Advisors are spending less time meeting with clients face to face, but advisors also are helping clients with COVID-19 concerns, according to a National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors survey.
More than 1,000 advisors responded to the 2020 NAIFA Experience Survey.
Advisors said that in light of COVID-19 health concerns and restrictions, face-to-face meetings have fallen off dramatically, with 84.1% they are meeting with clients in-person less frequently. Communications via telephone, email and video conferencing have increased significantly. Insurance and financial professionals have been an important source of information and reassurance during the pandemic.
A majority of those surveyed have helped clients with questions and concerns about insurance coverage (63.3%), retirement planning (55.4%) and investments (56.1%). They have also heard from clients facing a loss of employment (46.9%) or reduced income (48.6%). Other issues agents and advisors have helped clients with include the federal Paycheck Protection Program, long-term care insurance and health insurance.
The survey provides insights into respondents’ professional experience, client characteristics, products and services, compensation models, social media usage and group demographics. A series of survey questions also explored how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected these financial professionals and their interactions with clients.
Prior to March of this year, when COVID-19 restrictions and work-from-home orders became widespread, face-to-face meetings with clients and prospects were common. They were among the business practices of 72.8% of insurance and financial advisors and, along with telephone calls, the most common means of communicating with clients and prospects.
Products And Services
The survey found term life insurance was most commonly provided by advisors, with 90% of respondents saying they recommended it to at least some of their clients during the past 12 months. Other products and services advisors said they have recommended in the past year include whole life insurance (75.8%), long-term care insurance (63.8%), disability insurance (59.5%), individual retirement accounts (56.3%) and fixed annuities (57.8%).
“NAIFA members and their colleagues fill the insurance and financial services needs of Americans from every economic demographic and all income levels, with an emphasis on middle-income families and small businesses,” said NAIFA CEO Kevin Mayeux. “The 2020 NAIFA Experience Survey results confirm these financial professionals are vital to the financial security of American families of all income levels as well as small and medium-sized businesses, with a solid focus on serving Main Street USA.”