product type (ie whole-of-market advice but restricted to a specific product/area)
Non-advised – refers to pure direct sales and introduced/third-party distributed sales without advice.
In addition, a proportion of sales (which could come via any of the above three channels) may additionally be classified as ‘bancassurance’. This refers to the selling of insurance by banks, usually but not always on a tied basis.

What you get

What's included

Why buy from us?

Succeed

Our reports will provide you with market data, consumer research and competitive intelligence to succeed in your market.

Instant Access

Buy now and you'll have instant access to the information you need to make the right decisions.

Opportunities

Find out what's next in the markets that matter to you: where opportunities lie and what challenges you will face.

Trusted

A business Superbrand, Mintel is a source you can trust. We have been defining and refining the Market Intelligence mix since 1972.

Table of contents

  1. Introduction

      • Market definitions
        • New intermediary classifications
          • Abbreviations
          • Executive Summary

              • The market
                • Adviser population stabilises
                  • Figure 1: Number of directly authorised retail intermediary firms, 2006-13
                • Adviser share of term assurance business
                  • Figure 2: Share of new term assurance premiums, by product type and distribution channel, 2013 H1
                • Adviser share of whole-of-life assurance business
                  • Figure 3: Share of new whole-of-life premiums, by product type and distribution channel, 2013 H1
                • Adviser share of critical illness business
                  • Figure 4: Share of new critical illness premiums, by product type and distribution channel, 2013 H1
                • Adviser share of income protection business
                  • Figure 5: Share of new income protection premiums, by product type and distribution channel, 2013 H1
                • Market factors
                  • Advisers under increased regulatory pressure
                    • But opportunities await
                      • Demand drivers
                        • Companies, brands and innovation
                          • The largest intermediary firms
                            • Innovation driven by new technical capabilities
                              • The adviser
                                • Recent business performance versus prospects
                                  • Figure 6: Changes in protection income – recent past and projected short-term future, August 2013
                                • Sectors set for growth
                                  • Figure 7: Sectors that advisers are expecting to see growth over the next 12 months, August 2013
                                • Expected impact of external factors
                                  • Figure 8: Perceived impact of regulatory and other market developments on own business over the next 12 months, in order of positive influence, August 2013
                                • Suggested supply-end improvements
                                  • Figure 9: Areas in which advisers would like further improvements made, August 2013
                                • What we think
                                • Issues in the Market

                                    • How is the new regulatory framework impacting on the protection advice industry?
                                      • Is the introduction of simplified protection products viewed as a positive development by advisers?
                                        • What impact will welfare reforms have on the protection industry?
                                          • Should protection advisers be concerned about the growing influence of price comparison sites?
                                            • How confident are protection advisers feeling about the next 12 months?
                                            • Trend Application

                                              • Trend: Life Hacking
                                                • Trend: Extend my Brand
                                                  • Mintel’s futures: Brand Intervention
                                                  • Regulatory Context

                                                    • Key points
                                                      • New regulatory body
                                                        • Recent regulatory and legislative changes
                                                          • Impending legislation and regulation
                                                          • Market Drivers

                                                            • Key points
                                                              • Intermediaries play a dominant role in the protection market
                                                                • Removal of commission on pure protection products would be “disastrous”
                                                                  • Significant protection gap: just two in five adults have life cover
                                                                    • Figure 10: Ownership of life insurance and other common protection products, by all adults, those with children and mortgage holders, March 2013
                                                                  • Huge scope to improve take-up of other protection products
                                                                    • Providers seek to widen product appeal and lower costs by developing new direct-to-consumer propositions
                                                                      • UK economic recovery finally starts to gather pace…
                                                                        • …but conditions remain tough for many households
                                                                          • Decline in secured lending has adversely affected sales of mortgage-linked protection insurance…
                                                                            • …so it’s good news that the housing and mortgage markets appear to have moved into recovery mode…
                                                                              • …but let’s not get too carried way
                                                                              • Who’s Innovating?

