A new tool which its developers claim will help advisers to benchmark protection insurance providers against each other is being launched next week.
Protection Guru, FTRC’s independent protection technical and research service advisers, is about to publish a series of reports accessible on ProtectionGuru.co.uk, which benchmark 12 of the leading insurance providers according to their capabilities across 10 different operational features.
The three highest scoring insurers reports will be published initially later this week, with a further three reports being published at weekly intervals.
The benchmarking is based on the features highlighted in FTRC’s research paper “Understanding Adviser Preferences when dealing with insurers” published in November 2019. This involved research with firms across six different “tribes” of advisers: mortgage advisers, protection specialists, holistic advisers, wealth advisers and niche protection advisers that are members of networks.
A spokesman for Protection Guru said the reports aim to make the market “more transparent and accessible, for both advisers and in turn, consumers”.
Each report – which will be free for advisers to access – will analyse providers on their performance across each of the “operational features” included in the analysis, based on how comprehensive and functional each operational feature is. Providers will also receive an overall rating out of 10, by aggregating the score for each individual feature measured in the analysis.
Ratings will be included in an overall ratings table which have been designed to enable advisers to directly compare the performance of each provider.
“Operational features” include providers’ online application process, claims process, and annual statements for consumers and advisers.
Adam Higgs, Head of Research at Protection Guru, said the reports are designed to “lend clarity” on which insurers are best placed to provide a streamlined service to advisers and their clients, measured against the services advisers see as most valuable.
He said: “This approach takes account of the needs of advisers who may not regularly provide protection advice and many of whom find it difficult to deal with life insurers.
“Through a unique, data-driven approach, the reports equip financial advisers with information based on fact, enabling them to better understand different operational propositions and why they are important to the consumer.”
PROTECTION GURU’S ‘SIX TRIBES OF ADVISERS’
- Mortgage advisers – Typically protection cases will be related to the client’s mortgage and will include most types of protection business. Likely to distribute a moderate to high volume of protection contracts. Some mortgage specialists will deliver high volumes of protection business, whilst for others this may be relatively small.
- Protection Specialists – Firms where protection is the predominant focus of their business or an area they specialise in. Therefore Protection Specialists are likely to be among the highest volume distributors.
- Holistic Advisers – Will advise on a whole range of products including pensions, investments, protection, tax planning. Currently they distribute a low volume of protection contracts.
- Wealth Managers – Wealth managers are likely to be the lowest volume distributor as their the major focus will be on investments and tax planning. They are most likely to engage in Protection from an estate planning perspective and trusts will play a much bigger role in the advice they give.
- Networks – A network will generally have a range of different advice firms under their umbrella ranging from holistic, wealth, mortgage and protection specialists. For some networks, protection will be a low percentage of their overall business, while for others (and particularly mortgage networks) protection will be sold in high volumes.
- Niche Protection Adviser – These are usually protection specialists that focus on a particular segment of the market including impaired lives, high net worth/business protection and specific high risk occupations.
Some advisers may fall into more than one tribe (i.e. a Protection Specialist or niche protection adviser may also be part of a network).