Unlike most retail goods, the convenience of buying life insurance online doesn’t motivate people to buy. Though familiar messaging stressing how ‘quick and easy’ it is to buy online sounds like an attractive message, LIMRA research has shown that many consumers find the message off-putting when it comes to buying life insurance.
LIMRA recently conducted a follow-up study aimed at improving upon the ‘quick and easy’ message. The experiment tested the effectiveness of ten different messages touting various benefits of buying online. Instead of revealing a winning message, the study serves as a reminder of the challenges of selling life insurance – a product that remains in the “sold, not bought” category – as none of the online test messages appear to do a better job motivating consumers to buy life insurance.
While there isn’t one message theme that provided better results from all participants, certain demographic groups responded more favorably to specific messages.
For example, men and consumers who are not married had a more favorable opinion towards life insurance after reading messaging that said they could buy the same quality product online as they would from a financial professional.
Fifty-five percent of men strongly agree that “life insurance is for me” after reading a “same quality product” message compared to 44 percent with the control message. Similarly, 48 percent of non-married consumers strongly agree “life insurance is for me” after reading the message around same quality product compared to 35 percent with the control message.
The study found women responded more favorably to messaging that assured them their personal information would be secure, compared with the response to control message. Seventy percent of women strongly agree that “life insurance is important” after reading message themed around security, compared with just 59 percent of women who receive the control message.
There is more opportunity to purchase life insurance online than ever before and LIMRA expects to see growth in online sales, but will it be organic growth? Will the internet provide companies access to the coveted untapped middle market? Our research confirms that decision to buy is the biggest hurdle for consumers and motivating people to buy life insurance remains the industry’s greatest challenge. For most motivated consumers, how they will buy is an afterthought. For now, our research indicates that the people who will buy online are people who have already decided to buy life insurance.
For more information on this topic, LIMRA members can read Was It Something We Said? Messaging About Buying Life Insurance Online.