Double life sales for women, adviser study finds – InsuranceNewsNet
According to the latest edition of the Experienced Advisors Study conducted by LIMRA and EY, more financial advisors are entering insurance and women are outpacing men in business growth, both due to a wider range of services.
Those are two high-profile findings in the updated study from 2018, said Laura Murach, LIMRA and LOMA research director, who is hosting a presentation on Sunday with EY’s marketing transformation leader Avril Castagnetta and Bryan Hodgens, Head of Distribution Research at LIMRA and LOMA. and rent seeking. The advisers had at least three years of experience, with an average of 21 years in the company and an average of 51 years.
“Our main theme when we did this survey in 2018 was that we really started to see the blurring of distribution channels,” Murach said. “And we really see now that it’s not so blurry anymore. We’re seeing more and more top performers across all channels that really have a more holistic, planning-centric model. »
Although the survey included a wide range – insurance producers, broker/dealer representatives, registered investment advisers and bank representatives – the blurring of the lines mainly concerned financial advisers in the insurance field.
Murach attributed part of the change to the COVID wake-up call. “The pandemic made people think and they wanted to protect themselves,” Murach said. “So we’re seeing advisors turning to these protection products.”
Murach could not provide specific numbers from the survey as researchers are still putting together the final report and presenters on Sunday plan to address the high-level findings.
Women get ahead
But Murach was able to say that female advisors more than doubled the number of life insurance policies sold between 2019 and 2021. Women also overtook men in the number of annuity contracts. The female-to-male ratio was roughly equal in the two surveys, she said, with women making up around 10% of the sample.
“Our findings suggest that female advisors may take a more holistic view of their clients’ needs as they offer a broader range of services like retirement planning, insurance planning, and budgeting,” Murach said. “It is only the breadth of services that explains their growing number of life insurance policies and annuity contracts.”
Women tend to focus more on the customer relationship than on the products. “Advisors seem more willing to invest in services that may not be profitable in the short term,” Murach said. “They are not there to sell this product. There are more of them, let’s build a relationship because it will grow stronger over time.
When it comes to life insurance products, particularly annuities, advisors said their clients were confused about the products and how they fit into their overall portfolio.
“They say if we can simplify the product and really show the value they bring to our customers, that would help drive growth,” Murach said. “For three out of 10 advisors, the most difficult aspect of the life insurance sales process is for clients to understand how insurance products fit in with other financial products.
Customers struggled to understand things like life illustrations and warranties versus market returns, Murach said. The product is the primary concern of insurance sales. But it went hand in hand with the service and sales experience.
“If you don’t have the product, they won’t come to you,” she said. “But if you have the product but not the experience, you won’t get regular contracts.”
Murach said the sales experience included an efficient and consistent application process as well as integration with advisor and artwork platforms.
“What was interesting was that experience was really a key differentiator for life insurance,” Murach said. “But with annuities, you really need to have the right product with the right features, and competitive costs and fees associated with it.”
The use of social media for prospecting has also increased moderately since 2018, especially for those under 40.
Usage increased primarily by insurance producers in independent and professional channels.
“They’re really the most optimistic about the future use of social media,” Murach said. “And we think that comes from recruiting talent on social media. We found that advisors realize the need to invest in social media talent and generally have high-growth practices. And they really expect to see a significant acceleration in the number of customers they acquire through social media in the near future. »
Steven A. Morelli is editor for InsuranceNewsNet. He has over 25 years of experience as a journalist and editor of newspapers and magazines. He was also vice-president of communications for an association of insurance agents. Steve can be reached at [email protected]
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