Posts Tagged ‘LIMRA’

LIMRA CEO: Consumers Are Changing–We Must As Well

October 28th, 2014, No Comments, be the first ».

At the 98th LIMRA Annual Conference in New York, Robert A. Kerzner, CLU, ChFC, president and CEO of LIMRA, LOMA and LL Global, examined the changes in consumers’ demographics and expectations and explored the impact of their changes on the financial-services industry.

Kerzner encouraged executives to adopt new approaches to better engage with consumers to help them make better financial decisions about protecting their families with life insurance and saving systematically for retirement.

“Consumers and their household circumstances are not as homogenous as they once were and – not surprisingly – their needs, expectations and desires on how they want to shop and buy our products have changed as well,” said Kerzner.  “Companies need to look at how other industries have adapted and adopted new technology, social media, data analytics and gamification, to attract and connect with consumers.”

Kerzner highlighted key market segments – in particular women and Millennials – that are playing more prominent roles in the purchasing decisions of financial products, showing how differently these consumers gather information to make financial decisions.

“These consumers look to third-party outlets, like Angie’s List, Yelp and Amazon, for reviews and recommendations for products and services,” Kerzner noted. “How can we leverage these sites to promote the good our industry does?”

Kerzner noted we are competing for the hearts and minds of consumers who don’t necessarily understand or trust our industry.  He provided examples of how companies have used “gamification” to teach consumers the importance of saving and staying out of debt.  “It is imperative that we start teaching consumers about the ramifications of their financial decisions in an interesting and engaging manner.”

Citing examples like Zip Car and Modcloth, Kerzner also showed how start-ups are upending the business model in their various industries, finding success by identifying a need through consumer feedback and coming up with a non-traditional solution.

“Are we developing products that will meet consumers’ needs or are we building products that fit our business model?” questioned Kerzner.  “We need to listen better to what consumers are really worried about, like remaining mentally sharp, maintaining their social network, and who will take care of them when they get sick. Our focus on retirement has been too myopic. We are focusing too much on consumers’ money and too little on what keeps them up at night.”

The conference theme, “The Leadership Challenge: Connecting in a Distracted World,” focused on how industry leaders leverage the latest technology to address the changing dynamics of the market and meet the evolving expectations of consumers.  More than 500 senior leaders from life insurance and financial-services companies worldwide attended the meeting.

 

Tags: ,

Employers Interested in Offering Voluntary Benefits

October 21st, 2014, One Comment ».

A new LIMRA study finds that 7 in 10 employers offer voluntary benefits to improve the morale of their existing employees and attract and retain new talent.

“As the economy and the job market improve, employers are finding it more challenging to attract and retain key personnel,” said Ron Neyer, MBA, CLU, ChFC, assistant research director, LIMRA Distribution Research. “LIMRA found employers choosing to offer voluntary benefits to supplement their existing benefits package without adding to their bottom line.”

According to LIMRA voluntary benefits sales research, the voluntary market has grown in four of the past five years, averaging five percent annual gain. “Increasing medical benefits costs and the need to do more with less has made voluntary benefits an attractive option for employers,” noted Neyer.

Employers are generally happy with their voluntary benefits advisors. Six in ten feel that agents/brokers/consultants usually or always deliver on their voluntary benefit promises. Only eight percent feel that advisors rarely or never live up to their promises.
Advisor satisfaction ranks the highest at companies with 20 to 99 employees.

Post-sale support is very important to employers, the study notes. Employers prefer that their workforce receives voluntary benefits communication and service through established channels like call centers (80 percent), personalized employee statements (61 percent) and informational materials distributed at work (53 percent). Approximately half of employers consider pre-enrollment email messages to be important. Employers also consider email support even more crucial after the sale, and feel similarly about online service capabilities.

The study also uncovered how employers view mobile technology in relation to employee communication. Nearly one in four employers feel that mobile technology is very important for voluntary benefit enrollments – 38 percent say mobile access to plan information is critical after the sale. In addition, almost half (49 percent) believe post-sales live web-based support (i.e. web chat) is valuable.

“As more Millennials enter the work force, the demand for online and mobile access to their benefits will increase. Companies that stay current on these communication strategies are likely to have a competitive edge in this growing market,” Neyer said.

LIMRA surveyed 1,321 employee benefits decision makers in private firms with 10 or more employees in May and June of this year. These included 925 employers that currently offer one or more voluntary products and 396 firms that do not offer any benefit options that are 100 percent employee-paid.

For more information, visit LIMRA at www.limra.com.

———

By Ayo Mseka
Editor-In-Chief

Tags: , ,