Life Insurance Key To Financial Client Satisfaction, Report Shows

JOIN THE WEBINAR! Researcher Jamie Hopkins will discuss his findings on the best practices of successful financial advisors, at 1 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 13. 

Life insurance is often an add-on as needed in financial planning, but a study showed life insurance is a key factor in clients’ sense of security.

That was one of the findings that Jamie Hopkins will be covering in a webinar at 1 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 13. Hopkins did the research with advisors and consumers last year as director of retirement research at The Carson Group.

Nearly all clients (95%) of clients who believe they have the right amount of life insurance believe they get value from their advisor, according to Hopkins’ report The Value Of Planning.

“It's not saying yes they're right about the amount, but does the client feel that way?” Hopkins said. “They were more satisfied with that advisor and more likely to refer them.”

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When Hopkins asked financial advisors if they thought their clients had the right amount of life insurance, many advisors were not sure.

“The funny thing is, when I went back and asked advisors how many of your clients do you feel have the correct amount of life insurance, It was like 40% of advisors felt they had the correct amount of life insurance in place for their clients.”

Hopkins said the impact of the perception by itself should be impetus itself for advisors to take life insurance more seriously in planning.

“So, are you managing the right planning perceptions around the right type and amount of life insurance for your clients, whatever that is?” Hopkins asked. “If you're sitting there saying I don't have it, you're losing out on opportunities for growth because clients are going to be less likely to refer you.”

That was one of the findings from two survey projects Hopkins conducted in 2020. Some other surprising factors that led to client satisfaction were:

Fee transparency.
Client communication.
Long term care planning.

In each of these areas, Hopkins said he found a disconnect between client perception and advisor practice. On life insurance, Hopkins said the blending of insurance and financial advising is slower than might be expected.

“I think the marrying of insurance and financial advisors is moving a little bit slower, but it's still moving,” Hopkins said. “I see positive things out there when I talk to the insurance marketing organizations. Some of them have done really well in the last two to three years with advisors and servicing the RIA-only model."

Although acceptance is growing in the RIA world for insurance, the increase has not meaningfully moved the needle for life insurance production, he said, adding that clients are saying they want that planning from advisors.

“One positive message is I absolutely think that insurance and annuities should play an extremely strong role in planning moving forward,” Hopkins said. “The best advisors do both.”

Steven A. Morelli is editor-in-chief for InsuranceNewsNet. He has more than 25 years of experience as a reporter and editor for newspapers and magazines. He was also vice president of communications for an insurance agents’ association. Steve can be reached at smorelli@innfeedback.com.

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Life Insurance Key To Financial Client Satisfaction, Report Shows