MetLife research has found that advisers think sales of individual protection could grow by an average 18% over the next two years.
However, advisers disagree on how to drive market expansion.
The study found growing optimism among advisers about their ability to increase protection for more customers – 38% say there is a definite opportunity to help more customers over the next two years while 40% say there could be.
However the research identified adviser concerns about potential roadblocks to market expansion, with worries about affordability and the relevance of products to everyday lives seen as the biggest issues.
67% of advisers said clients would be more interested in individual protection policies if they were more affordable and the same number said clients are put off buying protection products because they do not believe they will need them.
Advisers say that 51% of prospective customers are reluctant to buy protection policies because they are concerned about providers’ claims records, while 56% of advisers warn clients do not believe the current range of products is relevant to their everyday lives.
Richard Horner, head of individual protection at MetLife UK, said: “The individual protection market is seeing strong growth and the optimism among advisers about opportunities to grow the market is very welcome.
“There are however significant concerns advisers are hearing from their clients about the relevance of existing products available and issues about affordability and claim payments, which providers need to be address.
“The reality is that there are affordable product options and the risks that they cover are part of everyday lives, while the industry’s record on claims is strong with providers committed to making the claims process straightforward and paying claims in a timely manner.”