Advisers have welcomed Norwich Union Life’s proposals for a specialist protection exam for IFAs.
Money Marketing last week revealed that NU director of protection Richard Verdin is in talks with the Chartered Insurance Institute about launching a protection exam.
He proposes that the exam should be split into core modules covering mortgage and family protection planning, with additional modules covering business protection and private medical insurance.
The CII covers protection in its full financial planning qualification, the Certificate in Financial Planning, and through CF6, where the focus is only on mortgage payment protection insurance.
Highclere Financial Services partner Alan Lakey supports NU’s idea, suggesting that the development could boost sales as well as improving professionalism.
He says: “There are two schools of thought. One is that the more protection sold the better and even if it is not the best plan, it is better than nothing.
“The second is that this is a serious matter and should be accorded the importance it deserves. I spend quite a bit of time each year extricating clients from inappropriate plans arranged by banks or direct-sales outlets. Too many non-specialist advisers take the view that cheapest is best so a qualification could help.”
CBK Colchester principal Peter Chadborn agrees that it would be a good idea.
He says: “Yes it is covered under the various certified financial planning modules but if we do not want protection to be seen as the poor relation to other areas of financial planning then there should be a specific protection exam.”
Progress from Royal Liver IFA marketing manager Aidan Dewhurst welcomes the idea of a protection exam but says: “It should be open to those IFAs who would truly benefit from the qualification without creating more red tape for those who would not.”