In National Underwriter’s 2013 Multicultural Markets Research Study, product affordability was cited as the No. 1 challenge for advisors serving the African American (70 percent) and Hispanic (47 percent) markets. (Figure 7) While on the surface, product affordability may appear to be the root cause for the lack of insurance sales in these markets, is it the real reason the markets are underserved or are their other, underlying factors to uncover?
In the study, only 28 percent of agents cited “more affordable products” as something insurance companies could offer to help them more effectively reach multicultural clients. Targeted advertising (57 percent), better brand awareness (50 percent), easier to explain products (43 percent), more training (33 percent) and live telephone support (32 percent) all scored higher than more affordable products. (Figure 8, next page)
These numbers show that agents place their concerns more with marketing materials and back-office support than they do product affordability. In fact, when asked to elaborate on what insurers could do to help agents better reach multicultural clients, none of the respondents mentioned product affordability as their primary concern.