Group insurance dominates life insurance channels: Poll

The majority of people canvassed in Financial Standard's weekly poll reveal they have life insurance via their superannuation fund.

About 60% of respondents said life insurance was available via their employer or super fund. Almost one-in-three (32%) used a financial planner to obtain life insurance cover, while only a few used a broker.

The results counter conflicting reports from two different surveys released this month, which found online and telephone sales were the most popular ways life insurance was bought.

Based on 7632 consumers polled in Roy Morgan's survey, life insurance policies were purchased mainly over the telephone (24.7%). This was closely followed by the employer or group insurance channel (23.9%).

In the 2017 life insurance buying behaviour study by NobleOak, almost half (43.6%) of 1000 respondents preferred to consult the internet when considering life insurance.

A growing trend is the purchase of life insurance or income protection online or via mobile devices, up 35% compared to 2016.

The internet is a rich source of advice for 28.7% of adults aged between 30 and 60, compared to 24.7% who use a financial adviser, closely followed by 21.9% who call on family members for information.

In the last five years however, Roy Morgan's results conceded online purchase experienced the most rapid growth of 108%, a jump from 4.6% or 168,000 policies to 10.8% or 349,000.

Financial planners accounted for 7.3% of current policies, up from 7% five years ago, with policy numbers showing little change.

Roy Morgan industry communications director Norman Morris said life insurance has generally been something that needed more selling effort compared to motor vehicle, house and contents or health insurance.

"How life insurance is obtained is facing a major transformation or disruption, moving away from the more traditional insurance broker (or life insurance salesman) towards purchasing online as well as moving more to the employer, where it is generally combined with superannuation," he said.

This week we ask, with the new adviser education standards taking effect 1 January 2019, what further qualifications are applicable?

Read more: Life insuranceRoy MorganFinancial StandardGroup insuranceFinancial advisersFinancial planningNobleOakNorman Morris
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