11 November 2020


  • Increased client appetite to discuss protection persists as the pandemic continues. 
  • 82% of advisers say Covid has become a part of every protection conversation. 
  • Inbound protection enquiries from new and existing clients have risen. 
  • Over half of advisers say they’ve seen an increase in protection sales. 
  • Advisers are split when it comes to impact of Covid-19 on revenue. 
  • 57% of advisers have seen no fall but 38% have seen a loss in overall revenue. 
  • This is less severe than feared – six months ago 56% predicted a loss in revenue. 

As England moves into a new lockdown, protection challenger Guardian launches findings from its second round of adviser research into the impact of Covid-19 on the protection market. Results show the increase in consumer willingness to talk about protection – initially reported during the UK’s first lockdown – strongly persists. Of the 316 advisers surveyed, 76% of advisers say clients are more willing to discuss protection than before the pandemic. That’s consistent with the 75% who said the same earlier this summer. 

Inbound protection enquiries are also up compared to earlier in the year. 56% of advisers said they’ve seen an increase in protection enquiries from new clients, up from 39% in the summer. Existing clients, too, are showing increased appetite to discuss their protection needs. 49% of advisers are seeing an increase in inbound queries from their existing customer base, up from 40% in the summer. And 53% of advisers report an increase in protection sales. 

It’s not just client behaviour that’s changing. Advisers are shifting their behaviour too. Guardian’s research shows advisers are discussing protection more frequently. The latest findings show 85% of advisers who previously ‘didn’t normally talk about protection’ are now doing so. That’s up from 83% in the summer. And 82% of advisers say that Covid-19 now features in all of their client protection discussions. 

In terms of the impact Covid-19’s had on overall adviser revenue, there’s a split amongst adviser firms. Some report that their businesses are holding up, while some seeing a downturn. However, there are encouraging signs the impact has been less devastating than initially expected. Over half of adviser firms surveyed (57%) said overall revenue had not fallen as a result of Covid-19. 38% of advisers said they had seen an overall fall in income. However, this figure compares favourably to the 56% who predicted a loss in income earlier in the year. 

Other signs that the impact’s been less severe than feared are the number of advisers saying they expect to resort to new ways to make income. In summer 54% predicted they’d need to, but in the latest research, just 29% said they would. Likewise, earlier in the year, 76% predicted that they’d need to focus on existing customers, yet in October, 55% said that this had happened. This suggests that new clients have also been seeking financial advice. 

Jacqui Gillies, Guardian Marketing and Proposition Director, said: “Half a year on from the initial shock, 76% of advisers report clients are still showing increased willingness to discuss protection. This is the single most important change we’ve seen in client behaviour for years and it’s persisting. The experience of 2020 means protection is what people want to talk about.” 

“Almost everyone has a protection need. Covid-19 has put this front of mind for clients and many have been making proactive inbound calls seeking financial advice. Advisers have such an important role to play in helping people identify their needs and find the right product and we have a role to play in supporting them.” 

Guardian’s award-winning proposition has been awarded Gold status across the board by Protection Guru and is renowned for its high-quality features, including its cover upgrade promise and comprehensive definitions. The challenger recently launched a website to support advisers – The site brings to life the protection conversation using human stories and helps explain important considerations when choosing between products. 

-Release ends- 

Notes to editors:

Press enquiries to Natalie Robinson, 07789 501146,

All results from Guardian adviser surveys throughout 2020. Survey 1 to 421 advisers from 14 April to 30 June. Survey 2 to 316 advisers from 19 October until 26 October 2020. 

Guardian Financial Services is an appointed representative of Scottish Friendly
All products are provided by Scottish Friendly Assurance Society Limited (SFA) and we have an agreement with them to underwrite and issue the protection policies we distribute through the UK intermediary channel. As an appointed representative of Scottish Friendly Assurance Society Limited, Guardian Financial Services Limited is the market-facing brand under which we promote our proposition and engage with advisers. 

Background to Guardian Financial Services, owned by Gryphon Group Holdings
Guardian, the new life and protection insurance business, launched in 2018 and pledged to grow the protection market. The brand promise of ‘Life. Made Better.’ reflects the company’s commitment to rethink and reinvent protection for the better; making sure customers get cover that’s easier to understand, simple to buy and designed to never let them down. 

Guardian’s business partners
Gryphon Group Holdings is majority owned by Punter Southall Group as the largest equity capital investor. Its back-end technology partner is Liss Systems, the UK arm of Nasdaq-listed EXL. Its front-end technology, branding and marketing partner is Space, UK based financial services specialists. Risk partners are Hannover Re and Gen Re.