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‘Be proud to be an insurance salesman’

Financial advisers should be proud to be insurance salesmen and protection products should at the forefront of their minds, says Caversham Buchanan director Ian Green.

Speaking at the Personal Finance Society annual conference last week in Birmingham, Green said protection is a key product for consumers and advisers are best placed to help close the protection gap.

He quoted Sir Winston Churchill’s staunch advoca- tion of the product.

Green said remuneration is lower on life insurance than in the past and, along with increased education, is the key change to have affected the industry over the past decade.

But he said that IFAs need not change their behaviour because the industry remains a people-led service industry with the emphasis being on building and maintaining relationships.

However, he claimed the bid to become more professional through paper-based qualifications has been mostly in vain because the FSA has shown no evidence that higher qualified advisers have better, more ethical relationships with their clients.

Green said: “IFAs are the ones who have made a real difference towards closing the protection gap, even with the cost of life insurance coming down and being able to buy it from supermarkets, with the wrong impression that critical illness never pays out and PHI is too complicated.

“It is IFAs who have sold more than the Government in terms of savings for retirement. We should still be proud to be insurance salesmen because it is that that has really made a difference in the last 10 years.”

“Remember, Churchill said: ‘If I had my way, I would write the word insurance over the door of every house because I am convinced, for sacrifices that are inconceivably small, families can be secured against catastrophes which otherwise would smash them up for ever.'”

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