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Defaqto protection report shows advice firms using more providers

7 April 2020

The number of protection providers used by advisers in 2019 rose from the previous year, but satisfaction levels declined year-on-year, new data from Defaqto showed.

According to the financial information firm’s protection service review, advisers used an average 6.1 protection advisers in 2019, compared with 5.4 in 2018.

The sector continued to be dominated by level term assurance, critical illness with life cover and decreasing term assurance in 2019, Defaqto said, but there was change on the previous year when it came to the most important aspects of service. Underwriting services moved from third into first place and provider strength and brand moved up to sixth place from eighth.

However, the findings of the survey showed that following a similar downward trend year-on-year, service satisfaction levels fell across seven of 10 categories, with only provider strength and brand, technical assistance and business development managers reporting an increase. Commission and remuneration fared worst, reporting a 6% drop in satisfaction levels.

David Cartwright, head of insight and consulting for wealth and protection, Defaqto (pictured), said: “The study sets out to measure how satisfied advisers are with their preferred providers and identified where expectations were being met by cross-matching ranked importance to ranked satisfaction.

“Underwriting services and claims handling, although being listed as the two most important factors, performed the most poorly when it came to the correlation between importance and satisfaction. The key takeaway for protection providers is that more attention needs to be given to these areas highlighted to improve adviser satisfaction.”

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