Why Read This
Half of US adults own life insurance, and roughly 25 million apply for a new policy each year. The Web has recently overtaken agents as the most commonly used channel among US life insurance researchers. Among those who research their policy, two-fifths look for information online, while another two-fifths visit an agent, but just 3% do both. Online comparison sites are playing an important role: 15% of recent life insurance buyers used one. When it comes to quoting and applying, however, in-person visits with agents remain Americans' preferred channel. Age, online experience, and the perceived security of the Web all affect consumers' channel preferences. eBusiness and channel strategy executives should guide shoppers through the buying process by helping prospects find their nearest agent or by offering an online chat or click-to-call with a company representative on the firm's private site.