LIMRA Examines Life Insurance Customer Use of Online Services
WINDSOR, Conn., July 25, 2011 — In a recent study of life insurance policyowners, LIMRA found that one in two have visited their life insurer’s website and 70 percent of those who visited, did so to use the online services.
“Not surprisingly, the majority of Generation X and Y policyowners and almost half of Boomer policyowners who have visited their life company’s website sought online services from their insurers — citing convenience and ease of use as reasons they visited the sites,” said Mary Art, LIMRA research director, technology in marketing and distribution research. “With Internet usage growing almost 150 percent in the last decade, it is vital that companies understand who their online audience is and what their expectations are and develop a website that offers the important services that these customers say they want.”
The report, Connecting for Service Online: Customer Service for Life Insurance, revealed that customers are interested in obtaining a wide variety of online services, with billing information, email and mailing address updates, forms access and policy information high on their list. LIMRA researchers suggest that insurers also offer information on managing finances and planning relevant to their financial concerns, such as saving for college, building an emergency fund, saving for retirement and saving for a home.
Other features mentioned by policyowners include:
- A Search Box: At least 1 in 2 life insurance policyowners (whether or not they have used the company website) consider a site search box on the company website to be very important.
- Price and Product Comparisons: More than 50 percent of policyowners are interested in the availability of price and product comparisons of products from their life insurance company on the site.
- Ability to Initiate Personal Changes Online: LIMRA’s survey found that consumers want to be able to make beneficiary changes, loan requests and fund withdrawals online.
LIMRA also found that of those who visit the website, 7 in 10 register. Registrations are higher for Generations X and Y than for older generations, with about three-quarters Gen X and Gen Y policyowners taking the time to register on the website, while only two-thirds of percent of Baby Boomers and those in the Silent generation register on the site. LIMRA research suggests that reaching out to these registered customers, as well as those who do not currently use the website, can help build brand loyalty and identify ways to increase web traffic.
Half of life policyowners who obtained services online found the service experience “very satisfactory” in the case of 18 of the 19 services. The single exception was using a calculator or worksheet, and even for this service 44 percent were very satisfied. Furthermore, for some services (fund transfer, e-delivery setup, policy loan requests, auto payment set-up, and policy information access) 3 in 4 policyowners had a positive online experience.
“Customers — particularly Gen X and Y customers — want online services and they expect your company to offer a range of services online,” noted Art. “It is important for companies to offer a well-designed, easy-to-use site that appeals to consumers in their 20s, 30s, and 40s since they are your current and future customers.”
LIMRA 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.