It is looking like the market next year is not going to be smooth sailing. There is a potential perfect storm hitting lenders’ own capital and liquidity constraints, repayment of Government debt, regulation, Government austerity measures and house prices and we are not immune from global economic weather. It is these fundamental issues brewing that will keep the mortgage market in check.
The good news is that at least interest rates look set to remain low for some time, which will help many people next year.
We have already seen plenty of evidence of adviser firms embracing and harnessing protection cross-sales in our business. Adviser productivity for mortgage advisers in the Sesame network has increased by 28 per cent in the last year in a flat mortgage market.
As an industry, we are all doing our bit to try and bridge the huge protection gap, with advisers selling more insurance and good firms doing all the right things to engage with customers to protect their needs.
However, it is nowhere near enough if we want to get through the next couple of years, when the underlying need – to protect families and their future prosperity – has not changed.
I know it is important for this column to take an objective view but to highlight our dedication to the cause, we need more than just words. We are also taking action.
I now make an unashamed apology for self-promotion on this occasion because I feel so passionately about the issues we face. Sesame Bankhall Group already has a strong protection service but this area is so fundamental that we have completely reorganised and streamlined our protection proposition.
In response to the struggling mortgage market, we have enhanced the range of protection options available to advisers along with the value, both for firms and clients, that writing protection business through Sesame Bankhall Group can deliver.
What can be done to help?
The next step for advisers is to seek out the training and support that is available from your distribution partners, insurers and colleagues to help you write this business and ensure that it forms a core part of your customer proposition. I urge brokers to take advantage of this because it is important for the future of your business in the coming years.
We all know somebody that is underinsured. The best way for consumers to tackle it is through an advised sale from professionally qualified intermediaries.
You may be very experienced in this area already or you may be completely new to it. Whatever your level of knowledge and experience of protection, take a second look in 2011 to learn something new from the opportunities that are being made available. You never know what you might find out.
John Cupis is managing director of PMS