Client Best Interests – 20 Issues

Specialist risk adviser and business consultant, Chris Unwin, believes there are twenty areas within the risk advice process where advisers need to be most mindful of what is in the best interests of their client.

While Mr Unwin believes that acting in the best interests of clients will be no great imposition for the large majority of advisers, he told riskinfo that advisers need to be alert to particular best interests areas or opportunities that emerge within the advice process.

In identifying these twenty issues, Mr Unwin has split them into three main categories of:

  • Client Engagement
  • Advice Strategies
  • Product Issues

For example, within the area of product issues, Mr Unwin says advisers should think twice before recommending stand alone trauma cover to clients under 50 years of age. He says this is because the death cover component linked within a trauma contract can often cost less than the stamp duty that would be payable under a stand-alone trauma policy.  “… and there are no ’14 day survival period’ issues,” he added.

Under the ‘advice strategies’ category, Mr Unwin says advisers need to consider what is in the best interest of the client when recommending a premium structure. “Advisers should always explain the option of a level premium,” he said, adding that a bonus for advisers in this strategy (if it is appropriate for the client) is that level premium insurance books can be valued substantially higher, over time, than predominantly stepped premium books of business.

Mr Unwin will be revealing his full list of ’20 Best Interest Issues in the Risk Advice Space’ as part of a workshop series later this year. His aim is to deliver an approach to the risk client engagement and advice process that makes it as easy as possible for clients to take up an appropriate personal protection package, and for them to keep it in place for an appropriate period of time.

(In the meantime, Mr Unwin is running a series of Client Acquisition and Engagement Skills workshops in each mainland state capital in April 2014. For more information, visit www.chrisunwin.com.au or the riskinfo Calendar.)