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Life insurers may need to provide more flexibility to boost sales

Life Insurance and Annuities
by Lisa Jiang
More life insurers tracking policyholder habits with technology
More life insurers tracking policyholder habits with technology

The life insurance industry hasn't had the easiest time in attracting new customers over the last several years, thanks to the economic downturn and the resultant problems it caused for many consumers' personal bottom lines. As such, it might be wise for those companies that are still not acquiring new clients at a speed they might desire to look into their offerings and see if there's any way they can make them more attractive to Americans overall.

In the last few years, hybrid products have started to gain a foothold in the industry, as consumers saw the ability to be protected by not only traditional life coverage but also other types of plans such as disability or chronic illness insurance as well, to be more beneficial and therefore a better investment, according to a report from Life Health Pro. These may become even more popular over the next several years, because of the fact that so many baby boomers are likely to approach or even pass their retirement age in the near future. Therefore, the more companies do to establish themselves as leaders in the realm of hybrid life insurance products, the better their positions might be to reach these potential new customers.

Where it's already happening
Of course, savvy insurers have likely spotted that this trend has taken hold with one type of coverage in particular: Universal life, the report said. In this regard, attaching chronic illness benefits as add-ons to UL plans might be beneficial given the fact that even these combined premiums may be beneficial when compared with standard life coverage plus the cost of long-term care insurance, especially given the ways in which older working Americans today might have been set back in their retirement plans by the recent economic downturn. In addition, it might be wise for companies to go even beyond these offerings and allow consumers to tack on other types of coverage as well, such as longevity riders, to make sure that people are as comfortable with their insurance benefits as they need to be without breaking the bank.

The more options consumers are given by any individual insurer, the more likely they may be to stick with that company and invest in a plan that they can hold onto for decades to come. That, in turn, will be a huge boost to many insurers that are still trying to recover from the sting of the recession.

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