iPipeline witnessed a 69% year-on-year increase in new business processed through SolutionBuilder in the fourth quarter of 2019.
Income protection (IP) sales rose by 50% while multi-benefit new business increased by 48%.
The amount of cover written also grew, with average premiums for policy applications up 5% year-on-year.
During 2019, mortgage brokers have been outperforming independent financial advisers (IFAs) in the level of IP business sold, however the latest results suggest IFAs are increasingly realising the value and benefits of the product for wealthier clients.
IP sales through IFAs and wealth IFAs increased by 47% and 71% respectively, while sales through mortgage brokers rose by 54%.
Meanwhile, although the percentage of women purchasing term life cover remained level at 47% during 2019, the proportion of women applying for IP grew from 38% at the beginning of 2018 to 41% by the end of 2019.
People aged between 25 and 44 accounted for 63.3% of the total sales volume in 2019, up from 59% the year before.
Almost a third (30%) of UK protection policies were enabled by the SSG Digital Platform – the company’s self-service, end-to-end platform which is used by providers such as Aviva, Foresters Financial, The Exeter and Zurich.
Ian Teague, UK group managing director at iPipeline, said 2019 has been an outstanding year for the protection industry.
“While the past 12 months have seen mortgage brokers taking the lead in selling IP, it’s great that IFAs are starting to close the gap,” he stated. “We are also delighted more women and younger people have been buying protection products. The industry needs to build on this in 2020 and continue to focus on encouraging underserved markets to engage with protection by developing new and more personalised products and by using technology solutions to improve customer outcomes.”
Roy McLoughlin, associate director at Cavendish Ware and co-chair of the Income Protection Task Force, suggested the advisory community is awakening from its ambiguous relationship with IP and putting it at its rightful heart of all protection planning.