The National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors collected responses from 1,071 agents and advisors, approximately 90% of whom are current NAIFA members, for the 2020 NAIFA Experience Survey. Respondents who are not members engaged with the association via the NAIFA web presence, social media, NAIFA webinars or other communications channels.
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.
“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.”
Products and Services Important to Financial Security
They are the source of crucial products, services and guidance for these families and small businesses. The specific products and services the survey indicates NAIFA members and their colleagues commonly provide – such as term life insurance (recommended by 90% of respondents to at least some of their clients during the past 12 months), 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%) – help Americans improve their financial literacy, reduce financial risks, prepare for retirement and leave a financial legacy.
The survey confirms that NAIFA members build relationships with clients that they nurture with regular communications. Not surprisingly, the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted the ways they communicate with clients and connect with prospective 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.
COVID-19 and Business Practices
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.