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Advisers have kept up with changing goalposts, but risk industry needs more work

More work needs to be done following the raft of changes and new products introduced in the past year.

Zurich head of customer and digital Jacqui Lennon described 2021 as a big year with a significant amount of regulatory-driven change such as unfair contract terms.

The industry-wide release of new income protection products had also presented a challenge for both insurers and advisers.

“Designing, building, launching, understanding and using these products has been time consuming,” Ms Lennon told ifa.

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Advisers have done a great job staying on top of the changing goalposts, but there is still work to be done educating the industry on all changes and new products, and what this means for customers.”

Looking ahead, APRA’s proposed five-year rule for income protection products remained a major concern for Ms Lennon with significant implications for the industry.

“The impact on customers and advisers from the mandated changes will require deep consideration in order to minimise disruption,” she said.

Ms Lennon also highlighted technology as a key area of focus and said that she believed it could make everyone’s life easier.

“What this means for our industry is using technology to help deliver better access to advice, and I’m keen to collaborate with advisers to help deliver tech solutions to customers’ advice needs. Rekeying data should be a thing of the past,” she said.

For the coming year, Ms Lennon said she hoped it would deliver “a whole bag of confidence for the industry, including confidence that products were sustainable and insurers would be around to pay claims.

She also hoped for “confidence that the dust has settled on what it means to be an adviser allowing advisers to focus on their business and helping their clients (and not doing exams)” and for “confidence from clients that we are all working to bring them the best solutions and not looking for ways to not pay claims”.

“I also hope we have some respite from further regulatory change,” she added.

Advisers have kept up with changing goalposts, but risk industry needs more work
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Jon Bragg

Jon Bragg

Jon Bragg is a journalist for Momentum Media's Investor Daily, nestegg and ifa. He enjoys writing about a wide variety of financial topics and issues and exploring the many implications they have on all aspects of life.

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