Specialist Risk Adviser Numbers Continue to Decline


Risk specialist advisers are becoming an ‘industry niche’ in Australia, according to latest research released by Investment Trends.

This is one of the key findings published in the research firm’s comprehensive 2019 Planner Risk Report, released this week.

Investment Trends Senior Analyst, King Loong Choi …the risk specialist planner has become an industry niche in Australia

According to Investment Trends Senior Analyst, King Loong Choi, only 15% of planners derive over 50% of their total practice revenue from providing risk advice, down significantly from 34% five years ago. He maintains that financial planners continue to regard life insurance advice as a key component of their proposition but many are looking to broaden their advice services – as reflected in the dwindling number of those who he categorises as ‘risk specialists’:

“As more planners seek to diversify their advice proposition, the risk specialist planner has become an industry niche,” he said.

He also noted that the top two challenges that prevent financial planners from growing their insurance advice services are:

  • The admin burden of compliance and paperwork
  • An uncertain regulatory landscape

Emergence of New Insurers

Another key finding coming out of the 2019 Planner Risk Report is what Investment Trends characterises as strong interest by advisers in new, less established insurers.

In reporting that non-bank propositions TAL, AIA Australia, Zurich and MLC Life Insurance have been the most successful at extending their planner relationships over the last year, the 2019 report also noted 28 percent of advisers say they intend to start using a new insurer in the next 12 months, with the new, less established insurer brands such as NEOS Life, Integrity Life and MetLife leading in planner perceptions.

ClearView Tops Satisfaction Ratings

Investment Trends reports overall adviser satisfaction with retail life insurers has improved markedly over the last 12 months, with 57 percent of financial planners rating their main insurer as ‘very good’, compared to 48 percent in 2018.

Of the retail insurers, ClearView emerged on top in the 2019 report for overall adviser satisfaction – the third consecutive year it has done so.

According to the Investment Trends data, ClearView led satisfaction rankings in 18 out of the 31 categories measured. The top three life insurers in 2019 by overall planner satisfaction are:

  1. ClearView
  2. OnePath
  3. Zurich