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Adviser sentiment improving, Zurich study shows

Life insurance adviser sentiment has improved in the past 14 months, according to a new survey commissioned by Zurich Financial Services Australia.

Sentiment moved to 4.2 on a scale of 1-7 in February, compared with 4.1 in December 2015, the survey by Lewers Research shows.

In the category of “current sales volumes”, sentiment moved to 4.3 from 4.2. On expected sales in the next three months, the figure moved to 4.6 from 4.4.

Sentiment on the regulatory environment moved to 2.8 from 2.5.

Only one category recorded a deterioration: consumer demand for life insurance, dropping to 4.4 from 4.5.

The survey questioned 209 Australian financial advisers.

Zurich Head of Distribution Life and Investments Kristine Brooks says adviser sentiment remains below the historical high, recorded in December 2013.

“While some elements of the recently passed life insurance legislation clearly remain contentious, there is at least an increased sense of clarity about the future market landscape,” she said. “This allows advisers to realign their businesses with more certainty.”

Ms Brooks says recent mainstream media coverage has weakened consumer confidence in life insurance.

“In such an environment, it’s important that we harness the stories of the many happy advice customers. Expert advice is the first line of defence against the issues of underinsurance and mis-insurance.”

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