S&P sees 100% growth on age-banded MPPI product

General insurance provider Select & Protect says sales of its age-banded mortgage payment protection insurance product, Intego, has increased by 100% since its launch in August.

Intego is underwritten by Norwich Union. Its product features include full accident, sickness and unemployment cover, 30-day excess or the ‘back to day one’ option, and privileged access to NU’s personal health manager. It also has an outsourced back-to-work facility covering post-injury rehabilitation, plus comprehensive support and guidance for individuals made redundant or unemployed.

Bruce Reid, managing director of S&P, says: “The difference in pricing is remarkable from the historical MPPI policies, which still largely populate the market.

“It shows there is a definite requirement from consumers and brokers for a product that rates on the age of policyholders, provides a comprehensive range of benefits and is not solely a ‘one-price-fits-all’ solution. S&P was first to the market with this innovation, and it’s interesting to see a number of competitors are now following this trend.”

However, a recent survey by Assurant Solutions and CETA has revealed that industry attitudes to MPPI are still mixed.

Some 89% of respondents continue to sell MPPI despite the increased scrutiny that the product has faced from the Financial Services Authority and other consumer bodies.

Additionally, one-third of those surveyed believe the product has become more difficult to sell since the FSA assumed responsibility for regulating both the mortgage and general insurance industries.

A quarter believe the product does meet the needs of consumers, but 75% suggest more needs to be done to improve its flexibility, affordability, and attractiveness to consumers.

Worryingly, 82% of all respondents believe there is a lack of understanding among consumers about MPPI.

David Quick, managing director of CETA, says: “Our members have sent a clear message through this survey that while MPPI does have a role to play, it must represent value for money and become a more affordable option to the consumer.”