Nearly a third of advisers surveyed reported more demand for their services, with a majority citing mortgage advice
The demand for financial advice is rising amid the coronavirus pandemic, particularly for mortgages and protection, according to new research from Zurich.
Nearly a third (29%) of advisers surveyed reported more demand for their services, with a majority (67%) citing mortgage advice. This was followed by those for income protection (39%) and critical illness cover (36%). As opposed to this, demand for retirement planning had fallen for 38% advisors, while that for wealth management fell for 33% advisors.
On their relationships with customers, nearly a third (32%) of advisers agreed that these had strengthened through the pandemic, though more than half (52%) disagreed. This may suggest that general disruption and changes to policies is having an impact on service levels along with the inability to arrange in-person meetings with clients. However, relationships with providers were seen to have improved for 75% of advisers.
Louise Colley, director of retail protection at Zurich, commented: We’ve been engaging with advisers to gather real insight about the challenges they’re facing on the front line, so that we can better support them. What’s clear is that they are dealing with a whole raft of issues – not least, the pressure from coping with increased demand on their businesses. The upside to this is that protection seems to be very much on people’s radar.
Our role in supporting advisers and making their lives easier is more important than ever. This includes a commitment to providing the best service possible and making them and customers aware of all of the additional support they can access through their protection product. Things like Zurich’s Support Services which offers counselling and support with mental health and plus round the clock advice on everything from debt management through to sourcing elder care, Colley said.
Paul Shearman, mortgage and protection director at Openwork, added: The past 12 months have indeed proved challenging for advisers as our businesses have been impacted directly by disruption in the economy, changes to regulation as well as to the products and services we’re supporting customers with – which in turn drives up enquires.