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Get Real: Industry Innovation Through Authentic Language

Connecting in a Distracted World 

In a joint effort, LIMRA and Maddock Douglas are using the power of analysis and insight to ignite and inspire the insurance industry to innovate around consumer communication.

Communication goes beyond language, and includes images, brands and logos. While these elements have an impact on what consumers think and how they act, in order to create something actionable for industry leaders we purposely narrowed our focus to the language used when talking about products. Our goal in conducting this research is to help companies deliver messages that consumers will hear.

LIMRA and Maddock Douglas want to help companies see the consumer perspective. We listened to them and observed first hand their emotions and feelings related to insurance industry language. We can articulate their pain points.

We quantified consumer attitudes, behaviors, and perceptions related to insurance industry language, and also scanned and evaluated the language currently used by industry leaders in key consumer touch points. As a result, we have identified opportunities for inspiration and innovation that can help change the industry.

Stuck Shoppers - A Major Opportunity

There are nearly 19 million "stuck shoppers" in the United States. These individuals do not own individual life insurance or pay for voluntary life insurance, though they may be covered under an employer-paid group life insurance contract. Stuck shoppers believe that "everyone should have life insurance," and either shopped for an individual policy in the past year or plan to do so in the coming year.

These are people who truly see the value of life insurance and think it's something they should have, but have gotten stuck somewhere in the process. This group is not limited to young, single, unmarried individuals. Many are married, have families, and their income levels are moderate; though the group tends to be concentrated in Generation Y (aged 22 - 33).

Stuck shoppers have mindsets that are similar to those who own individual life insurance, so they do not need to be convinced that life insurance is a good idea. Strong majorities describe themselves as "total planners" and "very good" at managing their money. The stuck shoppers look a lot like people we would expect to own life insurance. But for some reason they're getting stuck in the process. Why?


Our research uncovered a key factor in the stuck shopper dilemma - communication that lacks authenticity. Authentic communication is more than just using everyday language and laymen's terms. It also includes relatable visuals and attainable goals. Within authenticity we discovered six elements.

The Six Elements of Authenticity 

  1. Easy to Understand — Language that we use everyday
  2. Down to Earth — Images that feel realistic
  3. Memorable — Communication that is interesting
  4. Positive — Messages that are warm and comforting
  5. Credible — Sources of information that are trustworthy
  6. Relevant — Communication that says the company understands them, and who they are

With these six elements in mind, LIMRA and Maddock Douglas have identified opportunities for innovation that can help the financial services industry more effectively communicate with consumers. Because language is a part of every consumer touch point, it's going to take a new mindset to accomplish real change.

    LIMRA and Maddock Douglas have teamed up to develop services that empower companies that want to improve both sales and customer experience through more authentic communication. Please download the brochure (below) to learn how these services will move your organization from simply being aware of the opportunity to taking the right action that creates tangible results.

    Get Real Already: Moving from Awareness to Action (pdf)

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