Editor - Peter Sobels

A rising tide lifts all boats

The life insurance industry must accept responsibility for its ultimate failure to effectively communicate the importance of life insurance to Australian consumers and their families.

… And then it has to actually do something about it.

Time and time again we’re reminded by politicians and prominent people within the industry that governments will not step in to take up the cause of promoting the life insurance message to consumers.

It’s time for a unified, collaborative, substantial effort, funded by all life insurance companies.

Individual initiatives and campaigns may prove effective in helping to make a difference in many people’s lives. But to create a meaningful impact across the mass population requires scale beyond the capabilities of adviser associations or individual life insurance companies.

It’s time for a unified, collaborative, substantial effort, funded by all life insurance companies

One of the difficulties for life companies in contributing to the cost of generic public awareness campaigns is that the benefit of any increased consumer take-up in life insurance will deliver value for all insurers. So, those companies who have funded the campaign will effectively be providing a ‘free kick’ for their competitors who have not contributed to its cost. Giving your competitors this kind of benefit doesn’t go down well with shareholders.

If all life companies could find a way to come together and deliver the funding, perhaps proportional to the value of their in-force books of business, then maybe we could finally witness a serious, game-changing, united message to the mass public by Australia’s life insurance sector.

The benefit to financial advisers of such a campaign would be immense, as the life insurance message will have reached many more clients and prospective clients and prepared the way for the sometimes difficult conversations that come with the territory.

This call to action is beautifully articulated by eminent US life industry identity, Brian Ashe. Brian was a panellist on an international adviser round table event hosted by riskinfo at this year’s MDRT Annual Meeting in Toronto. Talking to the panel about the same issue in the US, Brian’s simple message was that “… a rising tide lifts all boats.”

Peter Sobels

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