                                                                                • Key points
                                                                                  • Positive Solutions partners with a protection portal
                                                                                    • Direct Life develops universal application for protection advisers
                                                                                      • Protection products are beginning to make an appearance on platforms
                                                                                        • Web aggregators are showing greater interest in protection
                                                                                        • Market SWOT Analysis

                                                                                            • Figure 11: Protection intermediary market – strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats, 2013
                                                                                        • Size of the Intermediary Market

                                                                                          • Key points
                                                                                            • Mintel expects the number of directly-authorised firms to have stabilised
                                                                                              • Figure 12: Total number of directly authorised retail intermediary firms, 2006-13
                                                                                            • Financial advice sector has been the most resilient over recent years
                                                                                              • Figure 13: Number of directly authorised retail intermediary firms, by sector (primary category only), 2006-12
                                                                                            • Number of financial advice ARs is increasing
                                                                                              • Figure 14: Number of financial advice appointed representatives and directly authorised firms, by type, 2008-12
                                                                                          • Adviser Share of Term Assurance Business

                                                                                            • Key points
                                                                                              • Recent market performance – pre-RDR
                                                                                                • IFAs grow their share of the mortgage term market
                                                                                                  • Figure 15: New mortgage term assurance premiums, by distribution channel, 2008-12
                                                                                                • IFAs enjoy an even greater share of the protection term sector
                                                                                                  • Figure 16: New protection term assurance premiums, by distribution channel, 2008-12
                                                                                                • 2013 first half performance
                                                                                                  • ‘Restricted advice’ channel plays a prominent role in the new RDR environment
                                                                                                    • Figure 17: Share of new mortgage term assurance contracts and premiums, by distribution channel, 2013 H1
                                                                                                    • Figure 18: Share of new protection term assurance contracts and premiums, by distribution channel, 2013 H1
                                                                                                • Adviser Share of Whole-of-Life Assurance Business

                                                                                                  • Key points
                                                                                                    • IFAs have a tiny share of the guaranteed acceptance plan market...
                                                                                                      • Figure 19: New guaranteed acceptance plan premiums, by distribution channel, 2010-12
                                                                                                    • ...but dominate the distribution of investment-linked whole-of-life assurance
                                                                                                      • Figure 20: Other new whole-of-life premiums, by distribution channel, 2010-12
                                                                                                    • 2013 first half performance
                                                                                                      • IFAs retain their share of the declining investment-linked sector
                                                                                                        • Figure 21: Share of new guaranteed acceptance plan contracts and premiums, by distribution channel, 2013 H1
                                                                                                        • Figure 22: Share of other new whole-of-life contracts and premiums, by distribution channel, 2013 H1
                                                                                                    • Adviser Share of Critical Illness Insurance Business

                                                                                                      • Key points
                                                                                                        • Some 45% of new mortgage term and 35% of protection term assurance sales included critical illness cover in 2012
                                                                                                          • IFAs are responsible for the lion’s share of critical illness rider business
                                                                                                            • Figure 23: Distribution of new individual term and whole-of-life assurance premiums sold with critical illness riders, by channel, 2008-12
                                                                                                          • IFAs take a larger slice of the smaller standalone market
                                                                                                            • Figure 24: Distribution of new individual standalone CI premiums, by channel, 2008-12
                                                                                                          • 2013 first half performance
                                                                                                            • IFAs lose share
                                                                                                              • Figure 25: Share of new CI rider and standalone CI premiums, by distribution channel, 2013 H1
                                                                                                          • Adviser Share of Income Protection Business

                                                                                                            • Key points
                                                                                                              • Tied advisers picked up share of income protection business in 2012
                                                                                                                • Figure 26: Distribution of new individual income protection regular premiums, by channel, 2008-12
                                                                                                              • 2013 first half performance
                                                                                                                • Distribution mix varies considerably between the two sectors
                                                                                                                  • Figure 27: Share of new long-term income protection contracts and premiums, by distribution channel, 2013 H1
                                                                                                                  • Figure 28: Share of new short-term income protection contracts and premiums, by distribution channel, 2013 H1
                                                                                                              • Adviser Firm Rankings

                                                                                                                • Key points
                                                                                                                  • Sesame Bankhall is the largest intermediary firm, based on turnover
                                                                                                                    • Figure 29: Top 20 financial advisers in the UK protection intermediary market, based on relevant turnover, 2012
                                                                                                                  • A fragmented and varied marketplace
                                                                                                                    • Figure 30: Adviser numbers, 31 July 2013
                                                                                                                • Companies and Products

