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The Purchase Funnel — Tracking Consumers Through the Life Insurance Purchase Process (2017)

The Purchase Funnel

Industry Issues

The Individual Life Insurance Consumer Survey assists business development and distribution effectiveness. This analysis identifies traits of households that purchase life insurance, and illustrates applied marketing tactics to connect with life insurance buyers.

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Key Findings

  • 1 in 4 households recognized the need for life insurance in the last 24 months, suggesting that 31 million U.S. households entered the life insurance purchase process.
  • Among those recognizing the need for life insurance, 60 percent seriously shopped for coverage. This suggests 15 percent of U.S. households (19 million) are using the industry’s marketing and communication systems over a 24-month period.
  • Among those that shop for life insurance, a very high percentage (73 percent) apply for at least one quote. This suggests 14 million households apply for life insurance quotes over a two-year period (roughly 583,000 households per month).
  • Of those that apply for quotes, 64 percent go on to buy life insurance coverage, which suggests 7 percent of American households (9 million) purchase life insurance over a two-year period (roughly 375,000 per month)

Purchase Funnel - Infographic

Purchase Funnel - 6 - Small

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Meet the Project Director

James T. Scanlon, M.S., HIA
Senior Research Director, Insurance Research - Markets

Scanlon directs a team of LIMRA researchers focused on insurance product and service marketing. His program includes one-time topical studies, as well as recurring surveys that track consumer behaviors and ownership levels over time. Scanlon conducts projects with a focus on key consumer segments, including the middle market, affluent markets, and small-business owners. He holds an M.S. in resource economics from the University of Massachusetts, where he also earned a B. A. in economics.

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James T. Scanlon, M.S., HIA