WINDSOR, Conn., Apr. 10, 2012 — A recent LIMRA study of Americans’ buying habits found that nearly 20 percent who shopped for life insurance went through their place of work, and 75 percent of workplace shoppers actually bought life insurance.
“More and more people are turning to their place of work to get the financial products they need,” said Kim Landry, Analyst, LIMRA Group Product Research. “Clearly, the convenience of having the resource at their place of work coupled with the feeling of security felt by working with someone their employer has (implicitly) approved, are drawing consumers to this channel.”
Thirty percent of workplace shoppers for life insurance products revealed they shopped simply because the product was offered to them at work. LIMRA’s research has shown that life triggers – like changing marital status or having or adopting a baby – are most likely to drive people to shop for life insurance. Similarly, in the workplace, a change of marital status or a new baby round out the top three reasons consumers said they shopped for life insurance.
Who is the workplace shopper?
According to LIMRA’s study, workplace shoppers are more likely to be male than female (55 percent vs. 45 percent). More than three-quarters are married or living with a partner, and a majority have children under 18 in their households shopped at the workplace. Workplace shoppers tend to be younger than those who shop through other channels; they have higher average incomes than other shoppers and tend to have more investable assets.
Producers’ Report Card
LIMRA asked these shoppers to provide their opinion of the producer they met (chart). The good news is that 8 in 10 workplace shoppers felt their producer provided good information about the policy, and was very knowledgeable about insurance in general. Nearly three-quarters felt they could trust their producer. Unfortunately, shoppers also provided some negative feedback. Nearly half of workplace shoppers said their producer failed to follow up with them (a third of workplace shoppers who didn’t buy said that they were not finished shopping), and 4 in 10 workplace shoppers didn’t feel that their producer considered what they could actually afford. More than a third said they didn’t receive enough product options.
How Can Producers Improve?
There are three things LIMRA identified that workplace producers can do to improve:
Since workplace shoppers tend to be younger and less experienced, producers should ensure these consumers fully understand the products and how they work.
Provide additional information if needed during the decision-making process, such as printed reference materials or a link to information online.
By all means, follow-up with the workplace shopper.
“We were surprised to see so many workplace shoppers feeling that they needed more follow-up from the sales rep, which was a significantly higher percentage than we found for consumers who shopped through other channels,” noted Landry. “Our behavioral economic research indicates that consumers may need time to consider their decision and, as our study found, if we don’t follow-up with them, we may be leaving money on the table.”
Catherine Theroux, 860-285-7787, www.limra.com.
About the Study
The findings are based on the results from LIMRA’s U.S. Life Insurance Buyer-Nonbuyer study, which looked at the life insurance shopping experience from the consumer’s viewpoint and how consumers’ experiences during this shopping process influence whether they will buy or not. LIMRA surveyed only those consumers who “seriously shopped” for life insurance over the past 24 months. The results were weighted to represent the U.S. population.
LIMRA, a worldwide research, consulting and professional development organization, is the trusted source of industry knowledge, helping more than 850 insurance and financial services companies in 73 countries increase their marketing and distribution effectiveness. Visit LIMRA at www.limra.com.