Synchron calls on life insurers to back the separation of risk and financial planning advice


Don Trapnell

Synchron is urging life insurers to back its call for the separation of risk advice and financial planning advice.

“Australians need access to both life insurance advisers and financial planning advisers, but in our experience, these are usually two separate people and two separate disciplines,” said Synchron Director, Don Trapnell.

Mr Trapnell argued that if there is no separation of risk advice and financial planning advice, there is likely to be a mass exodus of risk advisers from the industry.

“Specialist risk advisers have a different skill set and provide different services to financial planners and always have. It is therefore difficult to see why there is such a push for them to hold the same qualifications and commit to the same educational program as financial planners. It doesn’t really make sense,” he said.

“Like Synchron, we believe life insurers recognise just how vital risk advisers are to clients, to the ongoing sustainability of the life insurance industry and to Australia and so we are encouraging them to join us in our call for the separation of risk advice from financial planning advice.”

Mr Trapnell has consistently argued that licensees should be able to hold a specialist Australian Financial Services Licence (AFSL) to deal in financial planning advice and/or a life insurance broker licence. A licensee could then choose to hold one or, as Synchron would, both licences and their authorised representatives could be authorised in either or both.

“Risk advisers genuinely make a difference in the lives of their clients, especially at claims time,” he said. “They are the people who sit down with their clients following the death, disability, illness or injury of a client and hand over a cheque that allows them or their beneficiaries to better cope financially.

“Australians need life insurance advice in order to choose the appropriate type and the appropriate amount of life insurance cover at a price they can afford. If they cannot access that advice, they are more likely to be under-insured or not insured at all – and that could have a devastating impact on our already burgeoning social security bill.”

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