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LIMRA: Serving Producers is Top Reason for Mobile Tech Initiatives

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Almost one third of life insurers have implemented a mobile technology initiative and another 30% plan to launch one for their producers within the year, according to a new report.

LIMRA, Windsor, Conn., published this finding in a summary of results from a survey, Mobile on the Move: Reaching Insurance Stakeholders Wherever They Are. The report examines the mobile initiatives of 53 life insurance companies in the U.S. and Canada and what they are doing to integrate mobile devices into their business model. 

LIMRA says that almost nine in 10 life insurers who have or plan to implement mobile technology initiatives do so to meet growing producer demands and provide better support services.

“Like we saw with social media, life insurers recognize that using mobile technology is not negotiable if the company wants to be competitive now and in the future,” says Mary Art, LIMRA research director, technology in marketing and distribution research.  “Three of four companies surveyed said they were using mobile technology to keep pace with their competitors and nearly as many anticipate these investments will increase sales.”

LIMRA’s study further reveals that two-thirds of life insurers say they want to use mobile technology to improve their service to policyholders and keep pace with consumer demand. 

LIMRA finds that many companies are still in the development phase with mobile technology, launching their first mobile initiatives or pilot programs in 2011.  Mobile applications and modified, mobile-friendly sites are currently the most common developments among life insurance companies.

In the future, says LIMRA, the single most common focus will be on developing a separate mobile website. The research firm believes that as tablets become more popular, mobile websites will provide a better viewing experience that is more cost effective than mobile apps offer.  In addition, consumers are less likely to download an app for insurance since they will not use it often enough. 

LIMRA notes, however, that seven in 10 companies report having trouble allocating adequate human resources to properly launch and manage the new mobile initiatives.  In addition, companies say they struggle to manage the different mobile devices, platforms and operating systems. 

Half of the companies say defining the return on investment for mobile investments and ensuring data security have been issues of concern.