A nationwide survey by a leading Australian life insurer has revealed the growing role of financial advisers in supporting clients claiming on their life insurance.
TAL’s The Value of Financial Advisers at Claim Time report explores the role of advisers throughout the end-to-end claims process, both from the adviser and client perspectives, highlighting the importance of collaboration between insurers, clients and advisers in producing a positive claim experience. Additionally, the report has helped inform and shape TAL’s ongoing support for financial advisers and highlighted the emotional challenges for clients and advisers during a time when clients need to claim on their life insurance policies. The positive impact that an adviser has on a client’s emotional wellbeing throughout the claims process as well as the emphasis on claims training for advisers was also underscored in the report.The research showed that 60 per cent of advisers said they felt stressed when working on life insurance claims with their clients, 43 per cent struggle to console bereaved clients, and 77 per cent of advisers agreed that helping their clients through claims is a crucial part of their offering. Niall McConville, TAL general manager of retail distribution, stated the claims experience is most effective when advisers, insurers and clients all collaborate, and that clients can be empowered when advisers are provided with “the tools, resources and education they need to support their clients” through the claims process. “Equally, there is a key role for insurers to better support advisers through what can be a daunting experience as they guide their client through a claim,” Mr McConville said.
“The research backs up what we know from talking to our adviser partners — managing the challenges of claims can have an emotional impact on advisers.”TAL chief claims officer, Jenny Oliver, said positive claims experiences are “at the heart of the TAL business,” and that “resolving claims is the validation of a promise made between life insurers and their customers.” Ms Oliver further stated that TAL’s “valued relationships” with their adviser partners allows them to “work together to enhance the customer experience” through all stages of their claims process with “personalised and meaningful communication and connection.”TAL’s report follows comments made this week by Hejaz Financial Services COO, Muzzammil Dhedhy, who argued that a “crucial piece of the client-adviser relationship” has been missing which involves an upfront, values-based conversation.” “To really know our clients, we must understand what motivates them beyond the highest returns and lowest fees," Mr Dhedhy told ifa.
“Investment in companies that undermine animal welfare or support live exports would be upsetting for a vegan client for example, while crypto investing goes against Islamic finance principles around risk."
Mr Dhedy added: “Client engagements should begin with questions around long-term financial and ethical goals.
"As an industry, we need to articulate the value of advice more clearly and show that we understand what’s important to our clients — perhaps through a positive duty to ask.”
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