In response to findings from its survey the intermediary is working closely with Sesame to encourage networks and those in the insurance industry to initiate conversations with their clients as part of National Conversation Week.
Paymentshield found consumers were confused about which optional extras were part of their policy, with 32% unsure if their personal possessions were covered away from the home. The findings also revealed 42% of respondents reviewed the price of their home insurance once a year or more, but were focusing on price alone rather than comparing features and benefits.
Online forums such as MoneySuperMarket were a more popular source of guidance, than talking to a financial adviser, with 32% preferring to listen to the experience of others, compared to 5% who were in favour of talking to a professional.
James Watson, sales and marketing director at Paymentshield, said: “We’re seeing a growing over-reliance on the internet when it comes to purchasing financial products, which could be detrimental to people’s financial security, and potentially result in people going without the protection that’s needed or settling for a policy that could cost more in the long run.”
Sesame managing director Mark Graves said the power of conversation was threefold.
“Human conversation can never be replicated by technology; it’s the right thing to do for your customer; and it helps future proof your business. Analysing soft facts and educating customers on their financial needs across a wide range of product areas cannot be replicated digitally – technology doesn’t build trust and rapport, therefore it’s your clear differentiator.
He added: “Solely being a mortgage order-taker means that your existence in financial services is limited – direct-to-consumer technology is advancing at pace and you need to demonstrate to customers the value of your advice in order to grow and evolve.”
The survey also found that 19% of people who haven’t reviewed their finances in the last 12 months believe financial advisers are expensive, while 16% said they thought financial advisers were only for people with lots of money.
Watson added: “Our survey highlighted that the most important things for clients are for advisers to take the time to listen to their needs, demonstrate an in-depth knowledge of the product and that they are straightforward and clear in their communication. These are all things that aggregators can’t possibly compete with, so it’s time we shouted about the value of face-to-face advice.”