The study also found that health concerns are now top of mind, with 79% of advisors expecting higher sales of medical products and 77% expecting growth in critical illness insurance sales.
The insurer surveyed 1,600 insurance agents and advisors from various insurance carriers in Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, and Vietnam between August and September 2020.
Another major finding was the pandemic is driving advisors to further embrace digital technology. A majority of respondents (59%) strongly believe they will use both digital and non-digital tools to communicate with clients in the future. The pandemic has also pushed advisors to look at new ways to prospect for clients and to use social media to promote themselves.
Across all markets surveyed, agents expect to operate in a physically distanced environment for at least another year, which means they will need additional support from insurers to help augment traditional sales and communications tactics.
In response to this, Sun Life announced it has partnered with Google to offer an integrated productivity solution to its advisors across Asia. According to Sun Life, using Workspace products including Gmail, Docs, Sheets, Slides, Forms, Calendar, Chat and Meet, will allow its advisors to communicate more easily with clients, automate tasks and work from anywhere. This, the insurer said, will give advisors more time to meet their clients’ needs.
“The pandemic is a great challenge for many industries, including insurance. Advisors are the lifeblood of the insurance industry, and in this survey, we wanted to better understand their situation and mindset,” said Léo Grépin, president of Sun Life Asia. “The results are encouraging as we see opportunities for growth. For insurers, providing additional support to help advisors adapt their practices to be more digital-first is definitely a priority. This is at the heart of our digital enterprise strategy: positioning our advisors for long-term success with the best digital tools, data and insights to deliver a market-leading client experience, manage and grow their business, and pursue continuing training to grow their career.”