Helen White, head of protection at the ABI said that reductions in the cost of welfare will come from lessening reliance on the state.
Currently 20% of welfare spending goes on benefits for the sick and disabled, 5% of the total of government expenditure.
John Pollock, chief executive officer, Legal & General Assurance Society, said: “We wholeheartedly agree that the UK needs an alternate source of funding for those who are unable to work due to sickness or injury.
“The current cost of welfare to the state is staggering, and ultimately unsustainable. Ensuring a greater number of families and individuals have adequate protection insurance is one way in which, as an industry, we can help to reduce this burden.”
He continued: “By implementing ‘auto-enrolment’ type systems for protection cover and long term care, we could help to ensure that thousands of people across the UK are getting the financial support they need should something happen to a key bill payer in their household.
“Compulsory cover is already in place in the motor insurance industry, and auto-enrolment for pensions has been a great success so far with around a 92% participation rate. We see no reason why this cannot be mirrored for protection products, helping both the state and individuals in the long run.”