CIExpert: Should we be surprised there’s a protection gap when consumers haven’t seen any advertising for it?

Ahead of its ‘Critical Thinking’ launch, CIExpert has revealed seven in ten consumers can’t recall advertising for Critical Illness Cover (CIC) on TV, social media, or in the news.

Related topics:  CIExpert,  New Research
Tabitha Lambie | Editor, Protection Reporter
1st February 2024
CIExpert New Research
"Our new ‘Critical Thinking’ Report assesses consumers’ awareness and attitude towards critical illness cover to better understand both the barriers and drivers to taking a policy."
- Alan Lakey, Director at CIExpert

CIExpert launches its inaugural ‘Critical Thinking’ Report, sponsored by Guardian, HSBC Life, Aviva, Vitality, and Zurich Insurance on the 8th February 2024. This is a bespoke study based on the views and experiences of 5,000 consumers (analysed by generation) alongside insights from 300 advisers in conjunction with the Protection Distributors Group (PDG) and its members. ‘Critical Thinking’ delves into issues such as common Critical Illness Cover (CIC) misconceptions held by consumers, barriers within advice, joint vs single life policies, and what could drive consumers to purchase CIC in the future.

Ahead of next week, CIExpert has revealed that when asked, seven in ten consumers couldn’t recall advertising for CIC on TV, social media, or in the news. This prompts the question: Should we be surprised there’s a protection gap when consumers haven’t seen any advertising for it?

Unfortunately, only 45% of consumers understood the basic premise of CIC - that they’d receive an agreed lump-sum payout when diagnosed with a critical illness. 17% of consumers wrongly believed a CIC payout had to be used to pay off a mortgage, rising to a quarter of young people (27% of millennials and 26% Gen Z). Almost half (49%) simply ‘didn’t know’ how a CIC payout could support them financially.

On a more positive note, ‘Critical Thinking’ revealed that although 66% of consumers weren’t aware the price of CIC is fixed from the age of purchase, once informed, 40% were more likely to consider a policy sooner rather than later in life.

Alan Lakey, Director at CIExpert, said it was “staggering” to find 74% of women and 66% of men couldn’t recall seeing any advertising for CIC. “With greater comprehension, the industry can refine its approach to product design, marketing, and assist in the education process,” he explained, which is “essential in developing CIC into a mainstream product as opposed to its current positions as an appendage to a Life Insurance policy.”

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