When it comes to reaching the uninsured, agents have a tough task ahead of them, a pair of LIMRA researchers said Monday.
Kicking off LIMRA's 2016 Life Insurance Conference in Las Vegas, Jennifer Douglas and Kimberly Landry shared behavioral study data on consumers’ emotional connections to life insurance. According to previous study data, 85 percent of consumers said they believe most people need life insurance, but only 62 percent said they actually own life insurance.
In their study, Landry said the researchers divided people into nine groups and gave each group a different message. The goal was to capture the respondents’ emotional reaction to the questions.
"Instead of just measuring how strongly they agreed, we also measured how quickly they agreed," she explained.
The No. 1 reason for not buying life insurance is cost, the study found. The best way to counter that is to emphasize buying insurance earlier in life, when coverage is less costly, Landry said.
Respondents also cited "it's too complicated" as a big reason they are averse to purchasing life insurance. That's where it gets tricky. The researchers put together a question informing respondents they could get life insurance in as little as 10 minutes.
The question drew a largely negative response, Landry said, which surprised LIMRA.
"It could be that disbelief, like 'Is this a real thing?'" she added.
The study found the best way to relay the importance of life insurance is to let people know their friends and neighbors are buying it. And emphasize the protection, responsibility and peace of mind, Douglas said.
InsuranceNewsNet Senior Editor John Hilton has covered business and other beats in more than 20 years of daily journalism. John may be reached at [email protected].
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