According to the study, the average advisor is licensed to sell for 7.5 insurance companies, though that number includes respondents who self-identified as captive and non-captive career advisors. Independent insurance-focused advisors are licensed to sell for an average of 8.6 life insurance companies.
When asked what insurers can offer to help advisors sell life insurance more successfully, leads was the No. 1 response, cited by 42 percent of respondents (Figure 5; click to enlarge). When assessing how best to support advisors, however, companies would be advised not to adopt a one-size-fits-all approach but to customize their support services based on the unique needs of different segments of the advisor population. Advisor needs tend to vary according to the focus of their practice and even age and gender, and many of those needs evolve with experience and production levels.
For example, the need for leads to drive life insurance product sales is less important to advisors whose primary focus is investment advisory or property & casualty, presumably because these advisors are cross-selling life insurance products to their existing books of business. On the other hand, products that are easier to understand are more important to investment advisors than advisors whose primary practice focus is life insurance.
As Figure 5 illustrates, there can also be some wide variance in needs based on advisor experience levels with selling life insurance. The need for leads tends to decrease as advisors gain more experience. However, the desire for a simpler application process and more liberal underwriting tends to increase with experience, as does the desire for more product innovation from insurance companies. Nearly 9 in 10 advisors (87 percent of respondents) utilize an insurance wholesaler in their life insurance sales process.