Compliance and regulatory landscape burden risk advice growth

Compliance, paperwork, and the uncertain regulatory landscape are the top challenges financial planners believe are preventing them from growing their insurance advice, according to a report.

Investment Trends’ latest planner risk report found that fewer planners considered client-related challenges to be significant as only 16% surveyed said it was a challenge to demonstrate the value of insurance to clients, and 12% who said client engagement/retention was an issue.

The report found that while planners continued to regard life insurance advice as a key component of their proposition, many were looking to broaden their advice services as the number of ‘risk specialists’ dropped to 15%, compared to 34% five years ago. These were planners that derived over 50% of their total practice revenue from providing risk advice.

Investment Trends senior analyst, King Loong Choi, said: “As more planners seek to diversify their advice proposition and focus more on holistic advice, the risk specialist planner has become an industry niche”.

“A growing proportion of planners (37%, up from 29%) are challenged by inefficient processes that relate to underwriting, the application process and limited integration between systems. This highlights the opportunity for insurers to further support financial planners and their clients but improving their onboarding process.”

While many planners were open to switching insurers, TAL, AIA, Zurich and MLC Life were the most successful at extending their planner relationships over the last 12 months.

Almost 30% of planners said they intended to start using a new insurer over the next 12 months with less established brands such as NEOs, Integrity, and MetLife.

However, it was ClearView that led satisfaction ratings for the third consecutive year, leading satisfaction rankings in 18 out of 31 categories. The firm was followed by OnePath and Zurich.

Insurer satisfaction improved with 57% of planners rating their main insurer as ‘very good’ compared to 48% last year. On average, planners used 3.9 insurers out of 8.9 insurers available on their approved product lists.

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