Oh, boy, the times they are a-changing–a new study by LIMRA and the LIFE Foundation finds that a sea change is taking place in the life insurance world. Increasingly, consumers are shifting toward a direct buying method for insurance products.
The good news, for any traditionalists out there, is that 64 percent of consumers still prefer to buy life insurance “from an insurance or financial professional face-to-face.” The bad news is that number has dropped from 80 percent in 1996. The study also found that 26 percent of consumers prefer to purchase life insurance through the Internet, mail or over the phone.
“The Internet has changed consumers’ buying practices over the past 15 years,” says Marvin H. Feldman, CEO of the LIFE Foundation. “Recognizing the growing consumer interest to use the Internet to conduct research and buy life insurance, life insurance companies and agents have created innovative strategies to engage and serve consumers through their websites and social media platforms.”
Some other key points from the study: 86 percent of consumers generally consider life insurance, but only 70 percent believe they “personally need life insurance.” And, worse still, only 63 percent of those surveyed say they own life insurance.