Agents, brokers, and advisors still considered most valuable information resource: LIMRA
The number of people seeking information about life insurance and annuity products online has increased more than 60 percent over the past six years, according to a new LIMRA study. Sixty-one percent are researching these products, up from 38 percent who looked online in 2006.
"However, despite the popularity of online sources, more consumers (69 percent) sought information from agents, brokers and advisors, who are often viewed as the most valuable and influential information sources," said Mary Art, research director, LIMRA technology research, in a statement.
Survey respondents across all age groups and income levels seeking independent information about life insurance and annuity products go online to research companies and product offerings, to seek general information, and to compare prices.
Only 14 percent of consumers across all age groups who recently researched individual products used neither the Internet nor insurance professionals.
Men and younger, higher-income, better-educated consumers look online more often than do other demographic groups, the survey found. Sixty-five percent of men used the Internet for research, compared with just 58 percent of women. Interestingly, consumers without children were far more likely to seek information online (67 percent) compared with those who had children (58 percent).
LIMRA found Millennial consumers use more information sources than older consumers, more often connect with companies online, and are likely to continue to do so as they (and their product needs) mature.
Nearly three-quarters (73 percent) of this age group seek information online than Gen-Xers and Baby Boomers (61 percent and 56 percent, respectively). The Internet is the most frequently used information source for the under-30 crowd and they are more likely to rate online sources as their single most valuable information source, to seek online recommendations for companies.
The Internet’s influence is likely to become stronger. In choosing a financial advisor, a majority of affluent households place importance on that advisor’s website and online services, according to third quarter wealth level studies of attitudes toward financial advisors. At least six in 10 said they feel there is much more and much better information available to them now regarding investments and products.
Donald Liebenson writes news and features for Millionaire Corner. He has been published in the Chicago Tribune, The Chicago Sun-Times, The Los Angeles Times, Fiscal Times, Entertainment Weekly, Huffington Post, and other outlets. He has also served as a marketing writer for Chicago-based Questar Entertainment and distributor Baker & Taylor.
A graduate of the University of Southern California, he is married with a college-age son. He also writes extensively about entertainment.