Gordon Brown may well not favour a US-style social insurance system to solve the huge problem of the future social and long-term care funding gap in Britain. However, the government certainly does believe that the private sector has a major role to play in delivering a fair, affordable and sustainable solution.

Gordon Brown may well not favour a US-style social insurance system to solve the huge problem of the future social and long-term care funding gap in Britain. However, the government certainly does believe that the private sector has a major role to play in delivering a fair, affordable and sustainable solution.

The Association of British Insurers supports a partnership model in which the state sets out what the appropriate level of care provision should be and agrees to meet a certain proportion of that cost. Individuals and families would then be responsible for the balance, with a safety net for those people unable to meet their share.

It is often difficult for people to think about and plan any further ahead than their next life stage or life event. Accordingly, in the absence of compulsion, we would also like to see clear incentives, such as ringfencing the family home against means testing, for people to make the appropriate provision.

Nick Kirwan, head of health and protection insurance, Association of British Insurers