Life insurance for family. UK Whole of Life Insurance Industry Report (Updated 2018),

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Providing the most comprehensive and up-to-date information and analysis of the Whole-of-Life Insurance market, and the behaviours, preferences and habits of the consumer. Whole of life insurance.

Mintel has the answers you’re looking for

What are the key challenges facing the industry and how fast are its rates of growth? Who is the consumer and what do they want? Where are the opportunities, where are the risks and what lies ahead?

Report scope and definition

This Report gives an overview of the whole-of-life market, including examination of the size of the market and a forecast for the next five years, and discussion of the main factors affecting the market. The major players in the market are discussed, as well as recent product developments and marketing strategies.

Mintel’s exclusive consumer research measures ownership of life insurance and explores attitudes towards these products, including why they chose to take out a life insurance policy, and how they chose and arranged their policies. The Report also looks at which policy features are most popular, and the barriers to ownership among those who do not own a policy.

For the purposes of this Report, Mintel has used the following definitions:

Underwritten whole-of-life insurance is a long-term policy designed to pay a cash lump sum when the policyholder dies. These policies are underwritten and therefore take into consideration a person’s personal circumstances and medical history when calculating premiums. Whole-of-life policies typically offer a higher insured sum than guaranteed acceptance policies, these policies are typically used by more affluent consumers as a form of financial planning to offset inheritance tax liabilities. Some providers have started to offer additional options for covering care costs.

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Over-50s guaranteed acceptance insurance is a long-term policy that will pay a cash lump sum when the policyholder dies. But these policies are not underwritten and do not require a customer to divulge information about their medical history. These policies typically have lower premiums than underwritten wholeof-life policies and may provide additional benefits, for example funeral benefits. Traditionally, there is no cash-in value to these policies; which meant that if a consumer cancels the policy they will not be entitled to any benefits. However recent developments are giving consumers more flexibility with their policies, distorting the distinction between guaranteed acceptance and whole-of-life policies.

Pre-paid funeral plans have been created to ensure that funeral costs are covered when a person passes away. These plans have a set monthly premium that once paid will cover the costs of a funeral, regardless of inflation or price increases in the funeral market.

What you need to know

Ever since the exit of high street banks from the industry in 2012, the whole-of-life market has been in decline, with the slight recovery in 2015 proving to be an outlier over this period. The market appears to have grown fairly stale over the past five years, with precious little product innovation visible in the market.

Nevertheless, with an ageing population and a large proportion of over-50s lacking significant savings, there is scope for the market to recover and return to growth. The impact of GDPR and Open Banking will cause providers to rethink and modernise their advertising and innovation strategies, while new developments designed to support dependents could result in a brighter future for the whole-of-life market.

Expert analysis from a specialist in the field

Written by Douglas Kitchen, a leading analyst in the Financial Services sector, his extensive knowledge delivers in-depth commentary and analysis to highlight current trends and add expert context to the numbers.

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The whole-of-life market has experienced a difficult period over the past five years but there are signs that this may be coming to an end. A large portion of over-50s have little in the way of savings, providing an opportunity for insurers to provide a cheap route to providing security for dependents. If providers are able to provide innovative new products, whilst simultaneously adapting their advertising campaigns to the increasingly youthful minded over-50s, the market could be set for a return to growth. Douglas Kitchen

Financial Services Analyst

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