Liberal Senator Andrew Bragg suggested his political peers would benefit from financial advice first hand and lent his support to the insurance advice industry during a fireside chat with Michael Rice this morning, saying that unadvised group insurance is “not enough” for at-risk consumers.

Speaking with the Rice Warner CEO on a range of topics while also plugging his new book, Bad Egg, Bragg said he was a “big supporter” of financial advice.

“I’m a user of financial advice myself,” the Senator said. “I’ve suggested to the FSC in the past that it might be a good idea to take members of parliament through the advice process, because it is a good thing to do if you’re getting high quality advice.”

Bragg served as director of policy & global markets at the Financial Services Council – which hosted the event – between 2014 and 2016 before being elected to the Senate in 2019.

He singled out insurance advice as a particular area of importance for consumers, and highlighted the limitations of unadvised group insurance.

“My personal opinion is that on insurance we actually want people to get advice. The group insurance cover has been useful for baseline coverage but if people are really at risk… it’s not enough.

“I represent NSW so I’m very aware of the size of Sydney mortgages and school fees in some cases and the coverage you’re provided in your super fund won’t last you more than a couple of days to be honest.”

Bragg (left) with Rice Warner’s Michael Rice

Bragg agreed with Rice’s assertion that financial advice legislation needs to be addressed, but noted that it was a “difficult issue”.

“We want to make sure financial advice is accessible and affordable,” he said. “It needs to be heavily regulated but I’m sure we can improve it.”

Bragg was one of the first major political figures to contract the coronavirus in March.

He was notably forced to defend an accusation from Shadow Assistant Treasurer Stephen Jones in April that he had distributed “illegal” financial advice and undermined the superannuation system by explaining the government’s early release superannuation scheme in a mailout to his electorate.

“ASIC has actually provided advice that parliamentarians can advise constituents about the new laws we have enacted about super,” Bragg responded, before accusing Jones of trying to protect the industry ahead of consumers.