A recent LIMRA poll of industry executives found nine in ten believing insurance companies will continue to form strategic alliances with non-traditional organizations to expand distribution.
The most prominent example of this kind of alliance is the partnership between MetLife and Wal-Mart, which was announced in October 2012. The program involves MetLife marketing one-year term life policies that are pre-paid and purchased through Wal-Mart in about 200 Wal-Mart stores in Georgia and South Carolina.
This is a significant shift from how life insurance has been sold in the past, however with sales capacity stagnant and the largest proportion of U.S. households uninsured or underinsured (58 million households) in history, companies need to start thinking creatively about how to reach more consumers.
Over the last 12 to 14 months, more companies are seriously thinking about expanding their distribution efforts through non-traditional sources, and we expect to see more experiments and pilots. Not all will succeed, but over the next two or three years, companies will start to put small stakes into the ground to see what might work.
You can hear more about the survey findings by listening to an interview of the lead researchers.
Non-members/press may contact LIMRA Public Relations for more information.