Job cuts will push sales of ASU cover

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ANDY LEES, KEY ACCOUNT MANAGER, UINSURE

The number of people out of work is rising and with it, demand for accident, sickness and unemployment cover. But this must be chosen wisely as it may be next to be inspected by the regulator.

The Office for National Statistics recorded 158,000 redundancies in the three months to October 2010, up 15,000 on the previous quarter.

The unemployment rate for the three months to October was 7.9%, up 0.1% on the previous quarter.

And with all trends suggesting the figures may rise further in 2011, it seems logical to assume that accident, sickness and unemployment cover sales will come under scrutiny this year.

Even if advisers provide ASU policies via a panel, recommending the best option for clients remains their responsibility.

It will become more important, both for compliance and treating customers fairly, that advisers choose the best option based on price and cover, and have a clear audit trail in place to prove why they chose the product they did.

Most advisers now have access to ASU offerings for mortgage and non-mortgage holders that offer flexibility of cover and premiums.

There are even products that provide a fixed benefit for a fixed premium, which are popular as they are easy to understand.

More firms are now selling a wider range of ASU products. While premiums are becoming increasingly competitive, it is growing awareness of the products that has encouraged sales.