The Income Protection Task Force (IPTF) believes there is growing recognition that the individual and group IP markets could be working more closely together to increase take-up.
The trade body said it was keen to facilitate that evolution and to become more involved in working with the group income protection market, alongside its regular work with group risk trade body Grid.
Speaking ahead of its IP awareness week later this month, IPTF co-chairman Andrew Wibberley told Health & Protection that the body agreed on the need to be more joined up across the sector.
“While our industry and possibly traditionally the IPTF has been more focused on the individual, although not in any written mandate, we recognise the need to get into those small businesses, growing entrepreneurs and self-employed,” he said.
“I think our insurer and adviser members see that as well in terms of blurring that [divide] and understanding that grey space between the massive group IP schemes and individual.”
Wibberley noted that in some organisations people working on the two products were distant, but added: “I think they are coming together and we see we can help that happen more effectively.”
One of the main reasons for the apparent disconnect is this has rarely been a top priority for firms, with more pressing issues often surpassing it on the to do list.
“Optimistically growth out of this crisis could lead to more start-ups, more people in that [business] position but will it make enough people’s top three things next year?” Wibberley added.
Operating changes open the door
IPTF co-chairwoman Jo Miller noted that having changed its structure and the way it operated, the body was now far better positioned to bring people together from across the industry.
Instead of only allowing one person from each member firm to attend, following the restructure last year the body now has workstreams bringing together people from various disciplines.
“We’ve worked with claims specialists, marketing teams, protection product leaders – we’ve worked with a whole range of people,” Miller said.
“If next year there were to be a group workstream, there would be less opposition and members wouldn’t feel they were losing anything or that the person attending IPTF knew nothing about it.
“I think there might be a more open-minded attitude that the IPTF could do something about it, but it is driven by members and members tend to keep the two very much apart which has produced some frustrations,” she added.