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Advisers call for better product features in business protection

Insurer support would also help advisers meet clients’ needs, poll shows

Nearly a quarter (24%) of advisers with corporate clients have seen demand for business protection rise in the last five years, according to research from VitalityLife.

However, advisers want improved product features (28%) and more support and training from insurers (24%) to help them to better meet clients’ business protection needs.

A further 14% would like to see new business protection tools, including teleunderwriting support and sales collateral. 

When asked about the reasons behind the increased interest in business protection, advisers said it was largely down to more awareness among businesses about the need for protection, a rise in the number of SMEs and the self-employed, and the legislation that brought about tax-efficient relevant life cover products. 

Craig Palfrey, IFA at Penguin Wealth, said business protection is a crucially important area and one that is sometimes overlooked by advisers and insurers.

“And with auto-enrolment, relevant life and ongoing insecurity around UK business and finance, the need for advice on business protection is only likely to increase,” he stated.

The survey found 14% of advisers with corporate clients have seen a decrease in business protection conversations over the last five years. They blame an ageing client book that are more focused on retirement, cover already being in place for the majority of clients, and it being a hard slog for the reward because of the long process often involved.

In addition, a large number of advisers aren’t prioritising their own business protection needs, with 46% not having any cover in place for their company, rising to 59% for advisers that are sole traders.

Vitality suggested this could be down to the fact that just 48% of advisers regularly advise on business protection matters, compared to the 88% that regularly advise on personal protection.

Deepak Jobanputra, managing director at VitalityLife, said business protection is vital for people to safeguard against the unexpected loss or illness of a business owner or a key person.

“Over the past few years we have seen a real step change in information and the support available to advisers around business protection, but it’s clear there is more that can be done,” he added.