Advisers ditch underperforming insurers

Financial advisers are not hesitating to end relationships with life insurers based on how well they perform, research from Investment Trends has found.

In the researcher's June 2015 Planner Risk Report – compiled from a survey of 852 financial advisers – 35 per cent of advisers said they had stopped using at least one insurer in the past 12 months due to poor performance.

However, Investment Trends senior analyst King Loong Choi said that while they are ending relationships with insurers, advisers are still "expanding the number of insurers they use".

"Insurer relationships remain in a state of flux," Mr Choi said. "There are great opportunities for insurers to benefit from this switching, but insurers also need to be careful to not lose out from this either."

Investment Trends also found the level of insurer switching is likely to continue over the next 12 months, with one in five advisers saying they are in the market for a new insurer relationship.

"What financial planners expect from insurers evolves each year, with insurers setting the bar higher and higher each time they improve their offering," Mr Choi said.

"For example, the focus on improving underwriting by some insurers over the last year has made it an essential component of success in acquisition of new relationships."

The researcher also found ANZ's OnePath ranks as the number one insurer in terms of primary planner relationships, followed by AIA Australia, BT Life and TAL respectively.

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