The long-term care (LTC) sector will be "too niche" to benefit from an RDR-driven increase in specialist advisers, a long-term care specialist has said.
Liz Faye, adviser at long-term care IFA Palm Financial Care, said while many advisers would turn away from a jack-of-all-trades business approach to survive the FSA's Retail Distribution Review, it would not make a difference in the social care sector.
She said: "We will still have very few firms advising on it. Advising on long-term care is much more than writing an immediate needs policy and consumers just do not know the advisers are there. It is a really specialist area that advisers need to put a lot of hard work into to get business and referrals out of."
But according to insurer Partnership, demand from the adviser community for education on long-term care was high.
Partnership had 600 IFA registrations for its Later Life Forums this year, exceeding expectations of 400 attendees. And interest has been up 20% since last year's forums, Partnership has reported, although 2011's events were not entirely dedicated to care.
Chris Horlick, chief executive of Partnership, explained that the ever-changing nature of the sector and complexity could be hard for advisers to keep abreast of.
He added: "Post-RDR the lengthy time it can take from the beginning to the end of writing a policy, sometimes 6 months, could be a very valuable opportunity for firms to provide advice.
"It is one of those areas that consumers know very little about so it could potentially be very remunerable in a fee-based RDR world."
The FSA's policy statement 04/14: Regulation of long-term care insurance, stated advisers must pass "an appropriate exam" to advise in the area.
The CF8 long-term care insurance exam was introduced by the Chartered Insurance Institute in reaction to the requirements. It has been included in its QCF level 4 qualifications which advisers must achieve to remain independent post 2012.
Mr Horlick said every self-funder should be referred to CF8-qualified independent advisers, adding that then there would be more demand for advisers to be active in the area.
He said: "We are moving towards that but perhaps not as quickly as we would like."
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