The Bank Manager

The bank manager is often depicted as a man to turn to for advice on financial matters in general. Today, his role is more often that of the intermediary. Bank managers can and do bring together their banking clients and the bank's own insurance personnel. All the major banks now have their own insurance broking divisions and some also own their own life insurance company as well. There is a wide range of advice offered by the broking personnel who are, normally, qualified insurance staff. In the case of banks which own their own life insurance company there is little evidence that they push the products of that company in preference to those of its competitors. The clearing banks' Trustee Departments, which are geared to provide advice on problems involving substantial sums of money, usually involving tax and estate planning, operate independently and offer a high degree of competence and ability.

The Solicitor

The average solicitor spends little time on the problems of ordinary life insurance. But to the extent that he advises clients on wills, estates and trusts he may provide insurance guidance as an ancillary to his legal advice. He is, however, unlikely to be in touch with the life insurance market place and with the development of new policies and variations, and he probably holds agencies with only a few companies, which means that his choice of policies is limited.

The Accountant

Like the solicitor, the accountant is in a good position to know the financial situation of his clients. Like the solicitor he is also often involved in investment management and in recent years this has meant an increasing awareness and use of single-premium policies as an investment medium. Like the solicitor, the accountant normally regards any advice on life insurance as a secondary aspect of his business and is unlikely to hold agencies with more than a few companies.


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Commission levels

With this exception, advisers are in the same boat as far as their earnings from selling life insurance are concerned. But what of the quality of advice they can offer?

Table 2N Some typical commission levels.

Whole life non-profit, managed 40, sum assured £1113,000, annual premium £1200

Initial commission: £11120 in first year, plus £160 in second

Renewal commission: £15

Term assurance over 10 years, managed 30, sum assured

£165,000, annual premium £11100

Initial commission: £160
... see: Commission levels


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