Efficiency key to mitigating insurance reforms: survey

Financial advisers believe efficiency will be the biggest issue they will need to address to help their businesses make the transition to the life insurance framework, new research has found.

The research, conducted by Zurich, found 37 per cent of advisers will respond to the insurance industry reforms by increasing their focus on business efficiency.

Meanwhile, 26 per cent of advisers said they would focus on more holistic financial advice rather than on risk-only advice.

When asked to nominate what would assist most in achieving greater efficiency, 55 per cent of advisers said a more "flexible, less onerous compliance regime" would help.

A further one third of participants indicated that automation of the advice process and technology would underpin efforts to adapt to the changing landscape.

Zurich's head of distribution, life and investments, Kristine Brooks said the survey results were encouraging since they indicate advisers have already started to reposition themselves for the future.

"Rather than looking backwards, advisers are clearly starting to think about those aspects of their business where there are opportunities to drive more value in the future", Ms Brooks said.

"Importantly, they are focusing on those parts of the value chain which are most within their control.

"The findings also put life insurers and licensees on notice to be more innovative and customer-centric in the way they support the client engagement processes of advisers," she said.

Zurich also noted that when advisers are considering the forces that would affect their business the most over the long term, consumers self-serving online and the health of the economy were seen to be just as significant as remuneration changes.

The research, conducted in June, drew on a survey of 207 advisers active in the life insurance market.

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