Insurance advisers FoFA-ready and optimistic

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The latest measurement of the Zurich Risk Adviser Sentiment Index has shown an overall uptick in sentiment amongst financial advisers active in the Australian life insurance market. 

Conducted by Beaton Research & Consulting, the survey questioned more than 200 advisers actively writing life insurance. Respondents were asked to indicate their sentiment across five key areas, using a seven-point scale ranging from ‘extremely negative’ to ‘extremely positive’. Figures from the research showed:

  • Sentiment towards the current regulatory environment improved 17%
  • Increased optimism about the long term viability of their practice (14%)
  • A 5% increase in perceived consumer demand for life insurance
  • An 11% improvement in sentiment towards advisers’ current sales volume, and an 8.7% improvement in likely sales volumes for the next quarter

The overall sentiment score for December 2012 was calculated as 4.89 out of seven, up from 4.40 in June 2012.

General manager retail for Zurich’s life and investments business said that local economic conditions could have a bigger short term impact on advisers than other factors such as regulatory changes or the looming federal election.

“Ironically while the tide seems to be turning overseas, locally we are getting mixed signals about consumer spending and so there’s no doubt that the resilience for which advisers are famed will be put to the test. But this isn’t new news, so for them to be feeling up-beat against this backdrop shows they are up for the challenge,” said Kewin.

According to the Commonwealth Bank Business Sales Indicator (BSI), spending fell by 1.9% in seasonally adjusted terms in December, after rising by 2.4% in November, extending the erratic spending pattern witnessed over the past seven months. In annual terms, spending fell 5.6% for service providers, according to the BSI.

Commonwealth Bank general manager operations and sales strategy, local business banking Lex Thornton, believes the ongoing inconsistencies in business sales performance are reflective of today’s conservative consumer.

How do these scores reflect your view of the life insurance market? Share your thoughts below.

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