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Protection success needs education for advisers

Direct Life & Pensions sales and marketing director Richard Verdin says a generic consumer advertising campaign for protection will not succeed until life companies give advisers meaningful training.

Many industry figures have suggested running a generic campaign aimed at educating consumers about the need for protection and the products.

Verdin believes in the merits of advertising but says it must be ongoing. He is concerned that as protection is an event-driven purchase, it could push consumers into the arms of uninformed, unconfident advisers who are likely to give unsuitable recommendations.

He says life companies need to take responsibility for educating and training advisers to ensure they give suitable advice. He says sales will rise and the market will grow if advisers are given the tools they need to advise effectively.

Verdin says training must be interactive and engaging, not just the one-off lectures, offered by some providers.

He says: “No individual insurer doing it by themselves is going to have the impact required. We need life offices to co-operate to provide good quality, non-biased training which will get intermediaries sat at their desks to look at the wider world.

“However, it needs to be in an appropriate environment and ensure they are engaged, not just being spoken at. Unless advisers are involved, the benefits to any consumer campaign are limited.”

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