Technology is protection’s only hope

Speaking at the Financial Services Expo held at the Hilton Glasgow, Edwards said protection providers are unable boost the market’s growth, as critical illness cover takeout has fallen 21% year-on-year while income protection is down 24%.

Edwards said: "In the short-term I think the only way that we're going to grow the protection market is by advisers becoming much more social.

"The social financial adviser is the future of the protection market and it will be the way that we can grow the market in the short term."

He added: “I believe we need to use digital technology to push more people into a face to face meeting with a FA. We now have the digital technology to allow you to tell your stories.

"The only way to grow the market is for all of us to push these positive messages out there and the more we'll balance out the negative ones.

"That for me is the only hope for the future growth of the protection market."

Edwards reckons misapprehensions prevent the industry from expanding, as consumers commonly believe protection is too expensive and that companies rarely pay out.

In reality some firms pay out between 98 and 99% of claims – and Edwards said that the industry should be "trumpeting these stats from the rooftops".