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Financial Planning
Pandemic spurs advice, insurance rethink

The COVID-19 pandemic has forced many Australians to review their life insurance cover and seek the help of a financial adviser.

This is according to the annual MetLife Adviser-Client Relationship Report, which reveals that over 40% of the participants it canvassed were more likely to see an adviser since COVID-19 hit.

About 25% said the pandemic prompted them to increase their cover.

For advised participants, the majority (80%) feel better about their financial position as a result of having an adviser, despite the challenges posed by the pandemic. The majority (82%) also feel better about having the right level of life insurance.

Advised clients were also three times more likely to recommend their adviser if they received a review during the pandemic.

Interestingly, the number of advised clients considered leaving their adviser has jumped from 30% to 38%.

MetLife chief retail insurance officer Meray El-Khoury said this year's survey recorded a 15% increase in advisers receiving an excellent rating following a review.

"Now is the time for advisers to be investing in relationship-building and clear, transparent communication to help their clients make sound financial decisions for their future. Reviews have always been critical in helping advisers drive loyalty and recommendations, but their importance reached new levels during the pandemic and advisers that invest in them proactively will continue to be rewarded."

The study found advisers are pivoting their approach to the conditions with more online and phone reviews.

El-Khoury said this has been a significant cultural shift for the industry, but the research shows that where clients have received these consultations proactively, over the phone or online, they have been happy with the experience.

Read more: MetLifeAdviser-Client Relationship ReportMeray El-Khoury