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Life Health > Life Insurance

Live Human Agents Still Have Fans

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Some U.S. consumers may be deciding they prefer flesh-and-blood life insurance agents to online insurance purchasing systems. 

(Related: White House Still Pressing to Hold ACA Change Vote This Week)

LIMRA and Life Happens raised that possibility today, when they released the results of their latest annual Insurance Barometer survey.

The nonprofit organizations commissioned an online survey of 2,031 U.S. adults ages 18 through 75. About half said they had visited a life insurance company’s website at some point. Roughly one-quarter of the participants said they had purchased, or tried to purchase, life insurance online.

The participants were cool to the idea of cutting live humans out of the life insurance purchase process.

LIMRA asked consumers to react to several possible benefits of buying coverage through simplified underwriting process. About 63% of the seniors surveyed said they liked the idea of transparent risk classification and pricing, and 61% said they liked the idea of a fast, easy purchasing process.

Just 33% rated “avoids face-to-face conversation” as an extremely or very appealing benefit of a simplified underwriting process. Avoiding face-to-face conversation was the least popular “benefit” of simplified underwriting that LIMRA asked about.

The numbers were different for the millennial survey participants, but the youngest survey participants also seemed to be willing to talk to agents and underwriters in person. About 74% of the millennials said they liked the idea of a simplified underwriting process being fast and easy; only 53% said they thought avoiding face-to-face conversation was very appealing. For the millennials, as for the seniors, avoid face-to-face conversation was the least popular benefit of a simplified underwriting process.

The survey team also asked consumers to rate the importance of several factors that could lead them to complete a life insurance purchase.

About 83% of the survey participants said having a product that was easy to understand was important. Access to live humans came in second: 66% of the participants said they would want the “ability to chat with a person.”

— Read Some Young Investors Like Live Human Advisors on ThinkAdvisor.


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