Cost pressures on SMEs and the economic environment are driving business worries for workplace protection advisers, but the growing interest of health and wellbeing is countering these concerns.
More than half (55%) of those advisers surveyed by Canada Life said cost pressure challenges were their biggest concern, closely followed by ongoing economic uncertainty (53%), with nearly half (45%) believing this will reduce the amount of business they write over the next 12 months.
An additional 42% pointed to concerns about how costs will impact their fee revenues.
However, the greatest opportunities were the increased focus on health and wellbeing (76%), followed by the increase in flexibility of benefits (43%), and the adoption of new technology (38%), the research found.
The survey, conducted at the start of the year, among 135 intermediaries, also revealed the key benefits advisers are looking for this year.
Service was ranked the highest priority with three quarters of advisers selecting this option, with price (74%) and added value services (62%) coming in at second and third.
Dan Crook, protection sales director at Canada Life, (pictured) said: “While I understand advisers are suggesting that SMEs will be under greater cost pressures, which presents a risk to our industry, I also feel that employers’ and employees’ awareness of our solutions have been heightened as a result of Covid-19.
“So, it’s reassuring to see that workplace protection advisers also recognise an opportunity to attract SMEs to our market.
“It also makes sense that advisers see a significant opportunity in the health and wellbeing space. The pandemic has put this at the forefront of the global agenda, and the protection industry has readily met the changing needs of the UK’s workforce and their families during the toughest of times.
“Looking ahead, we, as an industry, must work to continue developing our propositions to ensure advisers have the right tools in place to help employers and their employees get the support they need, when they need it.”