Photo credit: <a href="http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/images/view_photog.php?photogid=1499">Ambro</a>

More than half of financial advisors do not speak regularly to their clients about life insurance, according to a new survey.

Saybrus Partners Inc., Hartford, Conn., published this finding in a summary of results from a survey of advisors polled at the 2012 Financial Advisor Retirement Symposium in Florida, held earlier this month. The survey of 103 financial advisors was conducted by Saybrus Partners at the 2012 Financial Advisor Retirement Symposium in Weston Florida, which was held May 7-8.

According to the poll, 56% of financial advisors do not speak regularly to their clients about life insurance. And only one third (34%) of advisors say they are “very comfortable” recommending life insurance to their clients. 

Additionally, nearly one in five (18%) advisors admit to being “uncomfortable” or “very uncomfortable” recommending life insurance policies to their clients.

“Our experience has shown that clients are looking to their financial advisors for comprehensive financial planning,” says Kevin Kimbrough, national sales manager for Saybrus Partners, in a prepared statement. “Standard practice is that the planning process should begin with a foundation of protection and conclude with a wealth distribution phase. Therefore, it is critical for advisors to consistently include life insurance in their clients’ financial plans.”

The survey also discloses that less than half (47%) of advisors say they review existing life insurance policies with their clients annually. Twenty percent say they only assess their clients’ policies when they become aware of a major life change, such as marriage or the birth of a child.

That review is most often narrowly focused on whether the policy is adequately meeting their current needs.  In addition, some financial advisors (10%) discuss clients’ policies only if clients raise the issue.

When asked what would contribute to making them more comfortable discussing life insurance, 42% of advisors say they would be interested in becoming more comfortable discussing life insurance either through working with a life insurance specialist who can help identify solutions for their clients or attending a life insurance seminar aimed at financial advisors.