Advisers seeing increased protection interest
For intermediaries only
Shifting consumer attitude towards protection during pandemic, according to advisers
Research by Guardian Financial Services has revealed that 75% of advisers have seen an increased willingness from clients to talk about protection as a result of Covid-19.
The survey of 410 advisers, conducted over the last three months, found that there has been an increase in clients actively seeking protection advice - 40% said they had seen an increase in protection enquiries from existing clients and 38% had seen it from new clients.
While more than half (55%) said they always talk about protection, 83% of the remaining advisers said they had discussed it more frequently since the start of the pandemic.
When asked about the impact of the pandemic on their own income, 56% said they expected their overall revenue to fall as a result of Covid-19, while around two thirds (66%) said they are looking for new ways to earn income and 67% said they thought protection sales would grow within their business.
Guardian CEO, Katya MacLean said:"Coronavirus has changed so much of what we used to call normal. It's made us pause for thought and realise what's really important in life. So it's not surprising that advisers are reporting an increase in client willingness to talk about the ‘what if's'. Those advisers who didn't always talk to their clients about protection say they're now discussing it more frequently, and many are also experiencing a rise in proactive protection enquiries.
"We know that before the pandemic, some advisers found it hard to talk to their clients about their own mortality and morbidity. But, for the short term at least, we're seeing a change in consumer appetite to have this tough, but necessary, conversation. This change, in these unprecedented circumstances, gives advisers an opportunity to show clients the benefit of their advice. Which, in turn, should help more people get the cover they need."
Cavendish Ware associate director, Roy McLoughlin, added:"The virus has pushed protection insurance higher up the agenda for many clients. I am seeing this personally within my own business and am hearing the same during discussions at the Protection Distributors' Group. It seems that in this challenging situation, people are thinking more about their own mortality. What is also welcome is that for the first time in my memory, a Chancellor of the Exchequer has mentioned protection in his speeches, bringing it to the attention of the masses."
Paradigm's head of protection, Mike Allison, has also seen this trend. He said:"The impact of coronavirus seems to have caused a shift in peoples' risk appetites as well as awareness of the support available to them. At Paradigm, evidence suggests that more clients are taking the time to understand the nuances between protection products and take on board differences in quality between providers, an excellent reason for firms to offer a whole of market approach. Ultimately this is a good thing for the advice industry as this increased appetite to talk about risk helps us to better serve our customers."