Young advisors show most interest in critical illness

By Ian Bolduc | August 26 2009 07:46PM

Insurers interviewed by The Insurance Journal say that recruiting young advisors is stimulating sales of critical illness insurance (CI) products.

David Baker, Assistant Vice President, health products and insurance business development at Sun Life Financial, says that one driver of the insurer's success in CI sales is its active recruitment of advisors. "To the extent that we are able to recruit younger advisors in their 20s and 30s, it gives us an advantage because that product tends to appeal more to younger folks and if you think of people who are in their 20s, they may not have a mortgage or may not have children yet; their concern might be around CI as opposed to a need for life insurance."

Desjardins Financial Security (DFS) agrees that recruitment is instrumental. "When we hire new advisors we're looking for young people in particular," says Nathalie Tremblay, head of living benefits and life insurance. "When they are in learning mode, they work with all the products."

Older advisors are used to selling life insurance and may be reluctant to offer CI. "Their natural market is less inclined to qualify for this and to be able to afford it at that stage in life. Most of the sales occur (with clients) under age 55 because after that age it becomes more difficult to qualify and it becomes fairly expensive," Mr. Baker says.

Ms. Tremblay adds that advisors nearing retirement are less keen on integrating this product in their line of services. "They have picked up habits, and resistance to change builds over time. Experienced advisors that don't offer the product yet maybe never will. That's why we're working a lot with young people," she says.