A screen capture from a Real Life Stories videos about Summer, a young mother, and her baby, Nathan.

Brooke Shields promoting Life Happens' new COVID-19 scholarship program.

An example of an agent using the Life Insurance Awareness Month campaign to try to start conversations with consumers about life insurance.

Life Happens is preparing to start Life Insurance Awareness Month 2020 (LIAM20) Sept. 1, but, unofficially, the outreach campaign is already going strong.

Brooke Shields is returning as the campaign spokesperson, and Life Happens is seeking donations to fund a new COVID-19 Life Lessons Scholarship Program.

The new scholarship program complements Life Happens’ existing Life Lessons Scholarship Program and Real Life Stories video programs.

Resources

  • Links to Life Happens campaign resources are available here.
  • The COVID-19 scholarship program donation form is available here.
  • An article about the effects of COVID-19 on life insurance application volume is available here.

Life Happens has also posted a collection of graphics, video links and prewritten social media content, including photos and videos featuring Brooke Shields, on its website. Many agents are already using the LIAM2020 materials on Twitter, Instagram and other social media services.

Life Happens has been organizing LIAM campaigns every September since 2004.

COVID-19 may amplify the 2020 campaign, by making both the participants and the consumers reached more conscious of the risk of an early, unexpected death.

“We’ve all witnessed a lot of suffering due to the COVID-19 pandemic,” Brooks says, in the video introducing the new COVID-19 scholarship program. “And I know everyone is trying to help out where they can.”

Life Happens’ Numbers

Life Happens conducted a survey that found that the COVID-19 pandemic has led to an enormous increase in consumers’ interest in life insurance.

Life Happens collaborated with LIMRA on the 2020 Insurance Barometer report.

In one section, the survey team made survey participants rank their level of concern about living expenses, health insurance, life insurance and saving goals, rather than letting them simply express concern or lack of concern about each of those components of spending.

From 2011 through the beginning of 2020, life insurance flopped around at the bottom of the hierarchy chart.

Earlier this year, life insurance suddenly climbed above living expenses as a concern — even though the survey was conducted before the government had acknowledged that much COVID-19 had spread to the United States.

The Lincoln Financial Survey

Lincoln surveyed 1,004 U.S. adults ages 18 and older, in July.

About 7% of the participants said owning life insurance is now less important than it was before COVID-19 came along.

But:

  • 36% said the pandemic makes owning life insurance more important.
  • 9% said they had changed the type of coverage they own in response to COVID-19.
  • 12% said they had increased their life insurance coverage in response to COVID-19.

The Campaign

Life Happens is supporting some of the campaign expenses by asking agents to help content use fees.

An agent can use everything for free for 14 days.

After 14 days, an agent can continue to use many of the campaign flyers, videos and graphics for free.

For $39 per month, an agent can get an embeddable life insurance news calculator.

For $79 per month, an agent can get graphics without the Life Happens brand on them. An agent can get access to extra social media post creation and posting tools.

One video from 2013, for example, features Coleen Stokes. Stokes’ 22-year-old daughter, summer, died at the age of 22, leaving a 9-month-old baby, Nathan, in the care of her mother. Summer bought a small amount of life insurance, against the advice of her mother. Her mother ended up using the money to pay for the funeral and some other bills, and then using the money left over to start a college fund for Nathan, according to the video.

Life Happens aims to ramp up the promotional energy at 1 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time Sept. 2, with a Twitter chat at the hashtag #LIAM20Chats.

Already, during a 24-hour period that started early on Aug. 20, agents, insurers and Reinsurance Group of America, a reinsurer, tweeted more than 50 tweets with the #LIAM20 hashtag. The list of direct writers showing up in those tweets includes Modern Woodmen of America, New York Life and MassMutual.

Several agents, for example, are posting tweets based on a graphic that includes a photo of father feeding a small baby.

— Read The Brooke Shields Strategy Worked: Life Happens Presidenton ThinkAdvisor.

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