Insurer COVID-19 response “fragmented” - adviser

Insurer COVID-19 response “fragmented” - adviser | Insurance Business New Zealand

Insurer COVID-19 response “fragmented” - adviser

Lockdown has been a unique and trying time for both clients and advisers, and a lot of priorities have shifted over the past six weeks. Relationships have been put firmly before transactions as a matter of business survival, and getting digitally savvy has been a do or die exercise.

When it comes to the coming month and a half, adviser and CEO Tony Dench of Share NZ says advisers’ limited cash flow is really going to start to bite. He says clients are also going to emerge with very strong opinions of who helped them through this crisis - and who did not.

“In terms of the next six weeks - cash flow is going to be absolutely critical,” Dench said.

“Adviser businesses are going to see cash flow really start to bite, and they’re going to start thinking, ‘what now?’”

“Clients are also taking note and forming a judgement over what happened when the chips were down, and when things started getting tough,” he explained.

“Who stood by, and who helped? Who tried to take advantage?”

Dench says that each sector within financial services responded in its own way. The investment sector had a clear message to clients - you’re not day traders, you’re in this for a long-term investment. So sit tight, keep going, and look for the opportunities that may arise as a result of this.

“The banks were also united in their overarching response, saying to clients with mortgages - we can help you through, mortgages are a long-term transaction, and we can find a way to keep going through this,” Dench said.

“In the insurance sector, the response was a little more fragmented and a little more company-specific.”

Dench says that while the “good intentions” of the insurance sector were clear, there was a lot more room to stand united and come out with a single, clear message to those depending on its service for help.

“I don’t doubt the good intentions, they were absolutely there to help the client - but I think there’s still an opportunity for a united, overarching message from the insurance sector to clients that says that insurance is also a long-term, strategic, protective transaction, and that they’re not alone,” Dench said.

“I would like to see a more united front across insurance.”