Reduced professional indemnity premiums available to Council adviser-members

A professional indemnity insurer is offering eligible Equity Release Council adviser-members discounted rates, in recognition of the standards of advice and enhanced consumer protections they deliver.

Liberty Mutual Insurance Europe SE is one of a panel of insurers put together by UKGlobal following consultation with the Council, which is the representative trade body for the equity release sector.

While Liberty is the first to offer Council members a discount, compared with rates it might otherwise apply, the entire panel recognises the value of the Council’s standards and views membership favourably.

However, because each application is judged on its own merits and insurance providers use different rating factors it is not possible to guarantee the lowest premium on every single occasion.

The arrangement is the result of coordinated efforts by the Council and UKGlobal to assist professional advisers to access comprehensive professional indemnity cover.

In addition, it highlights the role of the Council’s Standards in supporting a safe and sustainable market.

The equity release market returned to growth in 2021 for the first time in three years, with more than 76,000 new and returning customers accessing £4.8bn of property wealth.

Meanwhile, independent research by Mintel reveals that “strong consumer protection” is seen as the most important feature of equity release schemes among people who would consider using the product.

Further growth is anticipated because of changing demographics, consumer needs and ongoing product innovation.

Jim Boyd, CEO of the Equity Release Council, said:

“Since our standards were established 30 years ago, they have formed the bedrock of the modern equity release market alongside product innovation and consumer demand.

“Further growth is on the horizon as equity release products are used to tackle many of the biggest social challenges facing the UK’s ageing population.

“Backing from commercial insurers who understand today’s market is vital to help the financial advice community meet this demand.”

Tim Grant, director, UKGlobal, said:

“We are delighted to be working with the Equity Release Council to help offer professional indemnity insurance to their members.

“We believe the comprehensive policy wordings we are able to arrange, coupled with the exclusive reduction of one of our partner insurers rates, will enable Council members to benefit.”

The Council will not receive any financial payment from UKGlobal and it is not acting as an introducer.