According to surveys conducted by the Life Insurance Market Research Association (LIMRA), historically, the public opinion of the life insurance sales person has not been positive.
In fact, in the narrative portion of the surveys, where respondents were asked to describe the typical insurance sales person, they often used words such as “pushy” and “untrustworthy.”
However, there was also good news in these surveys. Respondents who had a relationship with an insurance sales person invariably added the words, “ … but mine is different". They also added phrases such as my insurance person “is a pillar of the community,” or “is knowledgeable and helpful, and I would trust him or her with my life”. But mine is different.
Those of us that have been in the insurance business for a while have seen first hand how sales people, now typically referred to as financial advisors, have had a bad rap for a long time. Good news - there must be a very large number of financial advisors around who do an exemplary job, because almost everyone who has a relationship with one speaks of this person in glowing terms.
It would be remiss not to point out the importance of the life insurance industry. In Canada, the life insurance industry pays out over $1 billion each week in claims, 90% of which go to living policyholders and group insurance certificate holders2. It is also one of the largest investors in the Canadian economy2, helping to create employment and adding to the financial security of our country.
Missing from that big picture is the value the advisor provides in all of this. It is the advisor that helps the customer choose the right policy to help ensure there is money for individuals and families when it is needed most. Advisors also work with customers when death, disability, or critical illness occurs to ensure they receive their insurance proceeds promptly. This can help make sure that mortgages are paid, which helps Canadians remain in their own homes during some of life’s most traumatic times.
Insurance proceeds also help ensure that children can have the same kind of educational opportunities even when a parent dies during the dependency period of the family. Life insurance can help put presents under the tree at Christmas, pay for piano lessons and summer camp for children, and allow the surviving parent to live with the same financial security and peace of mind that existed before their loss. For aging Canadians, there is also an entire suite of products to choose from with the option to receive monthly income for life when they retire.
As for the future of the industry, as long as people want to protect their families financially and as long as the threats of premature death, disability and critical illness exist, advisors will be there to help.
If you don’t have an advisor yet, you can find one here . Start the conversation today and find someone knowledgeable and helpful that you can count on to help you make the right financial decisions – YOUR trusted advisor.
1Ipsos Reid poll, November 2014
2CLHIA, Industry Overview - A Canadian Success Story, September 2014
3The Investment Funds Institute of Canada, 2012 New Evidence on the Value of Financial Advice