In a world of flat financial returns and dodgy investment options, the old tried and true world of life insurance might be a solid footing for a secure retirement plan - but advisors, for the most part, are steering clear of the product.
A new survey by Saybrus Partners, a subsidiary of the Phoenix Companies, Inc., suggests that more than half of financial advisors admit they steer clear of discussions about the benefits of life insurance, when speaking to clients on general financial planning issues.
Only 34 percent of those polled said they felt "very comfortable" recommending life insurance to their clients, and almost a fifth of those contacted said they were "uncomfortable" or "very uncomfortable" recommending policies to their clients.
Even those clients already holding life insurance policies were left in the dark, as only 47 percent of advisors surveyed said they reviewed existing insurance policies as part of their annual overlook of accounts and holdings.
"Advisors are constantly reviewing the performance of their clients' stocks and other investments. By contrast, they are reviewing their clients' life insurance policies far more infrequently, based on life events or client requests," said Kevin Kimbrough, national sales manager for Saybrus.
"This means that many of their clients may be lacking essential protection for themselves and their families or missing opportunities to more effectively transfer their wealth to the next generation. Life insurance is not a set-it-and-forget-it product. It should be monitored and adjusted."
Kimbrough says that 42 percent of the advisors surveyed said they'd feel more comfortable discussing and recommending the products to their own clients if they could work with a life insurance specialist or attend life insurance seminars geared for financial advisors.