                                                                                                                    • Sesame Bankhall
                                                                                                                      • 2011/12 overall ranking in the UK intermediary market
                                                                                                                        • Company description
                                                                                                                          • Service offering
                                                                                                                            • Recent financial performance
                                                                                                                              • Figure 31: Key financial data for Sesame Bankhall Group Limited, 2010-12
                                                                                                                            • Recent activity
                                                                                                                              • Intrinsic
                                                                                                                                • 2011/12 overall ranking in the UK intermediary market
                                                                                                                                  • Company description
                                                                                                                                    • Service offering
                                                                                                                                      • Recent financial performance
                                                                                                                                        • Figure 32: Key financial data for Intrinsic Financial Services Limited, 2010-12
                                                                                                                                      • Recent activity
                                                                                                                                        • Tenet
                                                                                                                                          • 2011/12 overall ranking in the UK intermediary market
                                                                                                                                            • Company description
                                                                                                                                              • Service offering
                                                                                                                                                • Recent financial performance
                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 33: Key financial data for Tenet Group Limited, 2010-12
                                                                                                                                                • Recent activity
                                                                                                                                                  • Openwork
                                                                                                                                                    • 2011/12 overall ranking in the UK intermediary market
                                                                                                                                                      • Company description
                                                                                                                                                        • Service offering
                                                                                                                                                          • Recent financial performance
                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 34: Key financial data for Openwork Limited, 2010-11
                                                                                                                                                          • Recent activity
                                                                                                                                                            • Baigrie Davies & Co and LifeSearch
                                                                                                                                                              • 2011/12 overall ranking in the UK intermediary market
                                                                                                                                                                • Company description
                                                                                                                                                                  • Service offering
                                                                                                                                                                    • Recent financial performance
                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 35: Key financial data for LifeSearch Limited, 2011 and 2012
                                                                                                                                                                    • Recent activity
                                                                                                                                                                      • Positive Solutions
                                                                                                                                                                        • 2011/12 overall ranking in the UK intermediary market
                                                                                                                                                                          • Company description
                                                                                                                                                                            • Service offering
                                                                                                                                                                              • Recent financial performance
                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 36: Key financial data for Positive Solutions Financial Services Limited, 2011-12
                                                                                                                                                                              • Recent activity
                                                                                                                                                                              • Advertising and Promotion

                                                                                                                                                                                • Key points
                                                                                                                                                                                  • Guaranteed acceptance plans account for the majority of protection industry adspend
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 37: Total advertising expenditure on protection products, by product category, 2009-13
                                                                                                                                                                                  • Most adspend was generated by product providers
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Large intermediary firms invest limited amounts on consumer advertising...
                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 38: Advertising expenditure – top six adviser firms active in the protection sector, 2011-13
                                                                                                                                                                                  • IFA Protection Income and Future Growth Areas

                                                                                                                                                                                    • Key points
                                                                                                                                                                                      • About Mintel’s IFA research
                                                                                                                                                                                        • Protection advisers are gaining confidence
                                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 39: Changes in protection income – recent past and projected short-term future, August 2013
                                                                                                                                                                                        • Individual term assurance is predicted to be a key growth area
                                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 40: Sectors that advisers are expecting to see growth over the next 12 months, August 2013
                                                                                                                                                                                      • Impact of Regulation and Other External Factors

                                                                                                                                                                                        • Key points
                                                                                                                                                                                          • Nearly half of all advisers expect the housing market to have a positive impact on their protection business over the coming year
                                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 41: Perceived impact of regulatory and other market developments on own business over the next 12 months, in order of positive influence, August 2013
                                                                                                                                                                                          • There is less optimism concerning the Simple Financial Products initiative and MMR
                                                                                                                                                                                            • Price comparison sites pose a growing threat
                                                                                                                                                                                              • A fifth of advisers expect the Gender Directive to negatively impact their protection business
                                                                                                                                                                                              • Further Provider Improvements

                                                                                                                                                                                                • Key points
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Advisers most want providers to make additional improvements to their application and underwriting processes
                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 42: Areas in which advisers would like further improvements made by protection providers, August 2013
                                                                                                                                                                                                • Appendix – Product Definitions

                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Main types of life insurance
                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Other protection policies
                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Appendix – Additional Regulation

                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Further regulatory milestones occurring within the past few years
                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Other noteworthy initiatives
                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Welfare reform

                                                                                                                                                                                                          Companies Covered

                                                                                                                                                                                                          To learn more about the companies covered in this report please contact us.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          Life and Protection - Intermediary Focus - UK - October 2013

                                                                                                                                                                                                          £1,995.00 (Excl.Tax)