I am delighted to introduce Exeter Friendly Society's 2017 Annual Report and Accounts. I am pleased to report that 2017 has again proven to be a positive year, despite tough market conditions, compounded by the continuing uncertainty surrounding the ongoing Brexit negotiations.
The income protection market is increasingly competitive, so with this in mind I am delighted to report that sales of our enhanced Income Protection products rose by 64.0%% during the year. This is an impressive performance which greatly exceeded our most ambitious projections and continues a growth trend that began in 2016. We will strive to maintain this momentum both in 2018 and years to come.
In April, we delivered against a long held strategic objective to diversify our product range and entered the life cover market with the launch of Managed Life. Managed Life is a new type of plan targeted at two groups who often struggle to get affordable cover – those who have Type II Diabetes and those with a high BMI. Managed Life was the first responsive life cover plan available in the market, offering potential premium discounts for members who manage their condition positively and in turn make improvements to their health.
In recognition, Managed Life by The Exeter was awarded the Most Innovative Product at the Health Insurance Awards - rewarding both our commitment to innovation and cementing our relevance in this new market.
In November we also extended the cover available under Managed Life to customers who have experienced other serious conditions.