FTRC has revealed its individual protection ratings for 2019, with a record 55 gold ratings being awarded to providers.
The consultancy has benchmarked eight protection products: business protection, business protection with critical illness, family income benefit, family income benefit with critical illness, life protection, income protection, mortgage protection, and mortgage protection with critical illness.
It follows on from the critical illness ratings that were published in October.
The analysis is based on the benchmarking of up to 10 key features that advisers deem are the most relevant to consider when selecting the most appropriate cover for their clients.
A gold, silver or bronze rating is awarded to providers if their overall proposition meets or exceeds the key adviser criteria, offers an acceptable standard of product features, has a robust customer claims strategy and receives positive feedback from users of FTRC’s Quality Analyser service.
In the income protection category, gold ratings have been awarded to Aegon, AIG Your Life, Aviva, LV=, LV= Personal Sick Pay, Royal London, The Exeter (Income One), The Exeter (Pure Protect), Vitality Comprehensive, Vitality Primary and Zurich Select.
Receiving gold ratings for life cover are Aegon, AIG Life Start, AIG Your Plan, Aviva, Guardian, LV=, Royal London and Zurich.
For business protection (life only), Aegon, AIG Business Protection, Legal & General Cix, LV=, Royal London and Zurich Select have all received a gold rating.
Ian McKenna, director of FTRC, said there has been a 30% increase in providers awarded a gold standard despite the greater scrutiny that has been introduced.
“As well as analysing the various product features by those that are deemed most important to advisers, each feature is also weighted, so a provider’s overall rating helpfully reflects the aspects that advisers consider are crucial elements for their clients,” he stated.
Damian O’Connor, of adviser firm Roxburgh Financial Management, said the ratings are increasing useful for advisers in helping to screen the various options available and identify the most suitable cover for a client.