"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."
Advisers are seeing a shift in consumer attitude towards protection as a result of the Covid-19 outbreak, according to research from protection challenger Guardian.
The majority of advisers surveyed said they’re experiencing a change in client behaviour, with 75% reporting an increased willingness to talk about protection.
Advisers said the crisis has prompted an increase in clients actively seeking protection advice. 40% had seen an increase in protection enquiries from existing clients and 38% had seen an increase from new clients. Over half of advisers (55%) said they always talk about protection. Of the rest, 83% said they’d discussed it more frequently since the pandemic began.
This shift in consumer behaviour comes as advisers seek to counter lost income as a result of coronavirus. 56% of advisers said they expected their overall revenue to fall as a result of the crisis. Nearly two thirds (66%) said they’d be 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.”
Mike Allison, head of protection at Paradigm, added: “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.”