Internet overtaking risk advice says NobleOak

An increasing number of Australians are preferring to fulfil their life insurance needs via the internet rather than utilising the services of risk advisers, according to a new analysis issued by life insurer, NobleOak Life Insurance.

A NobleOak white paper, issued this week, has confirmed that risk advisers are facing more challenges than simply accommodating the Life Insurance Framework (LIF), with the company's research claiming that 61 per cent of respondents indicated they preferred the internet to service their advice needs.

What is more, the research has confirmed a reluctance by consumers to pay for life/risk advice.

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It stated that while many Australians still relied on financial advisers, they appeared unwilling to spend a lot on this advice.

"More than 56 per cent of respondents stated they were unwilling to pay anything for life insurance advice," the analysis said. "This remains a fundamental problem for the industry."

It said 72 per cent of respondents would be confident in purchasing a life insurance or income protection product online, without financial advice if the right resources were available.

According to the company's research, when questioned about where they preferred to "obtain advice" about their financial needs, 48.1 per cent of respondents listed the Internet as their primary source, closely followed by family members at 37.9 per cent.

It claimed the internet had become a predominant source of life insurance advice by Australians, albeit advisers still played a role for many.

"Of those who seek to obtain life insurance advice, 32.2 per cent prefer using the Internet, while 25.4 per cent use a financial adviser and 20.4 per cent rely on family members," the NobleOak analysis said.

It said the impact technology had had on the use of financial services products had varied significantly between products with 79 per cent of respondents believing technology had changed their interaction with banks over the past three years, while life insurance and income protection had remained laggards at 37.3 per cent and 33.6 per cent respectively.

However the NobleOak analysis claimed it was inevitable the use of technology for purchasing life insurance would increase just like other financial services products.

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Nothing has changed, those who don't want advice, won't seek it. Doesn't matter what they are "buying". Whether, it be an online will kit, rather than going to a solicitor, or buy a pair of shoes online rather than going into a store. Its a bit of a pointless argument. And I do smile when it comes from an online/direct insurer. :)

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