New figures from financial technology provider Iress point to increased customer interest in protection products, offsetting significant declines in mortgage requests and KFIs driven by COVID-19. However, data is indicating that consumers are choosing to go direct rather than engage brokers – representing an opportunity for the industry.
With the coronavirus pandemic spurring consumer concerns about job security and health, the protection industry is seeing spikes in demand from people seeking to protect themselves financially. Figures from Iress’ software show average daily volumes of Life and Critical Illness click throughs from comparison sites increasing by over 30% from February to March 2020, with individual weekly increases hitting over 55%. Comparatively, requests through brokers have only risen by 6.4% from February to March.
Dave Miller, executive general manager, commercial, Iress said: “This disparity suggests that brokers are not always the first port of call when people are looking to take out insurance cover for the first time or increase their level of cover. Comparison sites are an excellent choice for those who know exactly the cover they are looking for but the advice and experience brokers provide is indispensable, especially to those seeking insurance for the first time.
“At a time when many brokers are experiencing steep declines in lending enquiries, this represents a clear opportunity to reach out to clients and help them navigate the market which can be difficult without specialist knowledge. Helping clients understand what’s available to them, how to interpret the different benefits, exclusions and scope of cover, and make sense of recent legislative changes is a great opportunity to demonstrate expertise and help clients get the best outcome.”