WINDSOR, Conn., May 29, 2009 — More than 85 percent of consumers surveyed view the Internet as a good source of information for insurance, according to a new LIMRA report.
“Clearly, consumers are looking for reliable information to help them make informed decisions on their insurance and annuity purchases,” said Mary Art, LIMRA research director, Technology in Marketing and Distribution Research. “While insurance professionals still remain the top source for information, the majority of consumers are enlisting help from employers, friends and family and insurance company and financial Web sites.”
LIMRA researchers found that 52 percent of consumers who sought information on individual life insurance, disability coverage, long-term care insurance or annuities made the Internet at least one of their information sources, a significant increase over 2006 (38 percent).
Consumers are increasingly willing to engage in financial activities online. About three-quarters of consumers surveyed said they expect to do more of their financial business over the Internet in the next five years.
Consumers have more online options today to educate themselves about financial companies and products, including calculators and interactive tools. Is buying online the next step? In fact, the number of consumers who bought insurance online has doubled since 2006. Price, convenience and a good Web site were the top factors that influenced these consumers.
But consumers still want to be able to interact with a person to answer their questions—either by phone, e-mail or interactive chat forums.
There has to be real person who is knowledgeable to go to if the online information is not adequate.
— Male, Baby Boomer, $100,000 + household income.
“Online sales of insurance are likely to increase as consumers become more confident that they will have the customer support and security with online transactions that they experience with traditional sales methods,” said Art. “Companies can capitalize on this trend by promoting their company Web site and ensuring the site offers consumers the most desired online services.”
About LIMRA International
LIMRA International is a worldwide research, consulting and professional development organization that helps more than 850 insurance and financial services companies in 73 countries increase their marketing and distribution effectiveness. Visit LIMRA at www.limra.com.