Consumers Want Same Experience When Buying Life Insurance and Other Retail Products

A new LIMRA study reveals that consumers expect transparency from a life insurance purchase in the same way they would for buying other retail or travel products.

There are several overarching factors that consumers feel contribute toward transparency. First, consumers want easy-to-understand terms and if possible, a glossary. They are also looking for clear and accurate ways to compare companies and products. And they want the ability to easily call or chat with knowledgeable sales representatives. Lastly, they are looking for an easy to use online application.

While buying life insurance may not be the same type of purchase as buying clothing or a trip, many consumers want to at least start the buying process online. Research shows prospective buyers initially go online for two reasons: to gather information before contacting someone in person, or to gather information with high hopes of completing the entire process online.  

What consumers want from companies online

The data from LIMRA‘s focus groups show what consumers want from companies online:

  • Provide transparency. Consumers want the ability to compare companies and products. Transparency is the new normal and helps take the mystery out of life insurance.
  • Offer quotes without restrictions. Consumers want to be able to see product quotes without having to register or provide contact information upfront.
  • Be reachable online and in person. Being able to call/chat with someone is essential. Online chatting is currently optional and consumers are becoming more interested in using it. In addition, an agent locator tool is valuable to consumers so they can quickly find a financial professional.
  • Offer an option for automated underwriting. Some consumers find the physical exam of the life insurance application invasive and prefer an automated underwriting option. Remember to point out if it is a more expensive option up front.
  • Offer online services. Even though life insurance is typically a low service product, consumers expect online services. Some things they want to be able to do online include the ability to change their address, and check policy provisions and payment options.

LIMRA conducted four focus groups of consumers who purchased life insurance within the past 24 months. The study reflects the findings from these focus groups.