Poll Results – Gloomy Outlook for Risk Specialists

Which statement most closely reflects your view? In the next five years, the number of specialist risk advisers will:
  • Fall below the current level of 1,200 (80%)
  • Plateau around the current level of 1,200 (14%)
  • Increase above the current level of 1,200 (7%)

Our latest poll results suggest a tough road ahead for specialist risk advisers.

A strong majority of around four in five of those voting in our poll – 81% as we go to print – think risk specialist adviser numbers will fall below their current low level of 1.200. 13% think the number has plateaued, while only 6% think specialist risk adviser numbers will recover from their current level.

Riskinfo thanks regular contributor, Jeremy Wright, who has offered a sobering perspective as to what proportion of Australia’s population might be adequately and appropriately served by 1,200 risk only or risk-focussed advisers, when  he commented:

Based on 12 million individuals and 1 million Businesses in Australia who need Life and Disability cover to meet their needs, if each Adviser looked after 480 personal and 40 Business clients, this would equate to 25,000 Advisers needed to meet demand.

…there is a big problem and a huge opportunity to build up this Industry again

Wright adds that, with the current estimate of only 1,200 risk specialist advisers remaining, and with thousands of holistic advisers he says are effectively being forced to outsource life insurance advice as part of their service offering, “…there is a big problem and a huge opportunity to build up this Industry again.”

Is he correct? Anecdotally, it appears advisers, adviser associations, dealer groups, insurers, politicians and regulators all seem to be in lock-step in acknowledging there is a significant problem associated with the decline in risk specialist advisers.

Is Wright also correct, however, when he characterises this current situation as representing a huge opportunity?

As usual, there’s plenty more we could add, in what remains a difficult, complex and multi-faceted issue that needs to be addressed and resolved in the interests of advisers, insurers and consumers. But we’ll hand it back to you to continue this conversation as your vote and your further comments are welcome…