Advisers are opting to use claims advocacy services to free up their own time to interact with clients and to work on their businesses, according to the head of AFRM Claims Advocacy (ACA), Bruno Muraca.
ACA Chief Executive, Bruno Muraca
He said since its launch ACA had signed up around 100 advisers across 40 practices to its claims advocacy services where around half wrote risk business and were capable of handling claims but still chose to outsource the task to ACA.
“The main themes we are seeing among advisers who use ACA is they have a limited capacity to handle claims alongside their other work and are being redirected from working with current clients and developing new clients,” Muraca said.
He said some advisers did admit they were less experienced in handling claims but ACA was not seeing a split between risk only advisers and those who also worked in the area of wealth management.
“The pressure on all sorts of advisers to handle the work involved in the claims process, and find the bandwidth to complete that task, is similar across the board,” he said, adding a basic claim can take at least ten hours to complete and most practices will have an average of five claims per year.
“The pressure on all sorts of advisers to handle the work involved in the claims process…is similar across the board”
Muraca said the time liaising between medical practitioners, insurers, advisers and clients can quickly add up and the use of a claims advocacy service allows advisers to focus on enriching their client relationships by providing emotional support during a difficult time.
“Previously, they have not been able to have as much of an influence on their clients’ return to wellness as they can now, with ACA’s support. It’s the influence on the clients’ return to wellness that bolsters the relationship with the client and their family,” he said.
Muraca added that ACA had taken on 12 new client claims during June and July and was continuing to receive interest from the adviser and superannuation trustee market after spending the first half of 2018 developing its service offering.
“After launching in the last quarter of 2017, we spent our first six months listening to the market to ensure our product offering was relevant to all stakeholders – retail advisers and their clients, superannuation fund trustees and insurers – so it is really pleasing to see the traction we have achieved in the past six months,” Muraca said.