Of those respondents who said they would consider protection policies, 66% highlighted expense as a barrier, 63% were concerned by whether or how much they would pay out and 41% said policies were too complicated with too much small print.
John Wilkinson, Aegon UK protection director, said: “These barriers are preventing people from actively ‘wanting’ protection forcing the protection gap to continue to widen, but our story doesn’t end here.
“It’s easy to identify the protection need, but the conversion of a customer ‘need’ to a ‘want’ for protection has always been difficult. The role of an adviser in helping a client see the value of protection is pivotal.”
This research, commissioned by Aegon, surveyed 500 sole or joint household financial decision makers aged between 25 and 60.
The four key barriers to purchase identified were; price, complicated products, a complex application process and lack of confidence in providers to pay claims.
Only 35% of respondents currently held protection policies while a further 35% who don’t currently hold protection would consider taking it out indicating an acknowledgement of the need for protection.
The remaining 30% of respondents don’t hold and wouldn’t consider a protection policy.
The reasons given by those who would not consider protection policies were similar to those who would consider a policy; 48% identified expense, 41% said they did not trust the policy to pay out and 16% said the policies were too complex.
And, despite some good experiences, these barriers to consideration generally outweighed the perceived benefits of protection.
Wilkinson added: “It’s time to stop talking about the protection gap and start embracing the solutions out there. There are unprotected people out there with a clean bill of health and simple protection needs looking for a simple solution.”