Each year, countless insurance agents become licensed to sell a host of other financial products. It's hard to argue with their desire to be a more complete resource. The ability to review personal insurance risk and investment portfolios under the same roof can enhance perceived value.
But while an insurance agent or broker may be inclined to add a financial advisory arm to their business, the opposite is less likely to be true. Historically, those who start out as financial advisors aren't as inclined to develop competency in personal insurance.
Perhaps it has something to do with the age-old knock that insurance is a boring vocation. Excluding the insurance industry, much of the rest of the financial services, especially judging by news headlines, has spent the better part of two decades being viewed as sexy and exciting. As we are all aware, the love affair with Wall Street is over.
Even with the recent surge in the Dow Jones Industrial Average, investors realize that recouping losses on stocks--which are still 20% off their previous highs--will likely take another three to five years. In such a market, boring could soon be the new sexy.
More than ever, today's high-net-worth individuals need a wealth manager who focuses on risk management and wealth preservation. These efforts should include a broader understanding of personal insurance solutions that quietly (and boringly) complement financial advisory services. Partnering with a competent insurance agent or broker may be one way to achieve this.
Andrew McElwee is EVP of Chubb & Son and COO of Chubb Personal Insurance.
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