Agents and brokers who specialize in selling life insurance and annuities may need to spend some time marketing themselves to other players in the life insurance market.
(Related: Foundation Kicks Off Life Awareness Month)
Life Happens, an Arlington, Virginia-based nonprofit group, is getting ready to kick off its 15th annual life awareness effort Sept. 1.
This year, the group is putting some of the consumer-oriented videos and marketing materials it offers agents behind a log-in wall, and making access available only to agents affiliated with life insurers or other companies that are helping to pay for the campaign. The goal is to make the agents aware that home offices have cut off campaign funding, and to mobilize the agents to educate the home office personnel about the importance of supporting the campaign, Feldman said.
“We’ve had to tell [agents], ‘Your company chose not to fund us for 2017,” Feldman said.
In some cases, home office workers seem to have cut off funding without talking to the field agents, and without understanding how the field agents use the campaign materials, Feldman said.
Feldman said Life Happens has reports that show how its work increases consumer awareness of the value of life insurance.
“People do listen to us,” Feldman said.
Life Happens’ status as a nonprofit that is not promoting any specific product or brand increases its credibility, Feldman said.
Changes Squeeze Support
Seven life distribution groups started Life Happens, under the name Life Insurance Foundation for Education, in 1994. At that time, plunging interest rates were hurting the performance of interest-based life insurance products. Foundation organizers wanted to improve the industry’s reputation, and to help consumers, policymakers and others understand how life insurance can help improve a family’s financial security.
The group started the awareness month effort in 2004. Feldman has been in the life insurance industry for more than 50 years, and he’s been running Life Happens for 10 years.
Some giant life insurers that were on the group’s list of member companies 10 years ago are missing now.
(Photo: Allison Bell/TA)