NU Online News Service, July 23, 2003, 3:33 p.m. EDT – Ninety-six percent of consumers surveyed said an agent’s reputation for honesty and integrity is a very or somewhat important factor to consider when buying life insurance, according to survey results released by the Insurance Marketplace Standards Association, Washington.

When researchers from Harris Interactive Inc., Rochester, N.Y., interviewed 1,009 U.S. adults for IMSA over the telephone, they found that an agent’s integrity was as important to the survey participants as policy benefits.

Ninety-four percent of the survey participants agreed that the price of a policy is a very or somewhat important factor. The insurer’s financial rating was important to 90% of the participants, and recommendations for agents from friends and relatives were important to 80%.

The researchers also found that the role of the Web in insurance marketing might be exaggerated.

Seventy-nine percent of the survey participants said they do not go online to research life insurance, and 88% said they do not buy life insurance over the Web.