The Exchange, the online comparison quote and transaction portal, saw a 22% increase in protection new business applications between January and the end of September.
According to IRESS, there were 550,479 protection new business applications in the first nine months of the year, compared to 450,930 over the same period in 2017.
Historically, volumes in the second and third quarters have always been lower than the first quarter with more new business placed between January and March.
However, the three months from July to September 2018 bucked this trend, setting a new quarterly figure record of 189,769.
August was a particularly strong month, with 64,776 new business applications – the highest number in any one month. This compares to the previous highest month of 63,241 in March 2018.
There was a 37.8% increase in income protection new business in the third quarter, and a 36% year-on-year rise in the January to end-September period.
Term life new business was up 31% in the third quarter and 33.6% in the first nine months of the year, while multi-benefit new business rose 29.3% in the third quarter and 29.9% in the first nine months of the year.
Dave Miller, IRESS’ executive general manager (commercial), said much-needed inroads have been made to close the protection gap, with providers offering innovative products to better cater for people with conditions who may otherwise struggle to obtain insurance at a reasonable price.
“We’re also seeing providers embracing technology to reduce time and complexity for the end customer, something which younger generations in particular have come to expect in today’s instant access, digital world,” he added.