Platform use jumps for writing insurance

More planners than ever were increasingly using platforms in the past couple of years for writing insurance business, with 77 per cent of the 620 planners surveyed doing so, according to Investment Trends.

Referring to the Investment Trends 2016 Planner Risk Report, wealth management head of research, Recep Peker, said those planners who were using platforms to write insurance business were writing close to half of their business on platforms.

"The important trend this year is how financial planner satisfaction with the platforms insurance offering has reached the highest level we've seen: now we have 78 per cent of financial planners who rate their main platform as ‘good' or ‘very good' for their insurance capabilities," Peker said.

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This was an increase from 52 per cent of planners in 2009 who gave a rating of ‘good' or ‘very good'.

Financial planners were also increasingly satisfied with particular functions of platforms they placed emphasis on, such as needs analysis tools, client education and marketing tools, and reporting capabilities. The survey found platforms had improved in meeting planners' needs from a risk perspective.

"The biggest gap is still the ability to select from a range of insurers but that's come down a little bit over the past couple of years," Peker said.

While 50 per cent of financial planners expressed dissatisfaction in this area in 2014, it had now dropped to 43 per cent of planners.

Financial planners also wanted greater ability to administer things online, and the ability to increase or decrease cover online on a platform, with 38 per cent of planners expressing this desire.

"While a lot of planners still call for having access to a range of insurers in a platform, they're also increasingly calling for their ability to increase and decrease cover online," Peker said.

In terms of planner preference for writing insurance business, BT Wrap had the highest primary market share, followed by Colonial First State FirstChoice, AMP's North and OnePath's OneAnswer.

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