Credit insurance provider Unum has announced a 36% leap in new business premiums to £22.9m for the first seven months of 2000.

The increase was driven by a 30% jump in sales to £17m of Unum's core group income protection product, which is sold chiefly through IFAs.

Unum marketing director Eugene McCormick said much of this growth is the result of recent IFA roadshows, which have increased awareness of income protection.

Research by the company shows that workers have a one-in-five chance of being off work for a prolonged period because of illness.