A LIMRA study of Americans’ buying habits found that nearly 20 percent who shopped for life insurance went through their place of work, and 75 percent of workplace shoppers actually bought life insurance.
“More and more people are turning to their place of work to get the financial products they need,” says Kim Landry, analyst, LIMRA Group Product Research. “Clearly, the convenience of having the resource at their place of work, coupled with the feeling of security felt by working with someone their employer has (implicitly) approved, is drawing consumers to this channel.”
Thirty percent of workplace shoppers for life insurance products revealed that they shopped simply because the product was offered to them at work. LIMRA’s research has shown that life triggers, such as changing one’s marital status or having or adopting a baby, are the most likely to drive people to shop for life insurance. Similarly, in the workplace, a change of marital status or a new baby rounds out the top three reasons consumers said they shopped for life insurance.
Defining the workplace shopper
According to the study, workplace shoppers are more likely to be male than female (55 percent vs. 45 percent). More than three-quarters are married or living with a partner, and a majority with children who are under 18 in their households shopped at the workplace. Workplace shoppers also tend to be
younger than those who shop through other channels; they have higher average incomes than other shoppers and tend to have more investable assets.
LIMRA also asked these shoppers to provide their opinions of the producer they met at work. The good news is that 8 in 10 workplace shoppers felt their producer provided good information about the policy, and was very knowledgeable about insurance in general. Nearly three-quarters felt they could trust their producer.
Unfortunately, shoppers also provided some negative feedback. Nearly half of workplace shoppers said their producer failed to follow up with them (a third of workplace shoppers who didn’t buy said that they were not finished shopping), and 4 in 10 workplace shoppers didn’t feel that their producer considered what they could actually afford. More than a third said they didn’t receive enough product options.
Enhancing your ratings
LIMRA identified three things workplace producers can do to improve the opinions of workplace shoppers:
- Since workplace shoppers tend to be younger and less experienced, producers should ensure that these workers fully understand the products and how they work.
- Provide additional information if needed during the decision-making process, such as printed reference materials or a link to information online.
- By all means, follow-up with the workplace shopper.
“We were surprised to see so many workplace shoppers feeling that they needed more follow-up from the sales rep, which was a significantly higher percentage than we found for consumers who shopped through other channels,” notes Landry. “Our behavioral economic research indicates that consumers may need time to consider their decision and, as our study found, if we don’t follow up with them, we may be leaving money on the table.”
For more information, contact Catherine Theroux at 860-285-7787 or at www.limra.com.
By Ayo Mseka