Planners are relying on insurance providers more than ever: 2018 Planner Risk Report

From

King Loong Choi

Investment Trends has released its 2018 Planner Risk Report, an in-depth survey of Australian financial planners who provide advice on life insurance.

The report, now in its tenth year, draws on the responses of 495 financial planners concluded in June 2018. This year’s study highlights a number of important trends:

Key highlights:

  • Most planners recognise the benefits of health and wellbeing programs to their clients, but current take up is low
  • ClearView tops satisfaction ratings

Most planners recognise the benefits of health and wellbeing programs to their clients, but current take up is low

Many challenges, both internal and external, are holding back financial planners from growing their advice on insurance. This is adversely impacting practice revenue derived from risk advice (25% on average, down from 26% in 2017, and 32% in 2015).

“Financial planners are relying on insurance providers more than ever to alleviate the triple challenge of admin, compliance and heightened regulation, and at the same time, help them build stronger and longer lasting client relationships,” said King Loong Choi, Senior Analyst at Investment Trends.

“Many insurers have responded through initiatives such as client health and wellbeing programs, and the majority of planners recognise the range of benefits for their clients. In particular, the benefits planners see for their clients are policy discounts, encouraging them to prioritise their health, and giving them the ability to influence their premiums,” added Choi. But usage of these programs remains low with just one in ten clients currently using health and wellbeing programs, on average.

“The planner population is divided on the importance of health and wellbeing programs when recommending insurance products, as 38% say it is important while 30% say it isn’t. This suggests there is a significant opportunity for insurers to bridge the gap between the perceived benefits and value of these programs for both clients and planners,” said Choi.

ClearView tops satisfaction ratings

Each year, Investment Trends measures planner satisfaction with their main insurer across 12 service categories, spanning over 100 individual service areas. Industry wide, overall satisfaction remains steady at a high level with 48% rating their main life insurer as ‘very good’ compared with 47% in 2017.

ClearView has taken out top spot in overall satisfaction rankings for the second year in a row, while also leading the field in another 6 out of 12 categories measured. The top three life insurers by overall planner satisfaction are:

  1. ClearView
  2. AIA Australia
  3. TAL

About the report

The Investment Trends 2018 Planner Risk Report examines Australian financial planners’ usage of insurance, including planners’ usage of investment platforms and planning software when providing advice on insurance. The results are based on an in-depth survey of 495 financial planners concluded in June 2018.

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