Financial advisers say underwriting services and claims handling are the most important aspects of provider service, yet levels of satisfaction remain low, research shows.
The review by Defaqto found underwriting services and claims handling performed the most poorly when it came to the correlation between importance and satisfaction.
Underwriting services moved from third into first place in terms of its importance, however weighted satisfaction fell from 72% to 70% between 2018 and 2019.
Claims handling and administration, which ranked second place in terms of importance, had a weighted satisfaction rating of just 54%, down from 57% in 2018.
Following a similar downward trend year on year, industry satisfaction levels are generally lower than they were for 2018, except for provider strength and brand, technical assistance and business development managers.
Commission and remuneration was the worst affected with a 6% decrease in satisfaction from 57% to 51%.
Defaqto also asked advisers which individual protection products they had recommended in the last 12 months.
On average, usage is up, with advisers using as many as 6.1 protection providers compared with 5.4 in 2018.
There was little change in the relative position of protection products as the sector continues to be dominated by level term assurance, critical illness with life cover and decreasing term assurance.
Products receiving more support from advisers are mortgage payment protection insurance and decreasing term assurance, with a three and two percentage point increase respectively. Defaqto said this may suggest a renewed interest in mortgage-related sales among advisers.
David Cartwright, head of insight and consulting for wealth and protection at Defaqto, said the key takeaway for providers is more attention needs to be given to underwriting services and claims handling to improve adviser satisfaction.