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How do consumers look for life insurance, other coverage?

Life Insurance and Annuities
by Chris Davis
How do consumers look for life insurance, other coverage?
How do consumers look for life insurance, other coverage?

These days, the life insurance industry seems to be constantly in search of ways to boost client rolls, but hasn't really been able to find a significant foothold even as the broader economy continues to improve. Therefore, it might be wise for those companies to do a little bit more to determine how consumers research such coverage, and for them to make decisions about where they focus their efforts in the coming months based on that.

For instance, recent data from the Local Search Association shows that some 63 percent of consumers actually prefer to get information about new insurance policies via agents or other financial professionals, rather than other sources that might be emerging, according to a report from Life Health Pro. At the same time, roughly 38 percent likewise say they learn about insurance products of various types online instead.

A closer breakdown shows that the 38 percent of consumers who use online research is the single largest method that people engage in, with another 2 percent saying they do so via mobile app, the report said. However, 22 percent prefer advice via phone, while 20 percent more say they like it in person. Finally, 9 percent say they either learn about policies by mail, or simply don't know their preference.

What about when it comes time to buy?
Those trends also largely hold up when consumers decide to buy insurance coverage as well, the report said. While 24 percent say they'll also do that online, far larger portions prefer to do it by phone or in person (30 percent and 33 percent, respectively). Another 8 percent don't really have a preference, while 3 percent will do so by mail, and 1 percent will use a mobile app.

Meanwhile, the data also - unsurprisingly - shows that people become far more likely to make major purchases that would require insurance - home and vehicle ownership, among others - when they deal with major life events, the report said. That includes marriage and having a baby, as well as having grandchildren.

Life insurance companies are likely aware of the importance of capitalizing on consumers' changing needs during and following life events. However, coming to an understanding about how people, particularly the youngest generation of adults, choose to research and shop for coverage could go a long way toward improving bottom lines going forward.

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