Non-advised insurance broker Enduralife is building up an advice proposition as well as moving into the critical illness, private medical insurance and income protection markets.
Just a few months after managing director Kevin Paterson joined, he has set out a vision for the insurance company that will see it offer the broad spectrum of health and protection, as well as move into advised sales, rather than direct, non-advised sales.
Paterson told FTAdviser: "I am in the process of building an advice channel. We want to be a rounded protection specialist firm that looks at IP, PMI, every shade of life and CI.
"We want to be a protection specialist that can triage the customer with the right consumer outcome each time."
In March, the company already expanded its proposition to offer existing customers buildings and contents insurance.
The company, which was set up in 2012, also partners with advice businesses to help clients who need specialist planning such as inheritance tax advice or end-of-life financial planning, passing them to Zen Generational Wealth.
Paterson, whose background is "entirely advised" said he believes the Covid-19 pandemic had shown the importance of branching out from non-advised sales.
To do this, he intends to get up to approximately 60 sales staff by the end of 2023, offering a combination of advised, non-advised and specialist staff. At the moment, there are approximately 40 front-end sales team members.
He said: "First of all, I have put in place a training and development programme, which is open to existing staff who want to broaden their knowledge and move into different aspects of the advice channel, as well as recruiting externally.
"We are going to create a more thorough fact-find, so we can offer more nuances to advice. For example, rather than having clients just call us and ask, 'What can I buy for £20 a month in terms of life cover?', we can talk to them about things such as family income benefit and income protection needs."
He said ultimately there would be a move to more mainstream PMI, adding: "Having that within the armoury would enable us to give a more rounded protection offering to clients."
Paterson also said he was planning to build a more specialised review team to look after the customer base, to "ensure their needs are being met as well as helping our front-end sales teams to focus on triaging protection needs".
Advised or non-advised?
The issue of advised/non-advised insurance sales in the UK has become particularly thorny of late, with industry stalwarts such as Tom Baigrie, founder of Lifesearch, telling the Protection Review conference in December last year that non-advised sales were a "hidden lottery".
He told the conference last year: "Our market should begin and end with the consumer. But with non-advised sales, it becomes a hidden lottery, a game she has no chance of winning because she does not know the rules.