In 2019, we commissioned our State of the Protection Nation research to find out how people felt about their own protection needs and the industry as a whole.
Over the last three years, our State of the Protection Nation research looked into public perception of the protection industry and the suitability of its products along with adviser confidence in the market.
We attributed scores to the questions asked in the research (2,005 nationally representative UK adults (aged 18+) and 202 advisers) which gave us an overall score that we call the State of the Protection Nation Index.
We can see that consumer confidence has remained relatively stable, with the consumer index dropping overall slightly since 2017. Adviser confidence fell by just 0.2 points from 2018 to 2019, but by a similar margin overall as the consumer index since 2017. Despite very little change in the adviser index ranking since 2018, it continues to suggest that advisers remain more cautiously optimistic about the protection market than consumers.
A clear message from our research is that the majority of consumers don't fully understand their own protection needs. In particular, those who are more financially vulnerable can often be the most sceptical about spending money on protection. Through tailoring financial advice to help consumers navigate the protection market, and shaping protection plans to suit individual needs and budgets, advisers can help these clients build their financial resilience. Renters are less likely than homeowners to be able to survive financially for up to three months if they lost their income.
We’ve found differences between how consumers think about protection, and how advisers think they do. So in 2019 we looked at different types of consumer and examined what makes them tick, as well as their differing levels of financial vulnerability and scepticism about the protection products available. Through our research we've managed to identify some potential opportunities for advisers who want to build their protection business.