Eye on Intermediaries - Life Protection - UK - October 2009
IFAs are looking for simplicity, not a raft of additional features. 45% of intermediaries say that stripped-down underwriting processes would make it easier to sell to clients, and almost as many want applications to be streamlined.
- Just as consumers prefer to buy life cover face-to-face, so too do intermediaries prefer to be able to learn about new policies in person. Printed marketing material - once the mainstay of provider/IFA communication - has been swapped for face-to-face meetings and online resources.
- IFAs say that the recession is the main barrier to increasing sales but, encouragingly, there seems to be a groundswell of optimism among intermediaries when compared to the start of the year.
- The front-of-mind issue is the potential impact of the Retail Distribution Review. Many fear that it will be extended to cover the protection market, leading to a possible increase in the cost of compliance and training.
- Even if the RDR isn't extended, it will still have a major impact on the sector. Some forecast an influx of former investment specialists into the protection market, as they look to avoid the new regulatory restrictions.
- It's been a tough market for life sales, largely as a result of the housing crash. Frustratingly for advisers, the one booming area - over-50s plans - is largely unintermediated.
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