Independent financial advisers are losing out on selling life and health insurance to Yuppies because they are not trusted, finds a survey by Focus Solutions Group.
More than half of the 25-35 year-old young professionals surveyed have no critical illness cover or income protection. Two thirds (65%) claim to have no life assurance policies, while nearly as many (60%) have no private medical insurance.
But there is a major snag in persuading the upwardly mobile to buy cover – the survey also found that few young professionals think independent financial advisers are actually independent.
Only 5% feel that they are guaranteed impartial advice. Some believe that IFAs are influenced by commission payments on certain products and so will not point customers towards the best products for their needs.
A third (35%) said they would expect to use an adviser to help identify their financial needs, but nearly as many (29%) would prefer to talk to a friend or relative for this advice. Six per cent would seek advice from the press rather than a trained financial adviser.
On a more positive note, three-quarters (76%) see the internet as providing some answers, making it easier to compare and buy financial products in the future.
There is still a resistance to buying more complex financial products via new channels such as the internet and digital TV – almost half (44%) said they would never buy a mortgage over these channels.
But all those surveyed were open to buying car insurance this way.
Focus Solutions Group managing director John Streets said: "Providers will need to ensure effective, integrated communications across the range of channels their customers require, so that in the future, IFAs and consumers will be able to source products through a comparison tool on-line, spend a short time on the phone or face-to-face with a provider's service team and then go back to the internet to process the new business application.
"If the industry can get these elements right a whole new market of customers will open up for them."
The survey also found that these yuppies – who earn average annual salaries of £30,000 – tend to save little or nothing.
If they received a £10,000 gift, nearly half (46%) would spend more than three-quarters of it immediately. Only 15% would invest it for the future.
One of the key stumbling blocks for this group is that they find financial products difficult to understand.
Two thirds of those surveyed (63%) find these products hard to comprehend and nearly as many (59%) admitted they would be more interested in them if they were quicker and easier to buy.