Comment: Fortune comes in various guises

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For the time being, remortgage activity will continue to secure the market – so are you making the most of that activity?

Unless you are one of life’s eternal optimists, you will probably not be feeling too positive about 2017. Sure, we will probably not have a year as difficult as 2016, but we are unlikely to see many improvements either.

Buy-to-let will be hit hard in the spring and, as a result, we are bound to see lending in that sector fall considerably – at least for the time being. The uncertainty that marred much of 2016 for house-hunters remains, so I do not think we will see any major changes in gross lending.

Add to this the fact that insurance premiums are likely to rise in the summer as a result of the increase in insurance premium tax and the picture does not look too rosy.

But there is one glimmer of hope: the remortgage sector. Remortgages are still going strong and that is likely to continue. Uncertain times are putting off people from selling up or taking the plunge and buying. But the fantastic interest rates are enticing homeowners to refinance and secure a good deal while they can.

Swap rates are starting to rise, so fixed rates may creep up before the end of the year. But for the time being, at least, remortgage activity will continue to secure the market.

So, are you making the most of that activity? Each time you see a client about a remortgage, you should be assessing their protection needs.

And not just their home insurance-related products either. This also presents an opportunity to discuss mortgage payment protection insurance, to find out if they have any business concerns that could require cover or if they have buy-to-lets that need specialist products.

Jason Berry is director of sales at Uinsure