Brokers should be muscling in on the critical illness protection market, an industry expert has warned.

Increasing competition from direct writers in traditional lines of business made critical illness fertile ground, said Mike Owen, original chairman of the industry's critical illness working party.

Owen said that selling one extra policy a month could boost a broker's earnings by £12,000 a year.

He now runs a company that publishes an independent booklet aimed at increasing the value of the critical illness market.