Can risk advice bring rewards in 2023?

Financial advice is all about helping people, and when talking to advisers, they tell me there’s no bigger reward than helping clients at claim time. This is where advisers shine, navigating clients through life’s ups and downs. But what about advisers? Who’s been helping to guide them?

It’s safe to say the past couple of years has been difficult. The Life Insurance Framework, the Royal Commission, educational requirements, the list goes on and on. There has been no shortage of setbacks, but times appear to be changing.

The early indications for 2023 are that there will be good opportunities for advisers who can provide their clients with expert risk advice. The timing is favourable. Some of the recommendations from the Quality of Advice Review, which the government recently made public, will likely make it easier to deliver risk advice and remove some of the challenges.

There’s no doubt there is a huge demand in the market for this advice. The Financial Services Council estimates there are 1 million Australians who are currently underinsured for death and temporary and permanent disability (TPD). For income protection insurance, that figure grows to 3.4 million.1

So, what elements constitute ‘’best practice’’ in successful risk advice businesses?

They know their clients

Advisers are best placed to know their clients and what they want. This is the foundation of all good adviser-client relationships. Understanding how and when individual clients like to be engaged helps you develop processes that will serve those clients more effectively.

Successful advisers also know how to get the right information from their clients. This is important from both an ethical and business point of view. Advisers have an onus to deliver appropriate advice, so having individualised data is essential if you’re putting together a personalised risk advice plan. MLC Life Insurance supports advisers with a range of tools that make it easy for clients to provide this information.

Underwriting is king

Keeping on top of the underwriting process can help to identify any issues before they become critical. An awareness of insurance guidelines can help avoid client disappointment or abandoned advice and convert opportunities into results.

Accurate pre-assessments are a key part of this process. Any underwriter will tell you a pre-assessment is only as good as the data they receive. Making sure your clients have access to an easy-to-complete digital pre-assessment form is a great way to help them understand what is required.

At every stage, there needs to be a dedicated process for managing applications and how they are followed up. Pre-empting requirements and using digital signatures/client portals keep clients engaged and on the path to completion.

The flow of information shouldn’t stop when the policy is signed. Keeping clients in the loop is essential to maintain engagement, whether it’s an excellent underwriting outcome, a claims story, or a premium saving through a policy restructure.

Build positive insurer relationships

Developing a positive, genuine relationship with your underwriter and business development manager is also critical for success. This can go a long way toward pre-empting any difficulties and managing client expectations without any negative impact.

Opportunities for the future

The advice industry has gone through a period of significant change. Many advisers have left, though insurance demand is stronger than ever. There are not enough advisers to fulfill this, so for those who remain, the opportunities are greater than ever. At MLC Life Insurance, we can provide you with the right tools to set you up for success. If it’s been some time since you’ve explored risk or would like to learn more about these opportunities, connect with me on LinkedIn and let’s start a conversation.


Financial Services Council, Australia’s Life Underinsurance Gap: Research Report, October 2022.


Published: 23 February 2023