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Technology Trends and Industry Insights

Technology Trends and Industry Insights

Last week was a busy one for the Protection Industry with a big product update, Protection Guru’s end of year forum and the last conference/awards ceremony of the year all taking place. As always Protection Guru was there to give you the adviser, all the information you need to know.

Protection Review conference

The annual Protection Review conference took place on Wednesday and the agenda commenced with a keynote address by Sarah Armstrong-Smith from Microsoft, setting the stage for a comprehensive exploration of technology’s role in the protection industry. The first session, moderated by Roger Edwards, explored incorporating new technology, dispelling myths, with industry experts like Alastair Gerrard, Joanne Cole, and Angus Duncan-Timpson sharing insights.

The subsequent panel discussion, featuring our very own Adam Higgs, encompassed a dynamic exchange of ideas on the technology landscape for the protection market. He confirmed that there is a lack of ongoing investment on in order to keep consumers engaged with their protection products and keep them in the know with what they currently have in place and urged the industry to address this.

Following this, the conference shifted its focus to the broader landscape of the UK protection market, examining the optimal number of companies for success. Chaired by Jo Miller, the second session includes perspectives from Paul Yates, Carrie Johnson, and Catherine Thirlaway, complemented by a diverse panel featuring Robyn Allen and Simoney Kyriakou.

The afternoon segment commenced by a keynote interview with Iain Anderson FRSA, exploring potential regulatory shifts amid political transitions. The conference concluded with ProtectX Live, a dynamic session chaired by Roger Edwards, featuring seven speakers presenting succinct talks on pressing contemporary topics in the industry.

The awards ceremony took place in the evening at the spectacular Landmark hotel in Marylebone, a fabulous event with so many deserved shortlisted candidates and companies and winners. Many congratulations to you all.

Protection Forum

The last forum of the year took place on Tuesday, and what an engaging, insightful fun and informative session it was (well that is the feedback we have received so far!)

During the session we heard from Advisers and Insurers covering:

  • Advisers wishes for the new year​…
  • Insurers discussing what they implemented over the last year…

A huge thank you to the following for your valuable contributions:

Adam Kaplan – Pendragon Protect

Katy Davies – Henry Dannell

Jack Southcott – The Exeter

Lee Thompson – Protection Matters

Jennifer Gilchrist – Royal London Group

Paula Pearson – Aviva

Michelle Lawson – Lawson Financial

Angela Davidson – Mortgage Intelligence

This session has raised some valuable topics to address moving into 2024. On Tuesday 9th January, our first forum of 2024, we will be focusing on:

Financial Vulnerability: what have we done and what could we do better? 

A huge thank you to all of the fabulous contributors throughout 2023. Our audience has grown from strength to strength, and we will continue to bring issues to the forefront of the protection industry to debate and address.

Royal London makes significant enhancements to critical illness cover.

Royal London has made substantial enhancements to its critical illness policies, deviating from the industry norm by announcing updates beyond the January 31st deadline for meeting the ABI’s latest critical illness minimum standards.

In this comprehensive review, changes include updates to nine different conditions, the addition of six new condition wordings, and an increase in the amount paid for additional payment conditions. Notably, adjustments to the main cancer definition aim for inclusivity by explicitly covering rare conditions like Merkel cell carcinoma and cutaneous angiosarcoma. However, concerns arise over the resulting complexity of the definition, prompting suggestions for a separate definition for severe skin cancer.

Improvements to non-melanoma skin cancer coverage and expanded coverage for bowel diseases are acknowledged, along with a commendable addition of a Severe Mental Illness definition. Noteworthy is the extension of coverage for Type 1 Diabetes to adults and a positive adjustment to the amount paid for additional payment conditions.

Despite the complexity introduced by the changes, Royal London’s overall enhancements position them competitively in the critical illness insurance market.


Also on protection Guru last week…

About The Author


Niki Cooke has over 20 years’ experience in the financial services industry, in particular in the advise-tech sector, where she has worked for the likes of iPipeline, Intelliflo and Twenty7Tec Group. Niki recently joined FTRC/Protection Guru as Chief Revenue Officer, supporting the business in it’s growth and development of protection focused adviser research tools and working with the wider industry to help grow the protection market.

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