Insurance Brokers Seek Protection
Apparent Risk versus Actual Risk

Life Advisers Need Guidance

Life Advisers need guidance at the moment. The voice that should be heard is that of life companies. Here is the problem.

If you are a seller of a broad range of investment products you know what you must do - get authorised. You need only wait, work on your adviser business statement, keep doing your Massey course, and keep plugging away.

If you are a seller of mainly fire and general insurance, you know that you will be a registered advisers - although some of your number may opt for authorisation this will be a choice that can be made almost at a time of your choosing.

The adviser whose main product is life insurance is still in the dark. Although the position of term life products has, in fact, been category 2 for some time we still hear confusion around the likely thresh-hold for a definition of financial planning. This confusion seems to stem from a lack of application to reading the legislation, and the subsequent comments in discussion papers from the Securities Commission.

While we do await the Code of Conduct, and the patch up Bill on QFE status, life companies have at hand enough information to start the communication process with their advisers. Where uncertainty remains it could reasonably be dealt with by a small number of "if...then" statements. Also, if anything truly awful comes out in the draft Bill or from the Code Committee (not that we are expecting anything awful) then companies can legitimately change their position.

I would encourage every life company to offer detailed counsel to advisers that are predominantly selling life insurance. We have a schedule of ten points that every company should be communicating on.

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