Advisor Pulse

Client Social-Distancing

Advisors adjust their practices in light of coronavirus

A new survey from LIMRA reflects the industry’s response to the need for safety while trying to keep its business going.

4/2/2020 — A LIMRA survey of 550 advisors revealed how they are adapting to meet the needs of their clients as the country faces the safety and economic challenges as a result of coronavirus.

A total of 63% of advisors say their practices have been significantly disrupted because of the coronavirus; while another 28% note having been moderately disrupted. Seven in 10 advisors say they have set up alternate working arrangements for their staff.

With more and more states closing businesses and requiring people to implement social distancing practices, LIMRA examined what advisors are doing to stay connected to their clients. The survey revealed that 84% have changed the way they communicate with their clients.

Video Conferencing, e-mail and other digital solutions

Prior LIMRA research indicates that advisors had already begun to leverage tools such as video conference calls, email and other digital tools to stay in touch with their clients. These tools are invaluable at a time when face-to-face meetings are not an option. Advisors in this most-recent survey said the frequency of communication with their clients has increased – 80% of advisors say they are communicating with their clients more often.

What’s on clients’ minds?
In addition to anxieties about staying safe and healthy, consumers are very concerned about the financial impact of the coronavirus on the economy and their own financial security.

In addition to anxieties about staying safe and healthy, consumers are very concerned about the financial impact of the coronavirus on the economy and their own financial security...

Advisors report the top three issues that clients want to discuss are:

  • Market volatility – 81%
  • Low interest rate environment – 31%
  • Current insurance policy coverage in light of the coronavirus – 28%

LIMRA research has shown that having a financial plan in place not only helps people ensure they are taking the necessary steps to remain financially sound but also helps people feel more confident in their financial security. During the last economic downturn (in 2008), LIMRA research found that:

  • 64% of people who had contact with their advisor felt the conversation eased their concerns and worries. In addition,
  • 74% said they were likely to recommend this advisor to others

LIMRA surveyed more than 550 advisors from March 16-20, 2020 to get a pulse on how the coronavirus pandemic is impacting their practice. Sixty percent of respondents self-identified as an investment advice/product provider; 40% consider themselves an insurance provider. View this infographic for more details on the study.