The changing role of the life insurance advisor

Today, advisors must take a more comprehensive approach

The changing role of the life insurance advisor

Life & Health

By Bethan Moorcraft

This article was produced in partnership with Manulife Canada.

Bethan Moorcraft, of Insurance Business, sat down with Paul Savage, head of individual insurance at Manulife Canada, to discuss how the role of the life insurance advisor is changing.

The role of the life insurance advisor has evolved in recent years. The days when the insurance conversation focused solely on risk analysis and product details are long gone. Today, advisors must take a more comprehensive approach, according to Manulife Canada – one where the focus is on building long-term relationships and providing advice to clients as they progress through different stages of life.

“We’re seeing a desire from both clients and advisors to really focus on building relationships,” said Paul Savage (pictured), head of individual insurance at Manulife Canada. “Rather than just selling a life insurance product, advisors are really trying to understand their clients better and help them live their lives to the fullest and healthiest.”

Today, Canadians can find life insurance product details and even get quotes online, but they still need the support of advisors for holistic and tailored solutions that best meet their needs.

“Even if they start their journey online, most people still want advice,” Savage emphasized. “They want to talk to an advisor about their insurance, and they want to understand what their different options are. What may be different today versus pre-pandemic is that people want to talk to their advisors in a way that’s convenient to them and a communication method that they prefer.”

That’s where Manulife Vitality comes in, according to Savage. Manulife Vitality is a health and wellness program that can be added to a Manulife term life insurance policy, allowing clients to earn rewards and save on their insurance premiums while improving their health.

Built around the concept of ‘do healthy things and be rewarded for it,’ the Manulife Vitality program enables Canadians to monitor their everyday healthy activities through a customized, goal-oriented program, with the help of easy-to-use tools such as wearable devices. Customers are able to unlock different types of rewards as they engage with the program

“With Manulife Vitality, clients experience and interact with their insurance every day,” said Savage. “The program is founded on engagement and building deeper connections with clients. It makes it easier for advisors to have meaningful conversations with clients on an ongoing basis because they can check-in and see how they’re getting on with the program, they can congratulate them on their progress, and they can talk about new interests, activities, hobbies, and goals.”

Importantly, Manulife Vitality has changed the whole conversation around life insurance to the advisor’s favour. Instead of focusing on negative elements, like what could cause a claim – death, sickness, and disability – advisors can have a positive conversation about the benefits of healthy living and the rewards clients can earn if they engage with the program.

“People typically approach their financial advisor when they have a question or a concern about their policy, or they need to make a change to their coverage. These conversations are often very transactional,” said Savage. “But with Manulife Vitality, advisors can have very positive conversations with clients, who will then walk away feeling good.”

The Manulife Vitality program promotes more frequent and positive engagement, allowing advisors to provide a more personal and meaningful experience, while also creating more touch points to discuss insurance coverage and other financial needs. This results in fewer lapses, more referrals and ultimately changes the way clients think and feel about their insurance and their advisors.

“A big part of an advisor’s business (about 50%) comes from cross-selling to existing clients, and about 30% originates from referrals,” Savage added. “That highlights the importance of creating and maintaining strong relationships with clients.”

Learn more about Manulife Vitality here.

Insurance products are issued by The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company. The Vitality Group Inc., in association with The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company, provides the Manulife Vitality program. The Manulife Vitality program is available with select policies. Please consult your financial representative to learn more and find out if you qualify for this product. Vitality is a trademark of The Vitality Group International Inc., and is used by The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company and its affiliates under license. Vitality and Vitality Status are trademarks of The Vitality Group International, Inc., and are used by The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company and its affiliates under license. 

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