Press coverage

Published June 2, 2012 by Risk Info

Risk Info

Value of advice illustrated in new Insurance Calculator

A new client engagement tool has been launched which can help advisers illustrate the value of insurance. The Astute Wheel Client Engagement Platform is an online program designed to enhance the client engagement process.

According to the Platform’s creators, adviser Hans Egger and marketing specialist Michael Topper, the insurance calculator suits both new advisers who are dealing with their first risk client, as well as risk specialists.

“What we’ve got is a very comprehensive analysis of a client’s needs done really efficiently,” Mr Egger said.The process begins by generating a pre-appointment client email containing a short introductory video and two simple, online questionnaires, which are designed to introduce the client to the concept of financial advice before they set foot in the planner’s office.

During the first appointment, advisers can then use the Platform’s range of calculator ‘suites’ to guide clients through the various elements of advice, including wealth protection.

The insurance calculator takes the client through a series of simple, needs-based questions, across a number of categories including death, permanent disablement and temporary disablement. This data is then combined with the information captured via the pre-appointment questionnaires and used to immediately generate a ‘live’ insurance model which is designed to assist the client understand how much cover is required, and what that money will be used for.

“Young insurance guys are saying this is fantastic, it brings it all together for me, and helps me know what questions to ask,” said Mr Egger. The older, more experienced advisers are saying: ‘This is what I do already’ but they often do it roughly, on the back of an envelope and by using this tool they create comprehensive file notes for their paraplanners and admin staff.”

Advisers can also use the program as a fee-for-service pricing tool, leveraging what Mr Egger calls the Astute Wheel. The Wheel segments advice into six categories, and illustrates how financial advice works in each category. It can help clients to determine which areas of advice they need/want, and scope the planning service appropriately.

“The Astute Wheel and the suite of tools allow planners to very quickly and very simply explain the power of their financial planning services in a way which is, thanks to the information the planner has received via the online tools, already being tailored to the prospective client’s unique circumstances and needs,” Mr Egger said. “It also offers planners a very effective pricing mechanism.”

The Client Engagement Platform can also assist advisers to manage reviews with disengaged clients, and assist in the referral process. Data can be exported into financial planning software (such as Coin or XPLAN), and retained as PDF or printed file notes.

More than 100 financial planners across 40 financial planning practices have paid to use a beta version of the Platform since December 2011, and Astute says it is now in discussions with several licensees to roll the Platform out to their planners.

“The feedback we have received to date has been overwhelmingly positive and our insurance calculator is already being coined by industry experts as the best in Australia,” Mr Egger said.

Published in RiskInfo.