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More than half of advisors less than successful with life insurance

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A majority of financial advisors do not describe their life insurance sales and advice as successful or very successful, according to a recent survey.

Saybrus Partners, Inc., Hartford, Conn., published this finding in a summary of results from a survey of 131 broker-dealer registered reps, registered investment advisors (RIAs) and dually registered advisors. The survey polled advisors at the INSITE 2013 conference in Hollywood, Fla., held June 5-7.

More than half (52%) of financial advisors do not describe their efforts to provide life insurance and related life insurance-based advice to their clients as “successful” or “very successful.” Additionally, 44% of those polled say that over the last three years, no more than 10% of their current portfolio of clients had proactively asked them about approaches to life insurance that may be appropriate for them. Only 14% say more than half had proactively inquired about life insurance.

Additionally, more than two-thirds (70%) say they do provide life insurance to their clients “when appropriate.”

When asked to identify the most complicated part of understanding and selling life insurance solutions, more than a third (37%) of those polled say, “the variety of different types of policies and riders and how they fit specific client needs.” A quarter of advisors cite “the abundance of paperwork required to sell and issue a policy” while 13% cited “frequent product development changes.” 

Other aspects noted were: 

Regulatory changes” (9%)

Understanding combination products that address multiple needs (e.g., LTC) (8%); and

Leveraging policies for uses other than protection of heirs/income (e.g., succession planning for business owners)”(8%).

Among the 30% of advisors who do not regularly provide life insurance to their clients, almost half (49%) say “selling life insurance detracts attention away from their practice,” and nearly one out of five (17%) say they don’t sell it because “life insurance is too complicated.”