January property shoppers should buy cover now

Kevin Carr, chief executive of Protection Review, said several life officers had flagged the issue to him worried that time was running out for mortgage customers to secure cheaper protection before 21 December.

He said: “Advisers should not assume that because the mortgage is starting in January that the protection has to as well. This is an unprecedented situation where most rates are going up so as a one off advisers may want to consider starting the policy early so the customer doesn’t have to suffer a nasty increase in premium in January.”

Carr explained that starting the policy a month early, resulting in the last month of the mortgage being unprotected, posed an incredibly small risk but if the customer was worried they could take out a 26-year policy.

He added: “The chances are it will still be a fair amount cheaper than a 25-year policy starting in January.”

While some providers have already changed their prices to non-gender specific premiums others are waiting until December and are allowing customers to sign up now to take advantage of gender specific prices but select a start date in January next year.

Rod McKie, head of At Retirement Proposition at Aegon, said: “For those who want to secure gender specific rates we can offer these until 17 December 2012. To secure these rates beyond this date Aegon’s acceptance terms will have to be met by the adviser and their client and a start date must be agreed with Aegon which must be within 30 days of the issue of terms with the latest start date being 19 January.”

McKie added that a payment method needed to be set up before 20 December for the gender specific prices to apply.

He said: “Our dedicated gender pipeline team will work with advisers to ensure that as many customers as possible secure our current rates by proactively sourcing all information required to complete business where possible."