The turn of a year is a great time to look back and review what has gone on in the previous twelve months. 2021 was certainly a busy year for

We started by announcing the upcoming and newly named Advice Tech Forum.  Our January session will run on Tuesday, January 25th, 2022, from 12pm to 1pm where an expert adviser panel will discuss “what advisers want from platforms, pensions and savings providers in 2022 that they don’t currently provide”.

Advisers can register for a complimentary ticket to attend the event via this link.

On Wednesday we revisited Part 1 of the discussion from our October Advice Tech Forum where Alan Easter from FTRC, Richard Caldicott from M&G Wealth Advice, and I looked to answer why robo-advice failed and why will the next generation of digital advice succeed.

Part 1 focused on the failures of robo-advice and can be accessed here.

Thursday’s insight looked at the pension switching module add-on from Defaqto.

Over on Protection Guru…

While helping advisers understand insurers changes in underwriting policies and other issues related to COVID gave our service a huge boost during 2021, the number of visitors to our site still grew by 5% last year even though halfway through we introduced our login system so that only advisers and insurers who work with us can access Protection Guru. Historically a large number of our visitors were reinsurers who are now locked out of the service so, from a practical perspective, adviser users grew by in the region of 20%. Overall advisers and their support staff account for 76% of logins to our service.

During the year we launched our learning and development hub so advisers can access all our analysis from one part of our service to quickly review over three hundred different studies of key issues to help advisers understand which insurers are best suited to address different client needs. Also, we held our inaugural Protection Guru awards full details of the winners can be found here. These were very well received and we are particularly proud that the accolades went to a very diverse group of industry participants. The 2022 event will be on Friday 7th October and a number of organisations have already booked tables and sponsorship.

The most popular areas of our site in 2021 were our product ratings, followed by our awards, our learning and development hub, the claims hub and our showcase pages.

Looking forward to 2022 the most important issue for advisers looks likely to be the FCA rule changes around consumer duty. This will be the focus of our next Protection Forum meeting which will be held on Tuesday 11th January at 12pm. The agenda will focus on:

  • A new Consumer Duty – What does the FCA’s updated consultation paper mean for the industry?
  • Speeding up GP information – How can we speed up the uptake of electronic GP reports?

Advisers can register to attend the event free of charge via this link.

During the next 12 months we will probably see the Association of British Insurers (ABI) will come out with their latest assessment of Critical Illness wordings. Looking back over the last 20 years invariably this has been bad news for consumers as inevitably the ABI look to cut back the extent of cover provided by Critical illness policies. Analysis carried out by our medical panel has identified that changes in policies at the beginning of the century significantly reduced the benefit of Critical Illness plans, although it is equally true that by the beginning of the last decade provider innovation has move the dial so modern plans are generally far better than those written a couple of decades ago. That said, it is crucial to carry out an individual assessment of each plan before considering rewriting business.

Whatever the ABI produce, as soon as their information is published our team of highly qualified medical practitioners will dissect the changes so we can make advisers aware the impact of the ABI changes. We will also share our findings with the Competition Commission in order that they can assess if there is significant consumer detriment as a result of the actions of the ABI.

Given there have been a number of senior management changes at the ABI I hope that perhaps the organisation will realign itself to be more cognisant of consumer interests. I certainly hope this will be the case. Time will tell.

Protection Guru focuses on which insurers are best to help clients with particular needs, so I think it is valuable to look at which companies were featured most in our studies. The results per product type and overall are below.


Life protection

Highlighted in insight Number of times appeared in graphics Highlighted as Strong
Guardian 23 53 17
Royal London 21 55 10
AIG 19 54 8
Aviva 21 57 7
Scot Widows 19 51 5
Vitality 19 48 5
Exeter 9 26 4
Zurich 16 45 4
L&G 18 48 3
Canada Life 10 40 2
Aegon 11 35 1
HSBC 2 7 1
LV= 18 54 1


Critical Illness

Highlighted in insight Number of times appeared in graphics Highlighted as Strong
Guardian 30 70 20
Royal London 35 80 18
AIG 27 73 16
Vitality 28 49 15
LV= 32 75 14
Aviva 26 57 9
L&G 24 51 7
Zurich 26 57 7
HSBC 8 20 6
Scot Widows 25 58 4
Canada Life 10 36 3
Aegon 11 33 2


Income Protection

Highlighted in insight Number of times appeared in graphics Highlighted as Strong
LV= 47 93 26
AIG 32 80 24
Zurich 39 74 24
Aviva 35 84 23
Royal London 39 84 23
British Friendly 34 59 20
The Exeter 38 66 18
Legal & General 31 65 17
Vitality 28 52 15
Holloway Friendly 26 57 10
Cirencester Friendly 33 62 9
AEGON 11 16 0



Highlighted in insight Number of times appeared in graphics Highlighted as Strong
Royal London 140 308 71
AIG 112 287 67
Zurich 114 238 54
LV= 142 319 54
Aviva 123 306 53
Guardian 78 177 50
Vitality 109 225 47
Legal & General 105 242 39
British Friendly 45 99 25
The Exeter 64 138 24
Scottish Widows 81 176 17
Holloway Friendly 31 73 11
Cirencester Friendly 45 106 9
AEGON 46 125 8
HSBC 12 35 7
Canada Life 26 102 6


Looking at the content we produced this week Protection Guru started looking back to our December forum where we asked insurers what they thought the key trends in product development would be in 2022. On Wednesday we followed this article with a look at what the trends in both underwriting and claims will be in 2022.

Thursday saw our focus turn to advisers whom we asked if they had one new year wish for the protection industry in 2022, what would it be. This morning saw us round up all these stories along with what advisers saw as the good and bad in 2021.

2022 seems to be taking off at a pace so lots more information will be coming from us in the weeks and months ahead.

Have a great weekend everyone.