Mortgage Brokers saw the biggest decrease in protection sales of all sectors, with a 23% decrease in new business year-on-year, according to analysis by iPipeline. 

iPipeline found that protection sales processed through its platforms, on a ‘like-for-like’ basis, were also down 13% year-on-year. Income Protection (IP) was the hardest hit area, with a 30% like-for-like, year-on-year decrease.

For all protection sales (IP, Life and Critical Illness Cover) per advice channel, Call Centres were the only channel to see an improvement, with a 9% increase in new business like-for-like, year-on-year.

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Ian Teague, UK group managing director at iPipeline, said: “The protection industry was riding high going into 2020, so it came as a real shock when the full extent of COVID-19 became clear and the consequences of the pandemic began impacting sales.

“Unsurprisingly, considering the freeze in the mortgage market, mortgage brokers have been worst affected. Research has identified that people want and need protection more than ever and our industry has an important role in having more protection conversations and helping them meet their financial resilience goals.

“We anticipate market-wide protection volumes returning closer to pre-pandemic levels as mortgage broking and IFA businesses increase capacity.

“We believe that we will see growth in the protection market as our industry meets the UK population’s increased demand for improved financial resilience, though this could be dampened should economic headwinds or further lockdowns really bite in Q4.”