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Life insurance reforms hit adviser revenue

New research by Investment Trends shows the proposed life insurance reforms have already hit advisers’ revenue, with half saying they have stopped writing new insurance business in the past year.

According to the Investment Trends 2016 Planner Risk Report, which surveyed 620 advisers in June 2016, the average adviser has seen risk advice fall from 35 per cent of total practice revenue in 2015 to 28 per cent – its lowest level since 2013.

Several advisers have stopped providing risk advice altogether, with 12 per cent not writing any new risk business in the past year, up from 10 per cent in the previous study.

“The LIF reforms are already testing the business models of financial planners across Australia,” said Investment Trends senior analyst King Loong Choi.

“Not only are they already reporting a fall in risk business, more than two in five planners expect their practice’s profitability to decline if the LIF reforms are implemented.”

The research also showed that about half of advisers said they stopped writing new insurance business with at least one insurer in the past year, meaning insurers must solidify their relationships with advisers.

"The recent media scrutiny has triggered planners to demonstrate they are picking the best insurers for their clients," said Mr Choi.

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"In addition, insurers need to grow their brand awareness among consumers because it is easier for a planner to recommend an insurer if the client has already heard of them."

Insurers can improve retention and reduce attrition by being responsive to planners' needs and keeping them satisfied, the report said.

Some of the opportunities for differentiation include addressing any inefficiencies in the application process, providing planners with great support and improving their brand image among consumers.

"There are great opportunities for insurers to benefit from switching activity, but they also need to be careful to not lose out from this," he said.

[Related: Mortgage group slams Trowbridge report]

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