We have to rekindle trust in protection

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STEVE PAYNE, MANAGING DIRECTOR PROTECTION, FRIENDS LIFE

There has been plenty in the media about the mis-selling of payment protection insurance.

Most recently the press has focussed on the big banks which announced that they will pay compensation to customers who were mis-sold PPI.

While most of the coverage has been about the banks, the episode has inevitably damaged the reputation of the insurance industry in general.

PPI was designed to cover policyholders’ debt repayments for a year if they couldn’t work because of an accident, sickness or unemployment. But it came to light that the product was expensive and potentially worthless as so few claims were being paid.

Customers were typically paying about 15% of the balance of a loan for PPI but it could have been up to 30%. So a £5,000 loan could cost almost £1,500 in insurance alone.

Given the reputational damage caused to the industry by this scandal, it is essential that we reassure people and reignite their trust in our industry.

We can do this by offering them quality products designed to cover their mortgage or debt repayments if they are unable to work due to accidental injury or illness.

Income protection perfectly meets these needs. We need to help those who feel let down by showing them that protection is a must-have in the world we live in.

Longer term protection products exist to give peace of mind, not cause disappointment.