Platforms the norm in insurance advice

Planners are increasingly making use of technology to implement insurance advice.

26-Sep-2016

By Daniel Paperny

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Financial advisers are increasingly turning towards risk software modules when providing insurance advice to their clients, a trend prompted by increasing levels of satisfaction with platforms and an industry-wide acceptance of them in the advice delivery process, according to Investment Trends.

Speaking to financialobserver, Investment Trends senior analyst King Choi noted a growing number of advisers had been using more software risk modules when it came to insurance recommendations, particularly as platforms had played a significant role in recent years in simplifying advice delivery.

“If you look at financial planners today, something they are trying to do more and more of is making the whole advice delivery process more efficient,” he said.

“New technologies are going to play a very important role in helping planners [make] the delivery of their advice more efficient, which is why in our research we found [that] a lot of the top things planners were citing as priorities [included] pre-populating forms with client information as well as ease of use when it comes to planner software.”

The comments follow the release of Investment Trends ‘2016 Planner Risk Report’ last month, which found that of all advisers using risk software modules, 90 per cent of their usage was for new insurance recommendations, up from 81 per cent last year.

The study also found 91 per cent of advisers in the industry were using risk software modules, up from 89 per cent in 2015 and 82 per cent five years ago.

“Planner satisfaction with risk software modules was one of the most interesting findings [and] planner overall satisfaction has reached the highest level we’ve ever observed,” Choi said.

“Platforms are making it a lot easier for financial planners … In 2016, satisfaction was at 70 per cent of advisers, up from 60 per cent in 2015, and 58 per cent in 2014.”

Choi noted that satisfaction came down to measuring adviser sentiment in such categories as the platform’s integration with the insurance application process, the retrieval of insurer information and finding quote documents, as well as the range of insurance research available.

“When you delve into what’s been happening in the software space, planners are growing increasingly satisfied with the areas that they’re placing emphasis on in their regular advice interactions,” Choi said.

Despite rising planner satisfaction levels, Investment Trends’ data showed there was still further room for improvement.

“While risk software has been improving, planners are [still] calling for better data feeds from insurers, being able to prepopulate risk application forms more efficiently, and enhancing the ease of use of the overall software in general,” Choi concluded.

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